An Experimental Approach – Douglas Harding

Good evening to you and welcome to Discovery. My name is Barbara O’Shuller, and my guest is Douglas Harding, an Englishman who is here in this area to speak among other things about the fine art of living free from stress.  He is a speaker, an architect, author, and teacher.

Welcome Douglas.

Welcome. (Laughter) Welcome to you, if I may say that.

You certainly may.

Welcome to you in my space. Yes.

You’ve got some very provocative titles for your books, and I am going to share them first off, and then maybe ask you to talk about them. On Having No Head, is one. All of these are published by Penguin Arcana. Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious, that’s all one book, The Little Book of Life and Death, Head Off Stress, and a novel, The Trial of the Man Who Said He was God. Wonderful titles.

Provocative, I think.

Very provocative. Let’s start with number four, the novel that hasn’t come out yet, The Trial of the Man Who Said He was God. Who is this man and why did he say he was God?

Well, it’s a blasphemy trial, in the year 2003. It’s, I suppose, almost like science fiction in a way. And here’s this chap who says that nearer to him than all else, at the very center of his life, is the origin of the world, is the indwelling spirit, reality, God – many names. It could be Buddha-nature, could be the kingdom of heaven, or whatever, and that is central in his life.

And that he himself is very real, as a person, as a man, but that man is peripheral to that center. So the human part of him is not central. The human part is there, and for instance, and in particular, what he sees in the mirror is his human face and human personality. And that is what other people pick up. It’s out there, it’s about a meter or two away from the center, and that’s where he keeps his humanity, and that is on show for other people. They are receiving it. That’s where they hold their cameras to photograph him. That’s where he finds that guy, in my case Douglas – why, he is there in the mirror. And this man who is on trial for blasphemy is saying who he really, really, really is, this indwelling deity or reality, spirit, essence. That that is who he really, really is, and that’s the center of his life.

The whole art of life is to go there, stay there, because you never came out of it anyway. It’s where you belong; it’s home. And he says that this is deeply traditional, and it’s what all the great religions are saying at the very heart of the heart of the heart of them. And he is saying that those people who are trying him for blasphemy in the year 2003, why, they are the blasphemers because what they are doing is to put the guy in the mirror – that they see in the mirror – they turn that person around and bring him forward and put that person at the center of their world. And this is blasphemy because the center of your world, the world of everyone, the center of being, the right center, where we are, is in fact the reality we come from, our source. So that is what the trial is about, and it’s what the first book is about On Having No Head, you see. Instead of a head here, a meatball, which I am supposed to be looking out of, why, when I look here, you see, I’m looking at you Barbara now, and I don’t find anything in your way. I find the meatball is non-existent here, and I am space for Barbara, which is a great improvement, I can say, on what people told me was here.

Hmm. Who is putting him on trial? Where is this taking place in 2003?

Well, I don’t tell you where it is taking place, but I guess it is Great Britain, somewhere.

Aren’t we enlightened enough now, and hopefully will be in 2003, not to be putting people on trial for discovering their own divinity?

Well, you see, the issue of blasphemy is a very important one. Some people have said it’s the great issue of the last part of the century. I mean, Salman Rushdie, you see, had been under threat of annihilation, under threat of being polished off . . . .

Still is. I saw something in the paper today.

And still is. Yes. And there is a great deal in the world, I mean, no doubt not so much in this country or in Great Britain, but in the world; this is a very alive issue. And people are being jailed and even polished off, even executed, now, on account of this – of alleged blasphemy. So it is a very real issue. But the point is not really, the book is not to put in a plea for tolerance and a liberal, open view about these things. That is not the point. The point is that this trial taking place in the future – it’s an account of the trial, you see – this trial is a peg on which to hang the doctrine, the teaching, the experience which my whole life is about, which is seeing who you really, really are at center. And when he defends himself against 27 witnesses, you see, it comes out what he is saying, and he is answering the people who say he is talking nonsense. So, I think it is an excellent peg on which to hang what I have to say.

Well, let’s go back to the first book, On Having No Head, and maybe explore through that some of what you are all about.

I think that is a good idea, Barbara. So, what would you like me to do? Tell you what it’s all about?

Well, I certainly want you to tell me what it is all about, but maybe what we should do, is go back a little further and find out how you found out about what it’s all about. As in who are you, and what is your experience?

Yes, well that is a good starting point, isn’t it? Well, I am English, I am 83, they tell me, and somewhat long in the tooth, if I have any teeth to be long in! And I was an architect, but all my life, since youth really, my passion has not been architecture at all. I earned my living at it, but my passion is to find out who I really, really, really am. The issue of my identity has been what makes me tick all along. I find it absolutely fascinating, and there are many reasons why I think this is the great issue of my life and should be of other people’s lives – our true identity. The reasons I have, which you might like me to mention, for looking at this, rather than being nose to the grindstone doing architecture – why, I earned my living at architecture – but this is my passion. Who am I? Who is this architect?

My reasons for looking into this matter were that I was such a terrible mess. I mean as a young man, I really was incredibly shy, uptight, stressed, and socially very badly adjusted, and lots of problems like that. So that was a reason for looking to see, to find a cure for this condition. And the great religious traditions have said, the cure is central in my life. The cure of my problem is to see, Barbara, who has the problem. The cure of my problem, I don’t  care what the problem is, is to see who has the problem.

That’s a tricky one, isn’t it?

I had terrible problems and I had to see, therefore, who had the problem. But I think my main reason, apart from being a mess, which is a good reason, my main reason I think . .

That’s a good starting place.

Well, my main reason was not that really. My main reason was gratitude and surprise, at having happened. I think people . . .

At having happened at all?

At having happened at all. I needn’t have happened, you see. But I am so pleased to have happened! And I think it’s a miserable, horrible, chicken-hearted thing to go through life never asking, “Who is going through life?” And taking everybody’s word, Barbara, but my own word.

Look, I’ve got inside information which is denied to everyone because nobody can come here and be where I am any more than anyone can go where you are and be you. And here I have information about who I am, first-hand information, and I find, when I really look here and dare to be my own authority, and look at where I am coming from, I find I am exactly the opposite, but exactly the opposite, of what I have been advertised to be, or what people tell me I am, or what language tells me I am. I find I am the exact opposite, and my troubles, my stress, my agony, my anguish came, very largely I think, I’m sure, from lying about who I am, taking everybody’s word for what I am, and not daring to have a look for myself. And nobody can tell me what it is like here but me because nobody is here. Everybody is too far away. They are about a foot, at least a foot or two away, aren’t they? A meter away. And I have inside information. And when I dare to look here, which I did and do, I find that everything is the exact opposite of what I had supposed, and what society tells me.

And you suggest that language gets in our way of this?

Yes. Let me give you an example of this. An absolutely hot, stop press instance now, I would say, straight from the shoulder, so to speak.  Well, here in front of me is my new friend who I met 10 minutes ago called Barbara. And there she is, and here in front of this mike here is someone taking Barbara in, in receipt of Barbara, you see. Well, I find that society and language tell me that Barbara and I are in a symmetrical relationship and face-to-face. And that there is something here called a head, a face – a meatball I call it! – there is something here in receipt of her. And we are in a symmetrical relationship and it’s a face-to-face situation.

I find this absolute utter and total nonsense and that I am busted wide open for Barbara at this time, and there is nothing in Barbara’s way. And we are not face-to-face. There is a face there, Barbara’s face, and Douglas’s absence of face here, which is in receipt of her.

Yes

So, I have nothing, thank God, to keep Barbara out with, and the only face I have at this time is a charming lady’s face about half a century younger than Douglas’s face (when I see Douglas’s face in the mirror). I am busted wide open for you, and it’s true! But if you say, “Well Douglas, you are a crazy man, of course there is something here, but you can’t see it,” I swear to you, there is nothing here and, Barbara, if you don’t . . . .

There is nothing here either is there?

Well, that’s for you to say! Well you see, if you say, “Douglas you are a crazy man. There is something here,” I say, “All right Barbara, come and see.” And you see, Barbara, if you were to come up to me now, I suppose we are about 4 ft 6 apart now, aren’t we – 5 feet apart – and if you want to take a picture of Douglas, why, you would take it there. There you get the top half of him, probably. If you came half way, a couple of feet, you would get his face, wouldn’t you?

Hmm.

And then if you came here to 6 inches with your camera, you would get a picture of his nose, or an eye, or lips. And then you would have to start putting sophisticated lenses on, even exchange your optical microscope for an electron microscope, and then your pictures – but pictures – would be of tissues, of cells, molecules, atoms. Well atoms are nearly all empty space.

That’s right.

And you come in, even leaving atoms behind, to particles, and even God knows what they are or even where they are, or even when they are, I mean, they are so absent, aren’t they? So, I complete the story and I say, “I have come all the way up to this place and I have lost Douglas, and instead, I’ve lost Douglas, a decaying, old, 83-year-old, stale meatball, and I have now there in front of me a much younger (and I almost said, more delicious . . . [laughter]) on your shoulders,” so you see!

And I find this hilarious. I find it lubricates personal relationships, and it’s an instance of many, many things. Only one instance of the ways society and language con us into denying who we really, really, really are. And when I look here and see who I really, really am, as I am doing at this moment, I am capacity, aware capacity. I am space which is infinite space, every which way, for it is awake space, an unbounded space for the world, at this time, (Barbara representing the world) for Barbara to happen in. And I find this delightful. It removes fear from my life, it removes stress, and I just enjoy life this way.

What a wonderful perspective!

You can see, it’s true, isn’t it?

Yes, quite.

And we are trading faces, aren’t we?

Yes, it’s wonderful.

Yes, it is wonderful. It really is wonderful. Yes. We are trading faces. You see, the thing is – this is very important, Barbara –  we are built not for confrontation; we are built for loving. Now I am not talking about the feeling of love. I am talking about the set up in which love is possible. In which love flourishes. And I say, in the real world when we dare to have a look and question language and social conditioning, in the real world, we are incredibly blessed, and we are built for loving. We are built open for one another.

And society runs on the face-to-face model of confrontation in all languages as face to face, visage á visage, face á face, and in all languages it’s a symmetry. And this is a lie. It’s not true. You see two other people, they are face-to-face, but it is never true of oneself, vis-á-vis someone over there.

So, it is just a totally different way of life. But this is only one instance of the difference between who I find myself to be here, and who my language, and society, and parents, and teachers, bless their hearts, told me was here. So, what I do in all these books, in all my meetings with people, is to go round and say, “Dare to look for yourself at what you are looking out of, and you will find that you are this immense, immortal, imperishable, awake capacity for the world. And this is the heart of all the great religions.

Hmm. Douglas, let’s talk about more lies. Tell me some more lies.

Yes. I will tell you another lie. Jeff and I drove here from San Francisco. No, well, from Santa Cruz actually. Did we move or did the country move? The question is, if we look at which moved, the country or the car? And you see, when we are very, very little, we sit in the car and we tell the truth. And the telegraph poles go rushing by and the buildings turn; and the whole scenes are ballets and the whole scene dances; and this is the truth. And then we grow up and we set it out differently and our story is that the world grinds to a halt and we move along the freeway.

Well, what happens, Barbara, to all that motion? All the dance in the world, all that motion, what happens to it? I say it comes in here, and I lose my inner tranquility. Now I say, now let me tell the truth, restore the commotion to the world where it belongs, I find my inner peace and the world dances. And this is evidence of who I really, really, really am, the indwelling deity, the reality that we are never moved.

Aristotle said, “God is the unmoved mover of the world.” Well, when you get in your car, get a hold of the wheel and see, first of all you notice the driver doesn’t have a head. You know, if you had a video camera here – and when people want to sell you a car, frequently they show it like this – a headless driver, feet on the controls, hands on the wheel, and there I am a headless driver and the whole scene is moving through me. And so, if we dare to look, we find the one here never moved an inch. Who you really, really, really are never moved. Yet another example.

So let us talk about The Little Book of Life and Death. What is this death stuff all about if we are immortal and full of this, this grandeur of the universe?

Yes. Well, the one I see in the mirror, Barbara, is dying, has been dying for 83 years, hasn’t he? I mean, he gets older every time I look in the mirror and that is my death certificate; that is the one who is dying. And what we do is bring that one in the mirror where he belongs, you see, turn him around and put him here, and this is a kind of suicide really. He belongs there in the mirror, over there in other people. If I take that picture in the mirror and try and bring it here, it disappears as I bring it here. In order to find my face again, I have to put it out there, but when I look here at this clarity, this place, there is nothing here to perish. Nothing here to perish. So, it is the case of coming home, seeing there is nothing here to perish. As simple as that.

Who I am, who I am, is imperishable. The shelf life of that chap out there, what is it? Short. The shelf life of the one here is infinite, it is not biodegradable, is  it?

So, what do you talk about in The Little Book of Life and Death? What kind of  . . . .

I talk about that. The point is, where is death? Where is life and where is death? Well, let me put it like this. Every thing perishes. Every thing perishes. An atom will perish, a particle will perish, people perish, even stars, planets, galaxies perish. Everything perishes – has births and death. Galaxies last a long time, particles, very little time. But every thing perishes.

About the thing here? No, I am not a thing here. Here is no thing, therefore it’s imperishable. And I look here, I find no thing to perish. It’s as simple as that.

And this agrees so much with what, for instance, St. Paul said. He asked the questions, “Oh death, where is your sting? Oh grave, where is your victory?” Well, it’s there. We now answer the apostle, death is there and not here.

So, death cannot get to me. This place is free of every thing, visibly, Barbara, empty, open, speckless. Therefore, it cannot perish because there is nothing there to perish.

And this again agrees with the teaching of all the great traditions, which say that we really, really are at the center, the imperishable origin of the world, not a product of the world.

Yes. Can we track with you from that young man who was having a hard time of it and beginning the journey of discovering these things? And maybe if you talk a little bit about your journey early on and how you developed these concepts, the understanding of the lies, and beginning to put the truth of the world back into place?

Well, I happened to notice (and it was very surprising) that where I was, was open to the world. I happened to be walking in the Himalayas at the time, but that had nothing to do with it really. I just happened to notice, looking out my body, I saw my legs there, and my hands and arms, my chest, and so on. Everything came to a stop here, you see, above my shoulders. On my shoulders, let’s say, was the whole scene. And I was enlarged. I was the scene; I was the Himalayas. I was Everest, and all that and I was full of that scene. And there was nothing here in the way. I am not telling you I don’t have a head. Of course I have a head, of course I have a brain, and all that stuff, eyes and so on. But I don’t have them here. I have them over there in your camera, in other people, in my mirror, and they are there. And here is the absence of all that.

Yes.

This is after all deeply traditional. You take Tennyson, he says, “Nearer is He . . .” (He is talking about God, you see.) “Nearer is He than breathing, closer than hands and feet.” In the Koran . . .

Yes.

Mohammed says, “Allah is nearer to me than my own neck vein.”

Yes.

Well, I believe that that’s it. Eckhart, a great, great Christian, philosopher, mystic of the 13th, 14th century, preached a sermon, a delightfully brief sermon, “God’s in. I’m out. God’s in. I’m out.”

“God’s in. I’m out.”

“God’s in, I’m out.” That’s the whole thing. I mean, God is nearer to me than Douglas is, you see. I mean, Douglas is around. Douglas is important to me. You know, there he is.  He’s what I give to other people, or what I inflict on other people, you see. But who I really, really, really am here, visibly, is this one.

And this is common, not only to the great religions but, I think, the great poets of the world – well, Tennyson for a start. Perhaps not the greatest but what about Shakespeare? Shakespeare is onto this absolutely. In Measure for Measure, he’s got lines like this, which you will remember. “Man, proud man, dressed in a little brief authority, most ignorant of what is most assured, his glassy essence like an angry ape, plays such tricks before high heaven as make the angels weep.” So, what Shakespeare is saying, is, Barbara, that we have a choice. You know, we either perceive what is so evident, what is so on show – our glassy essence, this space here – either we perceive that, enjoy that, live from that, or we are in terrible danger of behaving like angry apes.

Mm.

Now that is strong stuff, isn’t it?

Sounds appropriate. When you were in the Himalayas, did you have any other experiences that helped to contribute to this understanding?

No, I think that this is so radical nothing will compete with it. I mean, this is the heart of the heart of the matter, isn’t it? I mean, everything else flows from that. But I do say this, that having seen this curious thing, you know, being headless, what should I say – enjoy that, live from that and all the other things shall come.

And you see, also, I found – this is rather interesting – I found that I could share this with nobody. People either thought I was extremely profound, mystical, symbolical, and impenetrable, or they thought I was just raving mad, you see. So I failed to share this with people. And for eighteen years I never was sure I shared it with anybody.

But I did in the middle of that time have a very comforting thing because I discovered the early Zen Masters of the 8th and 9th centuries in China. And they were saying that the whole art of life— they called it Enlightenment, a word I hate but still they called it satori or Enlightenment – the whole art of life and the cure for our troubles and the answer to our problems is to see our true face. And this is called our original face.

Well I say, I have two faces, the acquired one I see in the mirror, and the original one here. And the original one is the face of God or the Buddha-nature or whatever, the true face we have which is an infinite, imperishable, perfect capacity for what was given. Now the one in the mirror is the acquired face and that one we put here illegitimately because, in fact, it belongs there and not here. And when we are very miserable, Barbara, you see, we haven’t been taken for a ride, we haven’t been conned, we haven’t come under the influence of language and so forth. And every mum and some dads know that the one in the mirror there, is for a little child, a baby, a friend, never oneself. A long process of indoctrination and you get the kid – and you must do, to join the club, this is what is necessary – to get the kid to agree that that is my face. It’s not natural. It’s an acquired thing. And when we are very, very little, we are honest, you see, we are busted wide open. This is the charm of children that they are they are busted wide open for the world.

Seeing is an acquired thing isn’t it, period? Seeing, understanding the world through sight, we learn that don’t we?

Yes, we do but I am talking about something which so basic. Are we coming from a thing, which is a perishing, limited, small, decaying, ageing thing, solid, opaque, small, and very, very brief? Come on. Or are we coming from the imperishable capacity that contains the world?

So what happens to this awareness of the imperishable capacity after the perishable part dissolves?

Well, it is really not quite a proper question, if I may say so? Because it is timeless, you see. And after and before don’t quite apply. And where we are coming from is timeless and where there is no thing, no change. I mean there is no change. There is no way of registering time, and if there is no way of registering time, why, hey ho, there is no time!

Anyway, I have a little experiment here, you see, which I do and people think it’s idiotic but I find it very true. You see, I look at the time now, and I look at the time in the studio here, and it’s twenty to eight in Carmel, or Monterey, whichever it is. It is twenty to eight in England now, where I have come from – another time. And in Tokyo, another time. Each place has got its own time. Well, what’s the time here, right where I am, this side of the microphone? What’s the time right here, no distance from me?

Now I’ve got my watch here, and it says the time out there is, a couple of feet away, no, a foot away, is 7:39. And I bring my watch up, you know, gradually, and gosh, at an inch away, I’m not sure what time it is. And half an inch, even the watch is going! And at no distance there is no time to register.

So you see, who you really, really, really are, this one never moved, Barbara. It, she, or he, God – excuse the term, I like that term – he is who you really, really, really are, and he never moved, and he has no boundaries. He is speckless, and he is faceless, and contains the whole world. And this is where you are coming from, and it is absolutely timeless.

Most of us, I think, worry about when the perishable part is no longer contained in the form that we so preferred, what happens to memory and what happens to this continuity that we feel that we would like to call Douglas, or Barbara, or Jeff?

Yes. Well, quite right. Emily Brontë wrote a rather famous and splendid poem called “Last Lines.” And she said a true thing, I think. “When suns and universes cease to be, every existence will exist in thee.” In other words, in the timeless, is a kind of freezer, which prevents things from perishing, you see. It contains perishable things. And, Barbara, you see, the content of the timeless will never recover from containing Barbara, or even Douglas. You are established there in the timeless. And I would say, I am not professing to understand this. Presently, I shall know more about it from direct experience!

[Laughter.] We are talking with Douglas Harding on KAZU 90.3. This is Discovery. So, we have gone through The Little Book of Life and Death, and On Having No Head, and we started with your novel that is not published yet, The Trial of the Man Who Said He was God. Let’s talk about Head Off Stress. The world is full of stress, probably because we are still believing all these lies.

Well, I think that might be so partly, Barbara. But I think the situation is this – things are built on stress, they run on stress. Our cars run on gas. I mean, things are held together by stress. Stress is a good thing there because it holds things together and prevents them falling apart. What is stress but a system of complementary pressures, forces, isn’t it.?

Mm.

And the whole world runs on stress. And it is a good thing and a necessary thing. The world is a stress system. What we do is to get out there, imagine ourselves out there, involved in that stress world. And of course, we take on stress and it gives us a hard time because we are not essentially – who we really, really, really are – is not only not out there, subject to stress, but is absolutely and totally free of stress from where we are at the center. And the one you are really looking out of, Barbara, at this time, is unstressable.

So, if you want to be hot you go to the Equator, if you want to be cool, you go to the North Pole, and if you want to be unstressed, you come home to the place you have never left, because nothing is there to be stressed. It’s as simple as that. And it’s a case of coming home, coming home, to the place you have never left, the place you are looking out of, and seeing there is nothing there to be stressed.

And you can come home on any ticket. Any ticket home is a good ticket, and I can point to this place. And we shall be doing some experiments like that in our workshop here, or in Santa Cruz rather. And we can point to this place we are looking out of, we can see when we put on our glasses – two lenses – we put on our glasses, and we see we are looking not out of two pupils in a meatball, we are looking out of one enormous frameless window. And not in our own direct experience are two little pupils. Well, that is coming home from the stress world to the world where there is nothing to be stressed. So, if you want to be free of stress, go where there isn’t any, and that is right where you are.

Mm. Let’s talk a little more about what people will be experiencing in the workshop. What is a workshop with Douglas Harding?

Well, one of the things I say is don’t believe a word I am saying. You are the authority.  You see, we are suffering all of us from indoctrination, from being grievously intimidated, and we allow people to tell us what it is like where we are. Nobody is in a position to tell you what you are like where you are. You are the authority. So, in a workshop I say don’t believe a thing I say, test it. Test it, because you are the authority on who you are. And this workshop is about who you really, really are. And I say who you really, really, really are is unbelievably blessed, splendid, perfect, and the answer to all your problems is who you really, really, really are.

So, we get together in a workshop to do sundry experiments –  quite a lot of them – for coming home to the place we’ve never left and finding this blessing, this energy, a freedom which is there for free where we are.

And the workshop normally consists of three or four sections. A spiel, an introductory spiel, rather along the lines of what we are doing here, you see. Then the experiments which are the nitty gritty. They are what count. The words are kind of froth, the experiments are what count. So the first thing is a spiel, saying why we are getting together. The second thing are the experiments, all of them bringing us home to this infinitely neglected treasure in the space where we are coming from. And the third part is – well everyone sees this. I don’t allow anyone not to see it, it’s so obvious, isn’t it? The experiments don’t give you a chance, you’ve got to see it. Everybody gets the point, just as you do. I mean, immediately you got the point. So, in a workshop everybody gets the point. Now what they do with it is another matter.

So we go on then to look at how we live this, which is the great thing. It’s not much use seeing it and then putting it on one side by all the other amusing things we’ve encountered. The workshop addresses the practicality of this and how we keep it alive. And we have questions also.

And I think around that time towards the end, we get on to what for me is really a crucial matter and that is a case of confidence. What horse am I backing in life? Am I backing Douglas who is a loser? Come on, he is a loser, I mean, he is dying. He has been dying for 83 years. He’s a loser. I mean, I am not distressed about that because, I mean, it’s his nature. He is not a winner, and in so far as I trust him, things go wrong. But when I trust who I really, really, really am, where I am coming from – my true nature, my Buddha-nature, or the indwelling Holy Spirit, or the kingdom of heaven, or God, or whatever you like to call this which I really, really am – if I give up my trust, give up my self-confidence in that little guy, and rely on this one, I find I am taken care of, and that things work out. I don’t get what I want but I get what I need. So that is what the workshop is about.

Of course, it is, as you say, simple, a simple thing to see.

Obvious.

And it’s obvious in many ways, but it is not so easy for people to do. Why is it so hard for people to hear what you are saying, or hear what other sages say about this, or what their neighbor says about it, and why is it so difficult for people to implement it? Why does it take many, many years to begin to . . .?

Well, it doesn’t take many . . . it doesn’t take any time to see it, does it? It’s a piece of cake, the most obvious thing in the whole world. We don’t know what obviousness is until we see this. It’s absolutely obvious. All we’ve got to do is turn our attention around 180° from what we are looking at to what we are looking out of. So, it’s absolutely obvious. And to establish it we keep coming back. Every time you come back to the place you never left and dissolve the hallucinated block here, which is hallucination. Why every time you do that it’s easier, you see, it’s easier every time. So, it’s a matter of practice. And the work has to be done. Yes, the work has to be done. And with some people I think it can result fairly soon in being centered. So you are not out to lunch. You are really with yourself. You are centered. Because the normal human condition is to be out to lunch.

But why is the normal human condition to be out to lunch?

Well, because you are in a kind of coma. We are out there, eccentric, looking at ourselves and wondering what other people see. And donating, building up here the image of something. When we are very little, we were centered and all animals are centered. They are living from their space. But as we grow up and join the human club, we are out to lunch. We must join the human club. It’s very important. But the price is too high. The subscription is too high, and I withdraw my subscription. What we are asked to do, when we belong to the human club, is to survey ourselves from about a meter away through other people’s eyes. Well, you can’t do that. And what I am on about is looking at yourself from where you are, and looking at where you are coming from, seeing what you are looking out of, as well as what you are looking at.

Well, if all of this is at the heart of all the great religious traditions . . .

It is.

. . .what happened? Why aren’t the religious traditions giving us this insight as clearly as you are giving it?

Well, that is a very good question. I think though it’s at the heart of the great religions. I think that religion becomes contaminated in a thousand ways, and the truth, the initial truth, on which the thing was built, the original vision of this, gets overlaid by churchianity, by priests, by the interests, the power trip. The power trip that each religion does develop, really. Power over people. And so the life and the heart of the great religions is that there are some heretics, like Douglas, who go back to the beginning and look at things as they were originally.

And in my view Christ, Jesus, was on to this absolutely. I mean he talked about the man who looks upon himself only from outside and not also within, makes himself small. And how big are you? And I say if you really look and see who you are, you are worldwide. You are worldwide. We make ourselves small. Barbara, we get shrunk in the wash. And you know, when we were very little, infants, we look kind of small, don’t we? About 2 feet long, really very tiny. But do you think an infant for itself is tiny? The infant for itself has got no boundaries, for sure.

That’s true.

And then when we join the club, we shrink from being worldwide into being a little thing.

Now, is it any wonder that young people become anti-social and angry, and rebellious? Is it any wonder when overnight, they got shrunk from being all things to being just what they look like from outside?

So, what I am on about, you know the whole thing is, I am not what I look like. I am not here at zero inches what I look like at a hundred inches. I am not only unlike that, I am the exact opposite. So I tell you, you are getting what Douglas looks like, I’ve got what Douglas is. And they are totally different. And the great human nonsense is to say, “I am here, what do I look like to you over there!” Which is absolute rubbish, isn’t it?

Yes, quite. What is interesting to me though is that we are willing to shrink, and yet some of us, like you, are unwilling to shrink. And what is the difference? Why are most of us willing to go along with this shrinking process, and every once in a while, somebody says, “No, I won’t do this?”

Well, I think it is a mystery; I don’t know the answer. But I think it is connected with the whole origin of the world and of evil, and so on. I think you know, probably the best light we can get on this, is to think of, say, I mean this is like a kind of myth, is think of God, Buddha-nature, reality, with no world, just perfect. God is there for millions and millions of eons and ages just revolving the circle of his own perfections. He is absolutely perfect. Nothing ever happened. And after billions and billions of years, he got bored or she got bored. And what she did was to say, “I’m going to do a terribly difficult thing, a terribly risky thing. I am going to pretend to be three people, Barbara, Jeff, and Douglas, possibly a few more, you see. I am going to pretend to be these different people.” And the result of that was that in order to get the whole thing set up you have to have this illusion thing going, so that people think they are separate from God in their origin.

And so, God set up the thing, playing a game of hide and seek with herself. And this is part of God’s plan that we pretend that we are solid lumps, and we are what we look like. And I say that the great fun of life and the object in life is to come off that and tell the truth.

You say, “Why aren’t many more people on to this?” And that I don’t know. I am doing my best to encourage people; I am doing my little best to encourage people to not only look at this but share it with others.

It’s very easily shareable as we have seen, isn’t it?

Yes. Quite, quite. Who are the most exciting people that you have spent time with in your wonderful 83 years?

Well, I think everybody is of value to me and teaches me. I’ve met many, many teachers and gurus, you and Jeff, now. Everybody teaches me. I am so refreshed by my friends. But perhaps one of the most notable ones I have met . . . well yes, I have had a few friends. I am not going to go name dropping now, but I have had some pretty marvelous friends, and still have. But I think one of the most impressive was Ananda Maya Ma, in Bangalore, in India, who had a vast, vast following of people in north India. And she was onto this. A most beautiful woman.

Yes, somebody was just talking about her last night to me.

Really?

Describe her.

She was a very, very beautiful woman. We shared this thing together when I went to see her in India. I think she is one of the most remarkable people I have known. But the people I share it with, like you now, it is as though one has known those people for ever and ever. Because, look, the barriers are down, Barbara, aren’t they?

I mean, when I see who I am – well, look, look now. I have your face, which you have given me out of your generous heart. You have given me your face which you don’t have, and I have it, and I’m looking after it and treasuring it. That’s a wonderful thing to do, to give me your face. Now, what about what is behind that face? What about the consciousness which is the essence of Barbara? Now will I find that by peeking now into your eyes? I won’t! There are not two little hobgoblins of consciousness behind your pupils. But if I want to find the awareness which is Barbara, that essence, that indwelling Godhead, Godhood, I look here, and what I see here – this space, this capacity. It has no laundry marks of Douglas on it, you see. Or Barbara, or Jeff. It will do for you, and it will do for everyone, and it’s infinite as I look here now. I mean, here it is, and it goes on and on for ever and ever and ever. And it has no personal marks on it. And it is awake, boundless, real, and where we are all coming from. So, I now say to you, there is a double intimacy, if you don’t mind my saying so. It is I have your face. I have your appearance there, for which God be praised. And I am your reality. So I have your appearance over there, and here I am your reality. Now that is so different from the confrontation story in the world, isn’t it? So there we are face-to-face, head-on collision. Confrontation.

You have never confronted anyone in your life. This thing we are built, Barbara, for, busted wide open for each other, aren’t we? It’s really marvelous. And when we start telling the truth of who we are, the world is full of blessing.

Yes. You don’t like the word enlightenment, why?

Well, I mean, because, well partly because it’s been made into such an inaccessible, mysterious thing. I say that we are all, all, living from our enlightenment. And here we are, fully established in our enlightenment. All we’ve got to do is not to achieve it but turn around and acknowledge it. And we build up this absurd picture of something which can only be attained by folding your legs into a granny knot for 20 years or I don’t know what, all sorts of things you see. You know, I say, we don’t know what obviousness is until we see who we really are.

Mm. You mention the word evil. What is evil? Why do we perceive evil? What is that all about?

Well, I think evil is the name we give to alienation, separation. And evil is failure to be open. Evil is turning your back on the world. You see here, who I really, really am here is naked and open, exposed to the world. And the little guy in the mirror, Douglas, has turned his back on the world. Now, he must do so. But if that is the whole story, well, that is evil because what he says is keep out. I can see my little chap in the mirror, around who my ego, imagined personality is constellated, around the little guy. Well, he is, by himself, evil in the sense that he says, “Keep out. I’m just announcing myself. I am shutting the world out because I’m a thing. And I am looking after my thing, and I turn my back on the world. I’ve got enough troubles of my own, thank you very much.” But the one here, who I really, really am which is about a meter away from the one in the mirror, the one I really, really am here is open to the world, busted wide open to the world, naked, and taking on the world’s joy and suffering. You see, I think that one of the reasons why we resist this, Barbara, is we really do say, “I’ve got enough problems of my own. I don’t want to be busted wide open like this.”

Yes. I think that’s true. And maybe we should talk about that. What about suffering? Suffering affects – somebody was talking to me the other day about this – and he said, “If I open up and am available to myself and the world, I’ll be receiving all that suffering and pain.” And that is something we consider and maybe you’ve hit it on the head there. That our willingness to be shrunk comes from our unwillingness to be in what we perceive to be close contact with this suffering that’s beyond us.

That’s beautifully put. Yes. You see, I really think that the answer to my anguish is not to separate it from the world and to see who I really, really am, means to take on the suffering of the world. And in Christianity this is a very powerful ingredient of that faith. And in Buddhism, you know, wisdom without compassion is like a bird with one wing, and compassion which is feeling other’s suffering, is essential to wisdom. Inseparable from wisdom. And I think the way I should put it is, coming from who I really, really am, I am naked and open to the suffering of the world and then can go beyond it to what lies at the back of the suffering, the one here who doesn’t separate himself from any of the suffering in the world. To take it on and acknowledge it, is, I think, to find an incredible peace and joy underneath it, somehow.

Yes, but the journey through to that is such a terrifying one.

Yes, but I think it is even more terrifying if you are in your own little box there, having your personal suffering. You think that the world has chosen you for some really nasty stuff. And there you are full of resentment, suffering your own thing with no way out at all.

Yes.

And I think the way out is to allow yourself to be invaded by the suffering of others and then your heart will . . . . You see, I talk about losing your head, and when . . . I am talking about literally one is headless. But when one loses one’s head and is busted wide open, instead of this meatball which closes me up, then I find my center of gravity, in fact, does move down. And I lose my head and I find my heart. I find my heart. And one does find, of necessity feels – one doesn’t set it up but I think one does find – that the hurt of the world is one’s own hurt.

But that is vast and deep, isn’t it?

Yes, and I think our blessing lies in that direction.

Can you talk about your own entry into that vast, deep place of suffering?

Well, I don’t think one enters into it to take on suffering. I think, I don’t like suffering any more than anyone else does. I don’t want to suffer any more than I need. But what I need to do is to be truthful and come home to who I really am. And when I see who I really am, which I do now, this clarity, this openness, this exposure to the world, this being full of you, and the scene there, when I see that, I think I take care of the whole thing, suffering and all. And I don’t need to do two, three, or four things, see who I am and then address the suffering of the world. I think the seeing who I am embraces all that. And I think when you see who you are, you will find this happening naturally. Your compassion will be awakened.

What’s the importance of sacrifice? The traditions speak of sacrifice?

Well you see, I think we should not be too gloomy about this because it’s really our natural condition, our sacrifice one for another. Look, the only way I can have your face for now is to disappear as Douglas, isn’t it? And this  is death. Douglas dies and is resurrected as Barbara. You see what I mean? And we give our lives for one another, Barbara. This is incredibly beautiful. And all this gloomy sacrifice business is a bind. I think it is something which is so blessed that I give my life for you.

You know, who was it said, Paul I think, “Greater love hath no man than this, than to give his life for a friend.” Well, we give out lives for one another. I give my life for Barbara not because I’m a nice old thing but because I am just truthful, and I am seeing that I am disappearing in your favor. And that is sacrificing Douglas for, well sacrificing the little guy who is perishing for the great one who can never perish. So, what sacrifice? It’s gain, isn’t it, my God?

Yes, interesting.

Yes, ultimate gain.

Douglas, of the traditions that you have studied, which one seemed closest to you, to this heart? Which of the traditions seemed to have less of this crust of inappropriate stuff attached to them? Is it the Zen Buddhist tradition, perhaps?

No, I wouldn’t say so. I think that I would say that, having been brought up in the Christian faith, and for many years, all my early years, deeply in that faith, it’s in my blood. I can’t deny it. I can’t put that on one side for any other faith. But I think that going deeply, deeply into the heart of Christianity I find that many, many insights are shared between that faith and the other faiths. And each moreover, it seems to me that each faith, has a unique contribution to make, so I owe a great deal to Zen, and Zen Buddhism. I owe only slightly less, I think, to Hinduism and some recent Masters like Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta. And I owe a very great deal to Sufism and particularly Jalalludin [Rumi]. So yes, I suppose I am rather ecumenical.

But I think the thing is, one can make the mistake of window shopping and going around saying I don’t belong to any of them because they have all got something true to say, and that means you tend not to go deeply into any one of them. And for me, I think it just sticks with me that – and I suppose this is more a gut reaction, or early conditioning, for me it sticks –  (this realization is basic to me) that the reality behind the universe is none other than self-giving love.

And it is shown in what I was saying. We are built, all of us are built to this Christ pattern, to give our lives for one another, and we vanish in favor of the one there. And it is so beautiful Barbara. It moves my heart and excites my mind. The vision of this sings, really.

Let’s talk about Jalalludin’s view of this. He is the one in the Sufi tradition that we think of when the word “beloved” is used. That great connection with what we are talking about.

Yes, that’s right.

Maybe you’d care to say some more about him?

Yes, I can give you one or two quotes from him. He says, “Dissolve yourself into nothingness. Become nothingness, nothingness, nothingness.”

He talks a lot about losing your head. “Dissolve your head into nothingness.” He talks a lot about that. One thing he said was, “Become vision, vision, vision. Become vision.”

What did he mean by that?

Become vision. Well, what is looking out of here is vision itself, you know. Vision itself. It is the awake perceiver of the whole world. So, he says, “Lose your head  . . . .” Oh, a great deal about headlessness, he’s got. He said, “Heads go rolling like the ball in polo.” “Heads go rolling like the ball in polo.” And he says, seeing into your clarity, your nothingness, is the whole thing.

Did you have a chance to meet Ramana Maharshi?

No, I never did. I was in India when he was alive but I never met him. But I regard him as having had a great influence on my life. And what he said were about three things which I would absolutely take.

First of all, he said, although he didn’t put it quite as neatly as this. He said the answer to your problem, whatever it might be, is to see who has the problem. That’s  one. And the second thing he said – it’s easier to see who you are, than it is to become enlightened – it’s easier to see who you are than to see a gooseberry in the palm of your hand. And the third thing, I can’t think of at the moment. But those will do, won’t they?

Yes, those are two good ones.

Those will do. The answer to your problem is to see who has the problem. And the vision of who you are is the most obvious and accessible thing in the world. Oh, the pity, the pity.

And everyone around him said, “Only you can do it master.” And they put him on a pedestal so high they couldn’t hear a word he said. So sad.

That happens a lot, doesn’t it?

It happens a lot, and it happened very much in his case. I have visited his ashram and people there . . . you know, they can’t see this. And if I go there and say it’s the most obvious thing in the world, look at what your master said, I should probably get my marching orders.

They would chase you out?

I think they would. I think they would a bit. Although I contributed a great deal to their journal, Mountain Path, (but I only did it by quoting him all the time!) which he says it’s available, it’s obvious, and it’s the answer to your problem. And there we are.

Douglas, would you give us a retrospective on, I won’t use the word retrospective, let’s shift it around, about the future of this species who is having a hard time in this shrunken state. How do you feel we are progressing in the last part of the twentieth century? Or not progressing as the case may be?

Going back. Well you see, I think it’s a very fascinating story. And the story began (what was it? a million years ago or five million) when a very smart ape, with a very nice hand for grasping things, and a big forebrain, and so forth, when he became human. And the way he became human was – he saw his face in the water; he saw that specter there, and the specter invaded him. It rushed up his arm and invaded him and parasitized him here. So he took that thing that belongs there in the water, or the mirror (which he probably didn’t have) and he came here, and he became what . . . . He took on what belongs there, a yard away, and he became shrunk. And he joined the human club.

Now five million years is quite a long time to play that game. It is a game and it has produced, gosh, what it has produced including all the equipment in front of me now at this time.  It has produced language and everything else. So, it was a very important game. But gosh, I think it’s a game which five million years of, a million years, is long enough. And I think we should now play a different game. And for the last two and a half thousand years there have been people who have been playing a different game and who see what Ramana Maharshi and others are pointing at. And I think the opportunity now, the human race given these communications, given our dire need, given the experiments which we are able to share with people, because they are a breakthrough, Barbara. They are a breakthrough, making this so directly perceptible – given all those things – I think there is a sporting chance, that we shall make it.

I don’t mean that the whole, that everyone shall be “headless,” but this could become the vision of the cutting edge of our race. A sufficient number of leaders or people who are setting the tone and so on should see this. And I think there is a chance. Because we have come through ages of stagnation, ice ages, we are very versatile, a very tough species. And I do think there is a chance. Anyway, I am doing my best to see. And I think that it’s time we played a new game And confrontation is the name of the old game and it doesn’t work and it takes you to hell.

We are talking with Douglas Harding. Oh, my goodness we have come very close to the end of our program. Time goes fast, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does.

People say, “Ninety minutes, that’s an awful long time to talk,” and then it goes by just like that. Gosh, I wanted to ask you about modern psychology, but I don’t think we have enough time to do that. Do you have any . . . .

Quickies on that?

Quickies on psychology?

Well, of course it’s a very impressive achievement, Freud and Jung and all that tribe saying all sorts of incredibly valuable things. But if I imagine that that is going to cure my heart’s anguish, I am mistaken. Psychology is a rainforest in which you can lose yourself immediately [laughter]. I mean, you never come out and you know it’s an endless, endless thing. One thing leading to another. Even Freud himself talked about analysis as interminable or terminable. It is not the cure.

Psychology is for polishing up that little guy in the mirror, Douglas. [Laughter.] And he’s a pretty hopeless case to polish. He won’t take a polish really. [Laughter.] And who I really, really am is upstream of psychology. It’s metaphysics, if you wish. And I think that when you come from who you are, and see who you are – and what should I say – tell the truth, submit to the evidence, have the humility to submit to the evidence, that I think is the best thing you can do for your psychology. And then when you look into – why shouldn’t you? – look into psychological methods and processes, you can award marks for those who got it right [Laughter.] Or at least, didn’t get it right but they didn’t stand in the way of this vision.

How about science?

Well yes of course. You see this is absolutely agreeable to modern science. Look, when you go up to a thing, you lose it, don’t you? I don’t care what you take, any darn thing you like, a book, a person, a hand, anything whatever, you lose it. Now, I go all the way up to myself –  I told you about, you know, taking pictures on the way up here . . .

Right. When you get down to the subatomic particles they disappear.

Well sure. That’s right. And I, here, in this place I am pointing at, which is what you perceive as Douglas’s topknot or meatball, here I find no thing whatever. And this is scientifically verifiable because I say, “Come and see.” In other words, to put it more generally, what I am is a  function of the distance or range of the observer. Now, looked at from where you are, I am perceived to be a man. Looked at from much further away, I disappear into why the Monterey Peninsula, and America, and the Earth, and the Solar System, and the Galaxy. Or coming nearer I am perceived to be why, a nose, and then tissues and cells and molecules and  atoms and so on. So what I am is relative to the view, the position of the viewer.

Now, I view myself from zero centimeters and where I am is where this wonderful indwelling Godhead resides. And it is no thing, imperishable consciousness, awake, and real. Real. Reality. And where I am coming from, and the source of all inspiration and energy. We get so tired hallucinating something here to block it out with.

Yes. Well, I’ve got to say goodbye to you Douglas. I don’t’ want to. I’d like to continue this for another hour or so. But I would like to thank you very much for joining us on Discovery. And thank you Jeff for coming and bringing Douglas. And thank you Douglas.

Thank you, Barbara. It’s very special to be interviewed by someone with whom I immediately shared what I have to share.

Thank you. Thank you.

From a radio interview with KAZU, Monterey, California given in 1992.

Here you can listen to the Douglas Harding Monterey Radio Interview.

Here you can find, Who Are We Really?, a video presentation created by one of Douglas’s long time students which illustrates the experiments that Douglas created in order to give us a direct experience of who “we really, really are.”

And here you can find more posts on Douglas Harding.

The Master of the Shouts – Osho

A little note about Rinzai, master of the irrational.

Rinzai, also known as Lin-Chi, was born in the early ninth century and was to become the founder of one of the most significant schools of Zen.

Brilliant as a child, later, when Rinzai became a priest, he studied the sutras and scriptures. Realizing the answer did not lie within them, he went on pilgrimage, visiting Obaku and Daigu, two great masters. After his enlightenment he became priest of a small temple on the banks of the Hu-t’o River.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master, Rinzai became known as the master of the shouts. His specialty consists . . . he used shouts as a method to silence you – a sudden shout. You are asking about God, you are asking about heaven, you are asking about great philosophical or theological problems and the master immediately shouts. Your mind gets a shock, almost an electric shock. For a moment you are not, only the shout is. For a moment the mind stops, time stops – and that is the whole secret of meditation.

Many mystics around the world have used sounds, but in a very superficial way. Rinzai used shouts in a tremendously deep way. His shouts would become just like a sword entering in you, piercing to the very center.

You can understand . . . when you shout Yaa-Hoo! your mind disappears. Yaa-Hoo! has no meaning, but shouting it you get suddenly thrown to your own center, and once you have touched your own center, even for a simple glimpse, your life has started changing.

Rinzai would shout at the disciples to give them a first experience of their centering. You are both a circumference and a center. You live on the circumference; the shout simply pushes you to the center. Once you experience being at the center you suddenly see the whole world changing. Your eyes are no more the same; your clarity and transparency are absolute. You see the same green leaves greener, the same roses rosier, the same life as a festival, as a ceremony. You would love to dance.

And then the disciples, once they learned that the shout can help them to reach to their very center . . . It was a strange sight when Rinzai started accepting disciples near the river. The disciples would be shouting around the whole valley, and the valley would resound with shouts. You could tell from miles away that you were somewhere close to Rinzai. It was not only that he was shouting, but that shouting was a method to throw you from the circumference to the center.

There are many ways to throw you to the center. Every way is valid if you reach to your center, because your center is the only immortal part in you. Everything else is going to die.

Today Professor Barks is here. He has done a tremendous job in translating Rumi. He has come as close as possible, but I don’t think he knows that Rumi’s whole effort by whirling is to find the center. If you whirl for hours, you will see slowly that something at the very center is not moving at all, and that is you. Your body is whirling, but your consciousness is a pillar of light.

Rumi attained his first enlightenment by whirling for thirty-six hours continuously. People thought he was mad. Even today a small group of his followers continues. They are called whirling dervishes. But the point is the same: whirling, your whole body becomes a cyclone, and your witnessing self becomes the center. Everything moves around you, but the center remains unmoving. To know this unmoving center is to know the very master key of all the mysteries of life.

Rinzai had no idea about Rumi, neither did Rumi have any idea about Rinzai, but both were working on the same strategy – somehow to force you to the center. As your consciousness becomes deeper, as it becomes an easy thing to go to the center just like you go in your house and come out, you have become a buddha.

Then slowly, slowly your center starts changing your circumference. Then you cannot be violent, then you cannot be destructive; then you are love. Not that you love – you are love. Then you are silence, then you are truth, although the old you has disappeared. That was your circumference, that was the cyclone that is gone. Now, only the center remains.

Rinzai’s method is far simpler than Rumi’s. Very few people will be able to whirl for hours, but shouting is a simpler method. Anybody can shout and can shout wholeheartedly, and it can be very intense and urgent. Whirling you will take hours to find out the center; shouting, a split second and you are at the center.

The anecdote…

Rinzai became known as the master of the shouts. On one occasion a monk asked, “What about the cardinal principle of the Buddha-dharma?”

Now, he is asking something important. What is the cardinal principle of the religion of Buddha?

Rinzai shouted – the monk bowed.

“Do you say that’s a good shout?” Rinzai asked.

The monk commented: “The thief in the grass has met complete defeat.”

“What is my offence?” Rinzai asked.

The monk replied, “It won’t be pardoned a second time.”

Rinzai gave another shout.

The first shout of Rinzai was perfectly good. The monk bowed down because he felt a great relief by moving from the circumference to the center. But Rinzai was a little suspicious. Because everything in this world becomes traditional, it had started becoming traditional that Rinzai will shout and you have to bow down to show that you have understood it, that it has reached to your center. It was becoming a tradition.

This is very unfortunate. Everything becomes a habit, a ritual, a tradition, and loses all meaning. Now, his bowing down may be true or may be just a mannerism. That’s why Rinzai asked, “Do you say that’s a good shout?”

The monk commented: “The thief in the grass has met complete defeat.”

What does he mean by this? The monk is saying, “You have been found being unsuccessful. Your shout missed.”

The monk commented: “The thief in the grass has met complete defeat.”

“What is my offense?” Rinzai asked.

The monk replied, “It won’t be pardoned a second time.”

The monk is saying, “Your shout missed.” He is not saying that shouting at him a second time will not be pardoned; he is saying, “Your being a failure will not be pardoned – It won’t be pardoned a second time. The first time I forgive you; you missed, you did not reach to my center. I bowed down because you tried, you tried hard. But the second time it will not be pardoned.”

Anybody reading it will think that he is saying, “If you shout a second time it will not be pardoned.” That is not the case. He is saying, “Your failure will not be pardoned a second time.”

Rinzai gave a shout – and the anecdote ends suddenly. After the shout there is silence. The second shout succeeded. Now the monk is silent, Rinzai is silent.

There have been long progressions for reaching to yourself, like yoga. But devices like Rinzai’s are very simple, don’t require any discipline as a prerequisite. Anybody . . . no need of having a certain character; good or bad, sinner or saint, it does not matter. What matters is to reach to the center, because at the center you are neither a sinner nor a saint. Your being a sinner or a saint are all on the periphery. Our whole society lives on the periphery; all our divisions are very superficial.

I am reminded of a great follower of Buddha, Nagarjuna. He lived naked. Perhaps Nagarjuna is the greatest logician that has walked on the earth. Aristotle is no comparison to him, neither is Shankara; Nagarjuna’s argumentation is the most refined. But he used to live naked – a beautiful man – and even kings and queens were disciples to him. In a certain capital the queen was his disciple. She asked him, “You will have to give me a favor. I want to take away your begging bowl.”

He said, “That is not a problem. You can have it.”

She said, “That is only half of it. I have prepared a begging bowl for you. This one you give to me; it will be a present, the most precious to me in the whole world. And I have made a begging bowl which you cannot reject, you have to accept it.”

He said, “I have not seen it either.”

She said, “Seeing or not seeing is not the question. First, give me the promise that you will not reject it.”

So he said, “Okay, I will not reject it.”

She brought out the bowl, and it was made of solid gold, studded with diamonds. Nagarjuna said, “You don’t understand the situation. Whether I reject it or not, I will not be able to keep it even for a few hours. A naked man carrying a begging bowl made of solid gold, studded with great diamonds – do you think I will be able to keep it? But I have promised, so I will accept it.”

A thief was watching the whole transaction. He followed Nagarjuna. He knew that this fellow lives outside the city in a dilapidated temple, and every afternoon after he has taken his food, he goes to sleep. This is a very good time to take this begging bowl away. Anyway, somebody is going to take it away . . .

So he went and he was hiding behind a wall by the side of a window watching that somebody else does not enter inside. Nagarjuna made his place to sleep and he had complete awareness that somebody had been following him.

“Why keep him unnecessarily waiting? Anyway, I am going to sleep and he will take the begging bowl. It is better to give it him. Why make him a thief?” So he threw the begging bowl outside the window where the thief was sitting.

The thief could not believe it. This is really a strange man. A strange desire arose in the thief that it would be good to have a little time to sit at this man’s feet, so he asked from the window, “Can I come in?”

Nagarjuna said, “What do you think I have thrown the begging bowl for? – to bring you in. Come in. That was just an invitation.”

The thief could not understand, but was very much impressed by the man.

Nagarjuna said, “I did not want to make you a thief, that’s why I have thrown the begging bowl. Now you can have it.”

The thief said, “It is so precious; you are a man of great mastery over yourself. I also hope one day I will not be a thief but a master like you.”

Nagarjuna said, “Why postpone it? It is a very simple secret. You can become a master.”

He said, “You don’t understand. I am a thief; I am a born thief. I cannot resist the temptation.”

Nagarjuna said, “It does not matter at all. You can remain a thief. I will give you a small meditation: whatever you do, even if you go to steal in the palace, just be a witness of what you are doing. I don’t want you not to be a thief; do whatever you want to do, but do it with full awareness. Just be a witness.”

He said, “This seems to be simple. I have been going to many saints. They say, ‘First you drop stealing, otherwise you cannot be religious.’ You are the first man who is not asking me to drop stealing.”

Nagarjuna said, “Those saints that you have met are not saints. No saint will ask you to drop stealing. Why? Do it perfectly well. Just remain a witness.”

The thief could not understand the strategy. After the third or fourth day he came back to Nagarjuna and said, “You are very clever. In these four days there have been so many opportunities to steal, but as I go to steal, to take something, immediately my hand relaxes. The moment I witness myself stealing it seems to be so embarrassing that I pull my hand back. For four days I have not been able to steal anything.”

Nagarjuna said, “Now it is your problem; I have nothing to do with it. You can choose. You can choose witnessing, or you can choose stealing.”

The man said, “Only in these four days have I been able to feel my own dignity. I cannot drop witnessing. I am coming with you.”

What witnessing does is again throw you back to your center. At the center you are a buddha. On the periphery, who you are does not matter. Once you start living at the center, slowly, slowly your circumference will start changing its colors. It will become as pure as you are at the center. It will become as compassionate as you are at the center. It will take all the fragrance of the center in all your activities.

The authentic religion does not preach morality. Morality comes on its own accord. The authentic religion teaches you to be centered in yourself. Then everything that is good follows, and what is bad simply does not arise. It is not a question of choice; choicelessly you are good. It is not that you are being good; you cannot be otherwise.

This is the miracle of Zen.

Zen simply means witnessing.

These shouts throw you to the center, and once you have learned to be at the center, you will know that on the periphery you are always a beggar, and at the center you are always an emperor. And who wants to be a beggar?

Religion is the alchemy of transforming beggars into emperors.

A great Zen poet, Ikkyu, wrote:

Crazy madman,
Blowing up a crazy wind,
Wandering here and there,
Amidst brothels and wine shops.

Is there an enlightened monk
Who can match me
Even for a single word?

I paint the south; I paint the north;
I am painting the west and east.

He is saying “People think I am crazy . . . ” Crazy madman, blowing up a crazy wind, wandering here and there, amidst brothels and wine shops.

An authentic buddha is not afraid of brothels and wine shops. The saints who are afraid are really repressed people; they are not transformed beings.

Is there an enlightened monk who can match me?

A buddha can move with absolute freedom in the marketplace. Those who renounce the world are the cowards, the escapists, and they have destroyed all the religions of the world. All the religions are in the hands of the cowards.

An authentic religious man is a lion, and he is so centered in himself that he is not worried about being anywhere. He is so certain of his purity, of his eternity, of his divinity that he knows that if a thief comes to him, it is the thief who will have to change; if a prostitute comes to him, it is the prostitute who will have to change.

Our so-called saints are so much afraid. Their fear shows their repressions. A repressed man is not a religious man; he is simply sick, he needs psychiatric treatment.

-Osho

From Rinzai: The Master of the Irrational, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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Dhyana has no Gate

Kinzan, Ganto and Seppo were doing zazen when Tozan came in with the tea. Kinzan shut his eyes.
Tozan asked, “Where are you going?”
Kinzan replied, “I am entering dhyana.”
Tozan said, “Dhyana has no gate, how can you enter into it?”

A monk asked Joshu, “What is the way without mistakes?”
Joshu said, “Knowing one’s mind, seeing into one’s nature, is the way without mistakes.”

A monk asked Ganto, “When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?”
“Sit still!” said Ganto.
The monk was surprised and said, “Please explain a little more.”
“Bring me Mount Ro,” said Ganto, “And I will tell you.”

On another occasion, Zuigan asked Ganto, “What is the eternal and fundamental principle of things?”
Ganto replied, “Movement.”
Zuigan asked, “What is this movement?”
Ganto said, “When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal and fundamental principle of things?”
Zuigan was lost in thought, and Ganto said, “If you agree to this, you are still in the dust of this world, if you disagree, you will be always sunk in life and death.”

Maneesha, these small anecdotes are small only in size; in depth, no ocean can compete with them. It is a miracle that in such small dialogues, the greatest of experiences, which are inexpressible, are expressed. Look at this small anecdote:

Kinzan, Ganto and Seppo . . .

all masters,

. . . were doing zazen when Tozan came in with the tea.

Zazen, as you know, means simply sitting and doing nothing. Not even thinking, because thinking is also doing. Simply not doing anything – physical, mental, or spiritual – just being like a flame, unwavering, without any wind around.

. . . Tozan cane in with the tea. Kinzan shut his eyes. Tozan asked, “Where are you going?”

Do you see the point? By closing your eyes, certainly you are going inwards, but exactly where? Because just the word ‘inward’ is not indicative of any destination. The inwardness is as vast as outwardness.

“Where are going?”

Kinzan replied, “I am entering dhyana”

Meditation.

In an ordinary way, his answer is perfect. But Zen is not ordinary, never for a single moment. It is always and always extraordinary – because Tozan immediately said:

“Dhyana – meditation – has no gate; how can you enter into it?”

Now, great masters – just at tea time – talking of great things. Teatime becomes absolutely sacred. Tozan’s point is that dhyana has no gate; it is all openness, it is the whole sky inside – how are you going to enter? From what gate? It has no gate.

Of the remaining three, nobody said anything. It is true; there is no gate inside. And this is also true, that just by sitting silently, doing nothing, without any gate, you enter in. The gate is not a necessity. Can’t you enter this Buddha Hall without a gate? Inside there is no wall, no question of a gate; hence the remaining three masters did not say a single word. Tozan has uttered an ultimate question; only silence can be the answer.

A monk asked Joshu,

“What is the way without mistakes?”

Joshu said, “Knowing one’s mind, seeing into one’s nature, is the way without mistakes.”

Mind can commit mistakes but once you are beyond mind, there is no one to commit mistakes.

Mind can go wrong, but beyond mind there is no way of going wrong. Beyond mind, you are simply drowned into your own nature.

A monk asked Ganto, “When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?”

By the Three Worlds is meant heaven, earth, and hell. And they are all attacking us, throwing us this way or that way, pulling this way or that way.

When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?

Ganto said, “Sit still!”

The monk was surprised and said, “Please explain a little more.”

A little more is not possible. Sit still is more than enough already. Sit still and there is no hell, no heaven, no earth. Just one single universe, all boundaries dissolved, all divisions disappeared. Now what more can be said? But the poor monk could not understand. He asked, “Please explain a little more.”

Ganto said, “Bring me Mount Ro . . .

Ro is Japanese for Mount Sumeru – I have explained it to you, the gold mountain in heaven, a thousand times bigger than the Himalayas. Nobody knows its end and nobody knows its beginning. Ganto said, “Bring me Sumeru and I will tell you.” He is saying to the monk, “Don’t ask stupid questions; otherwise, I have to answer stupidly. Don’t be idiotic; otherwise out of compassion I have to be idiotic with you, just so you have companionship.”

Nobody can bring Mount Sumeru. It is just a mythology, it exists nowhere. And even if it exists, how can you bring it?

Asking a question that assumes something more can be said about meditation than “Sit still” is asking something absolutely impossible.

Sit still and all three worlds disappear. In this moment, listening to the cuckoo, all has disappeared. There is only a deep silence, in, deepening within your being.

On another occasion, Zuigan asked Ganto, “What is the eternal and fundamental principle of things?”

Ganto replied, “Movement”

Change.

Zuigan asked, “What is this movement?”

Ganto said, “When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal and fundamental principle of things?”

A rosebush growing, bringing roses . . . a cuckoo suddenly starts singing, and each moment everything is growing that is living. The bamboos are becoming bigger, and even the Himalayas are becoming bigger. Howsoever slow the change . . . the Himalaya becomes one foot higher every year. But in this eternity that is too much. Finally, you can imagine, if it does not stop growing it will become absolutely impossible for another Edmund Hillary to reach Mount Everest. But existence is growing. Trees are growing, you are growing, your consciousness is growing.

Nothing is static. Movement is the fundamental question, and Ganto has put it correctly: When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal principle of things? Life is growth, in short. The moment you stop growing, you are dead.

Life has to be a river, always moving. The moment you become frozen somewhere, the movement is stopped, life disappears.

Even your going in is growing every day, deeper and deeper and deeper. You have to find the eternal source of your being. It is a great dive inside. And every day, every moment, you can go on growing in it. There is no end to it. You don’t simply become a buddha and stop. If you stop, then you become just a stone statue.

I sometimes wonder: all these stone statues of Buddha around the world – are these real people who have stopped growing and become stones? Will they ever understand and start growing again, and talking and walking?

Even Gautam Buddha has accepted that there is something still beyond him. He is not the end, he is only the beginning. A true understanding, an honest expression – Buddha says, “I am only born, now the growth begins.”

Zuigan was lost in thought . . .

Listening to Ganto,

. . . and Ganto said, “If you agree to this, you are still in the dust of this world.”

This is a very beautiful point to be remembered. If you agree to this, to what I have said, remember: agreement means movement has stopped. You have already agreed. If you agree to this, you are still in the world.

And if you disagree, you will always be sunk in life and death.

What a great insight, that even agreement or disagreement are not allowed. You are to grow beyond all dualities, it does not matter what the duality is. Because every duality means choosing one against the other, and growth stops.

Life is a choicelessness. Never choose. Just be, and allow your being to grow to unknown skies, to unknown spaces. And you will find your buddhahood bringing more and more flowers, showering more and more blessings, bringing greater and greater ecstasies. And there is no end to it.

Manzan wrote a poem:

One minute of sitting, one inch of buddha.

Like lightning, all thoughts come and pass.

Just once look into your mind depths:

Nothing else has ever been.

Two points he is making in his small poem. One minute of sitting – even one minute of sitting without doing anything, no thought is stirred inside you, all is utterly silent – one inch of buddha. You have found at least one inch of buddhahood. And you don’t need much more. Each moment, go on. And whatever you have found will also go on growing. From one inch to one yard, and from one yard to one mile, and from one mile to one light year, and it will go on and on. Buddhahood is a pilgrimage which ends nowhere.

And what is the meaning of sitting? Like lightning, all thoughts come and pass. Just remain watchful. Don’t make any judgment or identification. Just like lightning, let them come and go. You remain in your depths, just silent and witnessing, and you will be surprised: nothing else has ever been, except your inner depth. Your innermost silence is the stuff existence is made of.

Maneesha is asking:

Osho,

The story of Zuigan seems to hit the nail on the head, doesn’t it?

Is it not so, that we are literally “lost in thought” and found again in meditation?

Maneesha, ordinarily what you are saying is absolutely right. In thought, you are lost, in meditation you are found. But if you want to listen to the answer in Zen language, there is no losing and no finding.

There is simply silence.

You are not.

These songs of cuckoos pass through you just as through a hollow bamboo.

In thoughts, you start imagining that you are. When thoughts are not there, don’t start imagining that now you are really. Once thoughts are gone, you are also simply a thought; you are also gone.

Then what remains is only a pure consciousness, without any “I” attached to it.

You don’t find yourself; you simply lose yourself, both the ways: either you lose yourself in thoughts or you lose yourself in no-thought. But losing yourself in thought is very ordinary; losing yourself in no-thought has a splendor and an eternity of joy and bliss. You are not there, but there is a dance of pure consciousness. It is not your dance – you are gone with your thoughts. You were nothing but the combination of your thoughts. As one by one your thoughts disappear, part by part you melt away. Finally, you are no more.

And this is the moment – when you are no more – that the ultimate is in your hands.

It is a strange situation:

When you are, your hands are empty.

When you are not, your hands are full.

When you are, you are simply misery, anguish. When you are not, there is bliss. You cannot say, “I am blissful”; there is only bliss.

There is only silence.

There is only truth.

-Osho

From Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest, Discourse #11

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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You have to be Like a Thief – Osho

After today’s lecture, I felt as if levitating and flying. I walked along the road in front of the ashram gate, approached a flowering bush, and looked at it, suddenly having the sensation of being one with nature and floating like driftwood in the rover. All of a sudden I realized that the driftwood had stepped into a heap of dog shit. Do you happen to see any symbolic significance to this?

The significance is there, but not symbolic; it is very real. You need not go into symbolism, because it is not a dream, It happened when you were perfectly awake. The reality is saying something to you . . .

Listening to me you can feel that you are levitating, but you cannot levitate. The feeling is not the thing, not the real thing. Listening to me you can feel very happy, but that happiness is like a reflection. It is my happiness reflected in your mirror; it is not your happiness. You are bound to land somewhere in dog shit.

One should not depend on anybody else. You need your happiness. Listening to me, you can become engulfed, you can be overwhelmed, but the farther you go from me, that music will start disappearing from you. It was not yours in the first place.

It is as if I am sitting here: in my light your darkness disappears. Then you go away; the farther away you go, the darkness starts surrounding you again.

It is as the Sufis say:

Two travelers were going into a forest. One had a lamp, a lantern of his own, the other had none. But the other was not even aware of the fact. They both walked in light because one had the lantern, so the other also had the light on the path. Then came the moment where they had to depart; their paths were going separately. And when the man with the lantern went on his path, suddenly the other traveler recognized, realized, that there was immense darkness all around.

You can walk with me to a certain extent. The disciple can walk with the Master to a certain extent, but then the paths separate. Then you have to go on your own way. Suddenly you will find you are in darkness.

So while you are with a Master, don’t just enjoy his bliss. Enjoy, but learn also how to create your own bliss and your own light. Those moments with a Master have to be tremendously enjoyed — good. But just enjoyment is not enough. You have to learn the secret of how to create your own light — so when the Master departs, or you have to go on your own way and paths are separate, you are not lost in darkness. Otherwise, this will happen again and again.

I heard one day that Mulla Nasrudin had been caught by the police, so I went to see him in the jail. I asked him, “Mulla, how do you happen to be here? What happened?”

He said, “Housebreaking, and my fault too.”

I asked, “And how was that?”

He said, “I spent three months getting acquainted with the dog, and then I went and stepped on the cat.”

You have to be fully aware.

In Zen they say: The art of meditation is almost the art of being a thief.

You have to be so aware that you can walk into somebody else’s house where you may never have been before; not only can you walk, you can remove things without making any noise; not only that, but without any light in the dark night. You have to be like a thief: very aware, very conscious.

What happened to this questioner? — he was floating, he was no more in this world, he had moved into another world. A vision had dawned on him; he was in a dream, he was not aware, he was drunk. Hence he stepped into dog shit.

This is very, very meaningful; remember it. Otherwise there are many ways to land in wrong places. Unless you are tremendously aware, many times you will come nearer to home and again you will miss the door.

-Osho

From The Discipline of Transcendence, V. 4, Discourse #2, Q2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Sakshi Means the Witness – Osho

That which is aware of the creation and dissolution of the knower, the known and the knowable, but is itself beyond creation and dissolution is called the sakshi or the witnessing self.

That which dwells in the minds of all beings, from brahma(the creator) down to an ant, and which lives everlastingly even after the destruction of their gross and subtle bodies is called the kutastha or the crest indweller.

From among the kutastha and its different forms, the self, for the sake of the realization of its nature, permeates the body like a thread threading a necklace, and it is called antaryami or the imminent.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Now, two more diseases, two more complexes, two more illusions. We discussed three in the night: mind, lust for life, and desiring. Now the fourth is sattva – it means virtue. It means an inner accumulation of being good.

This feeling of being good is also a disease – for so many reasons. One is: you cannot feel you are good, unless you feel others are bad. Mm? that’s impossible. You cannot feel you are good unless you feel others are bad, and the feeling that others are bad is a disease; the feeling of good is just a relative term. So a person who wants to feel good is bound to condemn others as bad; and the more you condemn others as bad, the more you can feel you are good. So these so-called good men go on condemning everyone.

Bertrand Russell has criticized Jesus for this reason. He says, “Everything is divine, everything looks holy, except one thing: why Jesus condemns the sinners so much – that they should be thrown into hell, and they should be condemned? Jesus cannot feel good unless he condemns.” I don’t think that Jesus ever condemned – a person like Jesus cannot condemn. The condemnation has come through the tradition; it is really St. Paul who speaks through Jesus, and he is one of the most deeply involved personalities who feels himself to be good. But whosoever it may be – whether Jesus says so, or St. Paul puts is in Jesus’ mouth – the criticism is valid.

A good man can never be good if he is condemning others as bad, but you can never feel good unless you condemn. So a good man must be unaware of his goodness; only then it is not a disease. He must not be aware at all that he is good; only then is he not aware that others are bad. No religion other than Hinduism has condemned even goodness – even goodness becomes a sin, because it is ego-strengthening. It feeds your ego – of course with very pure food. But sometimes poisons can also be pure, so purity in itself is not something to be hailed. Poisons can also be pure, and when the ego becomes strengthened by purity, by virtue, by being good, it is pure poison – it is dangerous. That’s why you can never feel at ease with any so-called good man. Around him there is always restlessness; no one can feel at ease. and unless you can feel at ease, the man is not good, not good at all.

So around mahatmas you cannot feel at ease – never. There is a very strained atmosphere, because their feeling of goodness can exist only if they create a very tense atmosphere around them. Everyone is bad, and they are on the high pedestal. Only they are good; everyone is bad.

That’s why two mahatmas condemn the other. They have always condemned. So only confirmed sinners, only persons who feel themselves inferior, who are suffering from an inferiority complex, can be around them. Two mahatmas cannot meet, because that is the meeting of two diseases, two strong egos – purified, poisonous. These are the pious sinners.

This disease must cease. Not that goodness is bad, but to feel good is bad, because to feel good is comparative; it is always in relation to someone else. And anything that is related to someone else is not of any worth for the inner journey. And man is so cunning and so deceptive that he can go on being cunning, he can go on being deceptive. He may change methods, he may change devices, but the basic disease remains the same.

For example, one can even boast of one’s humility. This is the deceptiveness: one can boast even of one’s humility, one can say, “There is no one more humble than me!” Now, through humility, ego is strengthened – I am again asserting my superiority in humility! But the contradiction is never seen. You can even say, “I am just a sinner,” and feel good about it.

Tolstoy remembers that once he went to a church early in the morning. The streets were dark and there was no one in the church, only Tolstoy. Then the richest person of the city came. He didn’t know that Tolstoy was there; Tolstoy was praying. This rich man began to pray and confess. He began to say, ‘I am one of the most fallen, deeply fallen, from the right path. I am a sinner. Forgive me” – and he began to relate his sins.

Tolstoy was just bewildered, because this man was known as one of the most virtuous. He listened silently; then the darkness withered away, and the rich man felt someone’s presence. He looked around and he saw that Tolstoy was there. So he said, “Were you here when I was confessing?” Tolstoy said, “I was already here. When you came, I was here; I was praying.” So the man said, “Look, I must make you aware of the fact that I have confessed to God, not to you. So please forget whatsoever I have said! And don’t talk about it in the city, because this was a dialogue between me and my God.”

This is the deceptiveness of the mind. Really, he is confessing so as to feel good. He is not authentic – he is not feeling that he is a sinner. By confessing his sins he is now feeling a very holy man. This is a disease.

The fifth disease is punya – the feeling of holiness, the feeling of serving others, the feeling of doing good to others. And there is a difference: To be good is one thing, and to feel that one is doing good to others, is another. Punya means doing good to others. There are so many do-gooders. Really, the world would be less confused and in less conflict if there were less do-gooders, because their do-gooding just creates more mischievousness in the world. They are not concerned with good at all, really. They are concerned to be doers of good – so anyhow they must do good.

Kirkpatrick has written a book; a very strange statement is in it. He says, “If there will be no poverty, then what will we do service to others?” So poverty must remain, because when you cannot do Service . . . And without service, these scriptures say, you cannot go to heaven. So if poverty is completely destroyed on the earth, then there is no bridge from the earth to the heaven. Kirkpatrick is a good man, and whatsoever he is saying, he means it. It is not just a statement, he means it. He feels it, that if there is no poverty, then how can you serve others? And service is such a necessary thing, that even poverty is needed for service to remain, it must remain.

This is a disease. Then service itself becomes the end, not the served one – he is irrelevant. There are social workers, servants of the people; and psychologists say, “It is their need really – not the need of the people. They cannot remain without doing good to someone else; they cannot remain without serving others. This is an occupation for them.” What will happen to them if a society is really there which needs no service? This has happened so many times.

Revolutionaries are chronic revolutionaries. By “chronic” I mean, if they succeed and their revolution succeeds, they become anti-revolutionary. Stalin had to face these revolutionaries, and he killed all of them. The phenomenon was that those revolutionaries were just chronic revolutionaries. A Trotskyite is a chronic revolutionary; he cannot be without a revolution around him. The revolution must be there; otherwise, where will the revolutionary be?

So there are only two possibilities; whenever there is a revolution, a social revolution, there are two possibilities. If the revolution succeeds, then there are two possibilities: either the revolutionary has to turn traditionalist and orthodox and anti-revolution, or he has to continue his revolution. Stalin chose the first alternative; he became one of the most orthodox minds possible. Not even a czar was such as Stalin was – he became a czar.

Trotsky chose the other, or was forced to choose the other. He continued to be a revolutionary. And how then can you be a revolutionary? You have to go against your own revolution. Trotsky made endeavors for this revolution, and then he was against it. He was trying for a proletarian dictatorship, and then he was against it. And Stalin was doing the same. Stalin, in a way, is more consistent; but he himself turned anti-revolutionary. He was for the revolution he had started, but then he became anti-revolutionary, because no revolution could now be allowed. So Russia, after the great revolution, has been the country without revolutions. So the chronic revolutionaries had to escape and they continued there.

If really, there is a society where no one needs your help and your do-gooding, your service and your revolution and reformation, then all these do-gooders will be just mad, insane – they cannot do anything.

This fifth disease doesn’t mean don’t do good to others – it doesn’t mean that – but don’t be a do-gooder. Let it be just a spontaneous thing. Don’t make it a plan, don’t seek it, don’t go for it; let it be just your spontaneous behavior. Whenever there is a situation, do whatsoever you feel; but don’t plan it, don’t make it a scheme. Don’t sacrifice yourself, because persons who sacrifice themselves are very dangerous: when they sacrifice themselves they begin to sacrifice others. And they have a right because they can say, “We have sacrificed ourselves, so now we have the right to sacrifice others.” They become violent. Persons who have been violent to themselves in doing good to others, ultimately turn to being violent to others. But now they have the credit of being good, and their violence can continue in the garb of being good. And when someone is good and violent, it is the most criminal, the deepest criminal combination.

If the father is good, then he can be a criminal to his son. If the mother is good, then she can be a criminal. This happens daily. Women are more good than men; not that there is any inner necessity, but they are more fearful of being bad, more suppressed. That’s why wives become dictatorial, because the husband feels a bit inferior. He is bad in many ways: he smokes, he drinks, he looks all around at other beautiful faces.

Then the wife becomes dictatorial; she becomes a do-gooder. Now she can sacrifice her husband; now she can virtually kill. And because she is good, the husband is just helpless – he cannot argue. Smoking is bad – of course; and he is smoking, so he is bad. And really, to smoke is not so bad as to feel good on account of someone smoking. It is deeply criminal . . . it is deeply criminal; it is very violent. This is the disease.

Don’t feel good on account of others, and don’t try to be a do-gooder. Be good, simply naturally. That is completely different. If someone feels restless around you, know that you are not a good man, just a do-gooder.

I have read somewhere about a Tibetan mystic, Milarepa. It is written that Milarepa was a saint, because sinners could feel at ease with him – at ease, totally at ease. There was no condemnation in his eyes, in his words, in his behavior. Really, a saint means this: one with whom sinners can feel at ease, friendly; otherwise, the do-gooder is there. That is the ego, and the ego is always destructive of others. And you can destroy in such good ways that you may not even be aware what you are doing. A good mother can destroy the whole life of the child, just by being good – too good.

This, the rishi says, is the fifth disease. And if one is identified with these five diseases, there comes into existence a personality which is not your being. That personality is known a lingasharir – the subtle personality.

This word “personality” is very meaningful. It is a Greek word; it is derived form “persona.” Persona means a mask. Actors use masks in Greek drama; that mask of the actors is known as persona. You are not that, but you use a mask and become that. Mm? You are not a lion, but you use a mask of a lion and you behave like a lion.

Personality is not your being, it is a mask. This mask is very subtle, and this mask is created by being identified with these five diseases. If you become totally identified, and feel that you are this – this disease of the mind, this disease of desiring, this disease of being good, this disease of being virtuous – if you begin to feel that you are a combination of all these five, these five classifications, then you create a persona, a personality. That personality is known as lingasharir – the subtle body. And behind this subtle body, lingasharir – behind this identification, behind this barrier – is the knower.

So to dissolve the personality, to withdraw yourself from the personality, to renounce the personality, is the essential renunciation. That is what is sannyas: to renounce . . . not the world, because how can you renounce the world? – It has never belonged to you. Mm? What nonsense talking about renouncing the world. When? When you are master of it? – it has never belonged to you. Really, again the trick of the ego: one says, “I renounce the world,” and feels very good that one has renounced the world. A beggar renouncing the empire, renouncing the throne, the palace – renouncing everything . . .  It has never belonged to him, so how can he renounce it?

So really, a sannyasin doesn’t mean a person who renounces the world. A sannyasin means a person who renounces the personality – that belongs to you! You are the creator of it, so you can renounce it. Nothing else! You cannot renounce anything that doesn’t belong to you. The personality belongs to you; you can renounce it, but you can renounce only when you begin to be aware that you are not the personality. This is known as kshetragya, the knower of the field. The field is personality, and the knower, the center which becomes aware of this personality. If you become aware of the center, of the knower, then there is not difficulty in renouncing the personality. It is just a clothing, just a clothing, and very dirty and very diseased.

Now, three situational dimensions of the being: We discussed personalities; we discussed bodies; we discussed complexes of diseases. Now the enquiry into the being itself. What is the being? Behind all, beyond all, transcending all – what is the being itself? Three definitions have been given. One is called sakshi; sakshi means the witness. Another is called kutastha; kutastha means the eternal, the indestructible, the immortal. And the third is named antaryami: the innermost, the inner one. It is good and helpful for the seeker to understand these three definitions. They define the one and the same, but they define indifferent contexts.

First is the witness. This is the essential character, the essence, the very essence of the being. Whatsoever is named is never the knower; whatsoever is objectified is never the subject. The moment we know something, we are different form the known, from the object, because the knower cannot be the known, the observer cannot be the observed. A distance is created by knowledge, by knowing. Knowing is the bridge between the known and the knower.

The being is not, and never is the known; it is always the knower – always and always the knower. Whatsoever you know, remember one thing certainly – that you are not that. This much is certain, that whatsoever you have known and experienced, you are not that. That’s why the Upanishads say, “Neti, neti – not this not that.” Whatsoever you say, the Upanishads say, “No, not this, not that – never!” This is the nature of the being; it always transcends objects. It is pure subjectivity, and this pure subjectivity can never be turned into any object. So in a way, you can never know yourself in the same way as you have known all else. So “self-knowledge” is in a way, a very contradictory word, because really the self cannot be made an object of knowledge. But still, self-knowledge exists. But that knowledge has to be defined and guarded, and defined in a specific way. Self-knowledge means: where all knowledge stops. Self-knowledge means: where there is no self.

Self-knowledge means: the knower is not, the known is not, the knowledge is not. But when I say that you are never the known, then one thing must be understood: if you are not the known, how can you be the knower – because the knower is just in reference to the known. The knower is just in reference to the known. If you are never the object, how can you be called a subject? – because subject means in relation to object; it means the other end of the object. That’s why the Upanishads say, “It is just a witness – not even a knower.”

It witnesses all the three: the known, knowledge, the knower. They come up, they dissolve, and the witnesser remains. It will be better not to call it even a “witnesser,” but a witnessing, because when we say “witnesser,” a subtle crystallization comes into the world, a subtle feeling of the ego and “I.” So it is better to say “witnessing.” Then there is simply a process of knowledge without any ego, without any “I” crystallizing it.

And then in the world, there are not things, but processes. This is the difference between a materialist and a spiritualist. This! – a materialist sees in the world, and a spiritualist sees in the world events – not things. The difference is not whether matter is or not; the difference is not whether mind is or not. The difference is basically this: a spiritualist sees in the world energy, processes – energy processes, events, alive events – not dead things.

Now physicists are ready to accept this as far as matter is concerned. They say now, “There is no matter. Matter is dead; matter is not there – only energy waves, only quanta, only processes.” Even a stone is just a process, it is not static; it is dynamic, it is moving. Not only is a river moving, the Himalayas also.

A Zen fakir, Bankei, has said, “I have not seen only rivers moving, I have seen bridges also moving. And once it happened that the river was not moving, and the bridge was moving.” He means by this that there are not things – static, dead – but movement, continuous processes, waves and waves and waves; and each wave is turning into the other. This is what is meant by a spiritual attitude.

So matter is energy, waves. Inside also there is no knower as fixed, as “I,” because the ego is a thing – dead. So it is better to call it not the witnesser, but witnessing – with no center really, just a process.

Buddha says, “There is rebirth, but you are not.” So how can rebirth be? Ordinary logic will say, “How can rebirth be? If you are not, if there is no ego to be reborn, then how is rebirth possible?” Buddha says, it is just a process – a process just like a flamelike process. In the evening you see the flame: the lamp is burning and there is a flame. In the morning you blow it out. You say, “I am blowing out the same flame.” Buddha says not, because the flame is constantly changing. It is a process, it is not a thing, so it cannot be the same. In the evening you saw one thing; this is something else – flame has been constantly changing and going into nothingness, and new flames are being  replaced continuously.

It is continuity. The flame is not a thing, it is a continuity. Every moment the flame is changing, so whatsoever you are blowing out is not the same flame you saw in the night. It is the same continuity – a continuum.

Witnessing is there just like a flame.

It is a continuum.

This is the first situational definition. The rishi talks about it first, because it can be made a means; it can be used as a device; it can become a vehicle towards your being, your center.

The second is kutastha; it means: the eternal, the immortal, that which cannot be destroyed, indestructible. What can be destroyed really? What is destructible? – only the form and the name, namrup. Within these two words is the whole Eastern standpoint: namrup – name and form – can be destroyed, are destructible. Your name can be changed and your form – nothing else.

The ice is transforming itself into water, and the water is evaporating. What changes? – not the essence, but only the form and the name. Now it is ice; now it is water; now it is vapor. What is changing? The essence remains the same, but the name and form change.

This whole world is just name and form. Everything is changing: the child becoming the adult; the adult becoming the old man; life turning into death; birth turning into death; health turning into disease; disease turning into health – everything is changing. Even opposites are not really opposites, because they can change into one another. The north becomes the south, the south becomes the north. The east is also the west, and the west is also the east. It depends. It depends on where you are looking.

Someone asked Mulla Nasruddin, “Where is your house on the road? On the left or on the right?” He said, “It depends: sometimes it is on the left, and sometimes it is on the right. It depends from where you are coming.”

Life is a movement, but name and form change; the essence remains the same. But when I say the essence remains the same, I don’t mean it is a static thing. I mean it is a dynamic force, but still the same. Dynamic and the same must be remembered; otherwise, God becomes just a static phenomenon – dead, with no opening.

Kutastha doesn’t mean a dead thing, it means a dynamic force, essentially remaining the same, but changing its name and form all the time. Beyond name and form, the essential one is known as the kutastha. If you destroy everything – every form and every name – the remaining is the kutastha. If all my five bodies are destroyed, if all my five diseases are destroyed, then the remaining will be the kutastha – that is the essential being which cannot be destroyed. This always is.

This is the end definition; the first one was a means definition. If you proceed by being a witness, you will reach the kutastha, the eternal, but both are far away. Neither we are using witnessing, nor are we standing in the eternal. Then it is, therefore, the third definition: it is called antaryami, the innermost.

This definition belongs to us here and now, as we are. A link must exist between the kutastha, the eternal, and us; otherwise, there can be no traveling towards it, no journey towards it. Somehow, we must be linked in all these bodies, in all these diseases, in all these ignorances. Still the innermost being is here; it is just hidden. it is hidden just like the thread of the beads: the beads are apparent, but the thread is hidden. You cannot see directly, immediately; you have to make a gap between two beads, and then suddenly in the gap is the thread – the innermost running force, the innermost running energy.

So whenever one has to go deep into oneself, one has to make a gap between two diseases or between two bodies or between two thoughts. Wherever you can create a gap between two things inside you, suddenly you become aware of the thread.

For example, there are thoughts in the mind – continuously one thought is followed by another. Bring a gap between two thoughts. There IS a gap, because two thoughts cannot exist without a gap: an interval is a basic necessity. One thought is followed by another, but there is a subtle gap. Be aware of the gap.

We are aware only of the thoughts. From one thought we jump to another, and the gap is lost. Remain in the gap, stand in the interval, slow down your thought process and you will feel a gap. One thought has gone, another has yet to come – there is a gap, a sudden silence. In this silence you will become aware of the thread; that thread is known as antaryami. It is here and now, and we cannot proceed otherwise; we have to proceed from here and now.

So antaryami is the definition for us. Then sakshi, witnessing is the method; then kutastha, the eternal one is the end.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #10

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The Very Awareness is Transformation – Osho

In the context of pleasure and pain, the desire for pleasurable things is called the sense of pleasure, and aversion to painful things is called the sense of pain. And because of what one does to gain pleasure and shun pain, one is called a doer.

Sound, touch, form, taste and smell – these five objects are causes of pleasure and pain. When the self, in pursuit of virtuous and sinful acts, identifies itself with the body, which it is not, then it is called the diseased being.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Why this bondage with the body and bodies? What is the secret? How are we in it, and why do we continue to be in it? Why is it such a struggle to go beyond? If bliss is inwards, and outwardly we cannot achieve anything other than anguish, then why this absurdity of living outward and outward? Why not go inward? Who is preventing you?

You are the prisoner.

And you are the imprisoned.

No one else is involved in it – No one except you, yourself.

Then why not take the jump?

There must be something which hinders you, which prevents you, which becomes a barrier to you. What is that? This rishi says that the longing for pleasure, the fear of misery, and the fear of pain are the root causes – the longing for pleasure and the effort to avoid any pain, any suffering, any dukha. And the illusion is created because pleasure and pain, happiness and misery, are not two things, are not two opposites; they are two polarities of one phenomenon, two ends of one phenomenon.

They are joined and one. That’s why pleasure turns into misery; they are convertible. Anything that you feel as pleasurable this moment may become unpleasurable the next. So pleasure and pain are not qualities of a thing, because the thing remains the same. I love you and feel happy; you remain the same. And the next moment, I hate you and feel miserable. But happiness and misery are not qualities of you, you remain the same. They must belong to my mind, to my attitude; they must belong to me.

That’s why the same thing can be a source of deep happiness to one, and a deep source of misery to someone else. The same thing can be a source of happiness to you this moment, and the next moment a source of your very hell. Pleasure and pain, happiness and suffering are not qualities of things as we presume; they are not. They are your attitudes – they belong to you.

So try an experiment: You are feeling happy in some situation – then be in that situation and begin to feel unhappy. And soon, soon you will begin to feel unhappy – it depends on your choice. Your beloved is nearby; you are feeling happy – now begin to feel unhappy, and soon you will be able to create unhappiness. Begin to feel happy, and soon you will change the whole situation – it depends on you.

Once you know the secret, the whole clinging drops – with pleasure or with fear of pain, the whole clinging just drops. The moment you know you are the master – whether to feel happy or to feel miserable depends on you – you become free of all dependence on others. But one has to know, one has to experience.

Things are just neutral; they don’t give you anything. It is you who contributes the feeling – not the thing. Really, you determine the whole thing unconsciously; that is why there is clinging. Determine it consciously.

Try an experiment. You are feeling very pained, suffering, you are ill. Then accept the illness; don’t fight it, remain in it, be a companion to it – don’t try to escape. Accept it totally, be with it, and soon a moment comes when you explode into a new dimension. The illness may be there still, but now it belongs only to the body, not to you. It is just on the periphery somewhere, as if it belongs to someone else – you have transcended.

Once the consciousness begins to feel that there is no bondage from the outside, then the longing for pleasure drops, because it is your projection. Then the fear of suffering drops, because it is your projection. In a very subtle way you become the master, the converter. You can convert anything into anything, because it is only your choice, your decision, your mind. Whatsoever you put into things you can get back – it is really just an echo.

You fall in love with someone, and if I ask you why, you will say, “Because the face is beautiful, the person is beautiful.” But really the thing is quite the reverse. It is not that the person is beautiful and so you have fallen in love; rather, because you have fallen in love the person looks beautiful. Your falling in love is primary, and the second thing is just a projection, because the same person can become ugly the next day – he remains the same with the same face, but everything has changed. This happens so often but still we are unaware. You say, “I cannot live without you!” And soon a moment comes when you cannot live with him. Why? – because you have not taken things in the right order.

You fall in love – that means you begin to project; love is a hypnosis. Love is a very delicate state of mind in which you can project anything – anything! So the beloved is not really there outside, it is here inside. It is a projection, and the person is just a screen. And you have projected much, you have contributed much. The moment you withdraw your contribution, the person is just ordinary. There is no halo around, no aura; everything has just dropped. The person is just ordinary, even more ordinary than ordinary, because now, it is so without luster. Now dreams have dropped, and dreams were the thing the whole stuff was made of.

Remember this fact: It is your mind which begins to feel happy or miserable – it depends on you. And once you know the secret, you have become really the master. Now you know the alchemy; you are the alchemist now, you can change any base metal into the higher. Now, you have the secret to turn anything into gold – now you can convert. And once you begin to convert base metals into higher metals, nothing is higher and nothing base. Now you know it is just you and your projection – your mind is doing the whole trick.

But one has to do much to be aware of this fact; one has to go deep into the facticity, into the very phenomenon of desiring, of avoiding, of longing for this and trying to escape that – one has to go deep into it. And it is not a doctrine – whatsoever the rishi is saying is not a doctrine – it is not a conception really; it is the facticity. It is how the mechanism of the mind works; it is just a fact. It is not a philosophy; it is a science in the sense that it is how the mind works. You project first, then you begin to believe. Then any moment you can withdraw your projection and the idol is lost, the temple is destroyed, and there is nothing left. But again, you will do the same thing, and you will go on doing the same thing: projecting, then feeling miserable or happy, and never being aware that you are creating – that you are the creator.

Everyone is a magician – everyone is a magician, and everyone goes on doing tricks with himself. Then these tricks become habits, mechanical habits; you can repeat them ad infinitum. And we have repeated them ad infinitum – lives and lives and lives. We have been repeating them always.

Buddha and Mahavira both tried a very novel experiment with the human mind. Whenever someone would come to them, seeking, they would tell the seeker, “First, try to remember your past lives. First, go deep into past lives.” But the seeker would say, “There is no need. I am concerned with the future; I am concerned with how to know the truth, how to realize the divine, how to be liberated, how to get to nirvana. What is the need of going into past lives?”

And Buddha would say, Mahavira would say, “There is a deep need. Unless you know your past, you will never be able to see that you have been playing tricks with yourself, continually, repeatedly. In each life you have done the same. It is a repetition: the same love – the falling in love and then frustration; riches, and then the feeling of inner poverty; prestige and power, and yet the helplessness. And the same!”

But we forget. Every life we drop all memories and we forget, and we begin anew. Esoteric science says that this forgetfulness is intentional. It is intentional that you have forgotten your past lives, because you wanted to forget. Psychologists say that you forget all that you want to forget. Sometimes you say, “I know your name, but I wonder why I have forgotten it.” Really, you wanted to forget. You are playing tricks with yourself; you wanted to forget; you never wanted to remember the name – that’s why you have forgotten.

We go on forgetting things. For example: Everyone remembers childhood as the very heaven, but it has never been so. Ask any child – he is in a hell. He is trying to grown up rapidly, trying to be a young man soon, because he feels very helpless. Everyone is more powerful than him, and everyone is suppressing him; everyone is just trying to destroy him. Everyone is just ordering him to do this and that; everyone is trying to discipline him. He is not at all free, he is feeling he is in prison and trying to get away soon from all this – trying to be a grown-up. But when he is grown-up he says, “What bliss it was to be a child.”

And when he is old, he is remembering childhood, painting about it, making poetries about it, dreaming about it. What has happened? – the trick of the mind. He has forgotten all that was not good to remember; now, he remembers only the good things, and all else has been just dropped. Now he remembers the love; now he remembers the freedom from all responsibilities; now he remembers… it was never a fact!

Whatsoever he felt as total helplessness, now he feels as freedom from responsibility. Whatsoever he has really felt in the past as a very bothersome burden of the parents, now he feels as love. He has dropped all that was not good, not ego strengthening, not creating a beautiful image – he has dropped it all.

Bring that man into deep hypnosis and ask him, “How was your childhood?” And he will begin to say that it was just hell. Awake, out of hypnosis, he says, “It was a heaven; I am longing again and again to go back.” Put him into hypnosis, then ask, and he will say, “It was just hell. There was nothing in my childhood.”

Psychologists have come to know now that all the misery, all the diseases, all the schizophrenia, all the insanity that develops later in life, is just a by-product of your childhood. So how was it a heaven? They say all that happens later on is just a by-product of your childhood. In your childhood, seeds are put into you which will develop into insanities, into abnormal perversions.

But the poets have always been talking about the innocence of childhood, the beauty of it, the benediction, the blessedness.

Psychoanalysts know more, and better. Whenever someone is ill, they have to bring out this very seed that has been planted in childhood. Unless that seed is destroyed – that seed is traumatic – unless it is destroyed you can never be really well. So psychoanalysis goes on trying to make you free from your childhood and all its impressions, all that childhood has done with you. If you are free from it, only then you can grow positively; otherwise, positive growth is impossible.

Buddha and Mahavira will say, “First go deep” – and there are methods. There are methods which can bring you back all the memories of your past lives. And once you know and go back on this time track, once you know that you have done the same nonsense every time, and you have longed for the same things, and always received quite the opposite . . . This has been a wheel constantly turning and turning and turning, and always forgetting and forgetting, and doing the same thing again and again. If one becomes aware of it, the very awareness becomes transforming.

The very awareness is transformation.

It is an inner revolution.

But leave aside past lives; even this life is enough – if you can go back in this very life and can find out that whatsoever was happiness one day became misery the other, that whatsoever you longed for, when you achieved it, was totally frustrating…. One of the greatest miseries of human life is to get that which you long for. If you never get it you are still happy, happy in the hope, happy in the possibility. But when you get it, even hope is lost. Now there is no future – you have got it.

Every achievement is frustrating. They say, “Nothing succeeds like success.” But I say, “Nothing fails like success.”

Nothing fails like success.

The moment you succeed, you know nothing has been achieved. It was just a dream, and now you are disillusioned.

So go back in this life, even this life is enough; go back and feel. Really we always go to the future, never to the past; we always go for the tomorrow, never for the yesterday. Go back and feel, go back. You have lived with the same desires, with the same longing, with the same dreams. Now take account of your past – what have you achieved? What have you gained? Was any hope ever fulfilled, or has every hope just proved hopeless? – go back. Don’t always move into the future, because in the future you will be doing the same – repeating the past. Go back. Realize your whole past; feel what has been wrong with it and don’t continue that wrong again. Drop it. Drop it consciously because it has become a habit now, it has become a mechanical routine. Drop it consciously!

Don’t repeat the past in the future, and you will be a new man.

This is what I mean by sannyas, by renunciation – to be a new man. This is what I mean by “breaking with the past,” discontinuity with the past. Remember what you have done with yourself in the past, and then drop it! Don’t drop it in steps, because you can never drop anything in steps – drop it totally, suddenly. Only then there is a discontinuity; otherwise, if you drop it in steps, there is a continuity.

Drop it suddenly.

This is what is meant by sannyas: Dropping the past as useless for the future.

This is a reorientation of all your attitudes, a reorientation of your total consciousness. Once this reorientation is there, you begin a new journey, and that journey is inwards. Then you can pass all the five bodies and come to the one which is embodied, but is not a body itself.

Why does consciousness become so involved with the body – not only involved, but identified? Why do we begin to feel that we are the bodies? – not that we are in the bodies, but we are the bodies?

This is really a miracle, because the knower can never be the known; the observer, the source of consciousness, can never be identified with the object. This body we know as an object; this hand I know, I feel, as an object. I never feel . . . I Can never feel it as me. It is always something outside – an object. It hurts, I know; it doesn’t hurt, I know – but I remain the knower.

But why does it happen that the knower becomes the known? How? How does the subject become the object? It cannot become really – that is impossible; becoming is impossible. The subject can never become the object – but it appears, it appears that it has become the object. We have become the bodies, and we go on living as if we are bodies.

Vahinger, a western philosopher has written a very strange book. The book is called The Philosophy of “As-if.” Really, this is our whole lives. We behave as if we are bodies; we behave as if we are material. We behave always not as we are, but as if – the “as if” is always there. How does this happen? – this which is impossible – how does this impossibility happen? What is the key? What is the clue?

The clue is very simple. The logic in the trick is very simple. You begin to be identified with anything which is pleasurable, because if you feel identified with the pleasure, you can feel more pleasure. If you do not feel identified with pleasure, then you cannot feel the pleasure at all, really. So the lover begins to feel identified with the beloved, the friend with the friend, the father with his son, the mother with her son; they begin to feel identified. The mother feels as if she is living in the son, and that if the son succeeds, the mother succeeds. If the son achieves, the father achieves. Then the son becomes just an extended part of the father’s ego.

With whatsoever we feel as pleasure, we begin to be identified. The moment the son becomes rebellious or becomes a criminal, the father tries to destroy the identification. He says, “Now, no more. You don’t belong to me at all.” Why? Why does the son belong at all?

I have a friend – he is an old man, an old politician, with many ambitions unfulfilled, obviously. A politician can never feel fulfilled, mm? That is intrinsically impossible. He is now seventy-five. His son died; he was only forty, but he was a minister in a state.

The son was a minister; this old man could never be a minister; he had tried in every way. And now he says, “There were many chances but I just escaped; I never wanted to be in any post.” He had tried everything possible, but now he says that he is beyond. But his son was a minister . . . he had two sons – one was just ordinary; the second was extraordinary. The old man has never felt identified with the first son – never. His identity was with the second one, who was a minister. Then the second son died, and this old man began to feel that he could not live anymore.

He came to me and asked, “What to do? I think of committing suicide, I cannot live anymore. My son has died; my young son has died, and I am old and I am still . . . It is not good – the father should die first.”

I asked him, “Had your son been a criminal, bad, evil, unsuccessful, would you have felt the same?” He pondered over it and said, “No.” Then I told him, “It is not the death of the son which has become so significant to you, really – it is your death, your ambition’s death.”

I asked him, “If your other son dies, will you commit suicide?” He said, “I have never loved him at all. He is just ordinary.” He has loved his ambition, not the son. The other son is as much a son, but there has been no communication between the two, never. They have not even talked. He said, “No, if he had not been up to my conceptions I would not have felt like this.”

The ego begins to be identified with something which is pleasurable. And this is the logic of our minds, the logic of this whole illusion, that we feel that our body is the source of pleasure. Of course, there are pains and there are sufferings, but we always transfer pains and sufferings to others. Suffering is always created by someone else, mm?

Jean-Paul Sartre has said – and said a very beautiful thing, but of course absolutely nonsense. He has said, “The other is hell.” The other is hell, always the other is hell. Oneself? – it is heaven, the very heaven. The other is the hell – this is the division, the bifurcation.

We continue to be identified with the body because we feel this is the source of pleasure. Whenever someone else’s body becomes the source of pleasure, we begin to be identified with that also. But always, pain comes from someone else; suffering comes from someone else. With this trick, this deep involvement in identification becomes possible.

The truth, the fact, is quite different: the body is both or neither. Either it is both the source of pain and pleasure . . . Remember this; it is both, because it cannot be one or the other. Pleasure and pain are one. Your body is the source of both. If you can feel this and realize this, then they both negate each other; the pain and the pleasure both negate each other and the body becomes neutral. Or, feel that pleasure and pain both come from outside, both are devices. They both come from outside; don’t divide, take them as a whole. Then also there is no identification with the body; the body is neutral.

And if the body is neutral, this rishi says you become a soul; otherwise, you are a conditioned soul. And this conditioned soul is the bondage; this conditioning is the bondage. And the rishi says this is the only disease, the spiritual disease: to be conditioned so much, identified so much with the body that one begins to feel as if one is the body.

This “as if” must be broken.

But it begins to be difficult. One feels to break it, but it looks impossible, because we have investments in it. We can break it if someone can make us confident that “if you break this body consciousness, you will be very happy and blissful” – then we can break it. But again, the old fallacy goes on, the old longing goes on. So I am not saying that if you want happiness, then break this conditioning and identification with the body, because you cannot break it. Rather, be aware of the fact that happiness or misery both will always remain side by side; you cannot leave one and choose the other. That is not possible. They are just like negative and positive poles of electricity; they are two parts of one phenomenon.

So be aware of this, that they are two parts of one phenomenon. Then you can just drop them without any further longing.

You cannot drop anything if there is a desire to gain something else; then that desire is again desire for happiness, pleasure. Be aware of the fact that both are one; pleasure and pain are one. Your interpretation differs, but the thing is always the same. This awareness of the fact becomes the dropping, the turning. And the soul, for the first time, realizes that it has never been identified with any object at all; it is the subjectivity.

Kierkegaard has said, “To know the subjectivity as the subjectivity is the realization. To know the subjectivity as an object is the bondage.”

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #8

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

The Very Awareness is Transformation is from the morning talk, That Moment Becomes the Door to the Divine is from the evening talk of the same day.

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.

Question and Answer Sessions are Concerned with You – Osho

Whilst you were speaking on Kahlil Gibran and Zarathustra, your words seemed to penetrate without my interpretation directly to the center of my being. I experienced an attunement, a communion happening as nectar that was filling my being. Sometimes, without sobbing, tears simply poured from my eyes, and after almost every discourse I felt for a long while in touch with something far beyond what I know of as myself. With questions and answers this does not happen. I still feel that special whatever it is that comes when sitting with you, but not with the depth of intensity I have just described. What is the difference?

Prabodh Nityo, the question you have asked raises many other questions too. I would like to cover all the implications in short, because it is important not only to you but for everyone else here.

The first thing: as far as I am concerned, the question-answer sessions are more significant because they relate to you, they relate to your growth. Certainly, you are groping in darkness, trying to find a way. You cannot ask questions of the heights of Zarathustra, of Kahlil Gibran — and I have to answer your reality.

Listening to Zarathustra and Kahlil Gibran is a good and great entertainment: you may sob and you may have tears and you may feel great, but it is all hot air! You remain the same — nothing changes in you. I speak sometimes on Buddha, on Chuang Tzu, on Zarathustra, just to give you an insight into the heights people have reached, just to make you aware of those distant stars. They are not so distant as they look — people like us have reached there. It is within your grasp.

That is the reason why, on Zarathustra and Buddha and Bodhidharma and a thousand others, I have spoken: to create a longing in you. But just the longing is not enough. Then I have to give you the path; then I have to sort out the mess that you are, and put your fragments, which are spread all over the space . . . to find out where your legs are and where your head is and put them all together, and somehow push you on the path. The question-answer sessions are concerned with you, your growth, your progress — the place where you are. And the discourses on Zarathustra or Kahlil Gibran are concerned with the places where you should be — but you are not yet there.

So I disagree with you. I can understand that you enjoy the dream that is created when one is hearing about Buddha . . . You have nothing to do; you are just listening to great poetry, listening to a great song, listening to great music, seeing a great dance. But you are not singing, you are not becoming the poetry, you are not becoming the dance. And I want you to become the dance; I want you to reach to the greatest heights that anybody has ever reached.

So I have to keep a balance, talking about the dreamlands and then talking about the dark caves where you are hiding, very reluctant to come out in the light. You want to hear about light and you enjoy, but you remain hiding in your dark cave. You want to hear about strange lands, beautiful stories and parables, but it is mere entertainment.

You should be more concerned when I am answering the questions, because they can change your reality. I have to do both jobs: create the longing, give a glimpse of the goal, and then clean the path and grease your parts — because you have never moved in many many lives, you are sitting in a junkyard — to put you back on the wheels and rolling. The second job is difficult, and not very juicy either. But it is absolutely necessary.

Secondly, I have to remind you of one thing. When I was speaking on Zarathustra . . . it is a very complicated affair, because I was not speaking directly on Zarathustra; I was speaking on a Zarathustra who is an invention of Friedrich Nietzsche. All the great insights are given by Nietzsche to Zarathustra.

Zarathustra . . . many times his original books have been brought to me, and they are so ordinary that I have never spoken on them. Nietzsche has used Zarathustra only as a symbolic figure, just as Kahlil Gibran was using Almustafa, which was a completely fictitious name. Nietzsche has used a historical name, but in a very fictitious way. He is putting his insights into the mouth of Zarathustra.

So first you should remember it is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra; it has nothing much to do with the original Zarathustra. And secondly, when I am speaking on it, I don’t care what Nietzsche means, and I don’t even have any way to know what he means; the way he used Zarathustra, I am using him! So it is a very complicated story. It is my Nietzsche, and via Nietzsche it is my Zarathustra. So whatever heights you are flying in have nothing to do with Zarathustra.

I have been speaking on hundreds of mystics, but it is always that I am speaking. And I know perfectly well that if by chance, somewhere, I meet these people, they are going to be very angry. They are going to be really enraged and say, “I never meant that.” But my problem is, “How can I know what you had meant?” I can only mean what I mean. So whether it is Zarathustra or Buddha or Jesus or Chuang Tzu, once they pass through me they have my signature on them. You are always listening to me.

When I am answering your questions, I am more concerned with your growth, with your actual problems; they are more earthly. So don’t be deceived; many people have been deceived. I have been reminding you, but people’s memories are not great.

I was speaking on Gautam Buddha in Varanasi and one Buddhist, a very renowned scholar in Buddhism, said to me, “I have been reading the same scriptures. But you have revealed such great depths and heights that I was never aware of; you have confirmed my faith in Gautam Buddha.”

I said, “If you don’t get angry with me . . . you should confirm your faith in me.”

He said, “What?”

I said, “Yes, because whatever you were reading was perhaps exactly what Buddha meant, and the depths and heights I am talking about are my experiences.”

But what to do? There are idiots all over the world. If you want Buddhist idiots to listen to you, you just have to say the name “Buddha” and that’s enough; then you can say anything you want. If you want Hindus to listen to you, you have to talk about Krishna. I am always talking about myself; I cannot talk about anybody else — how can I? Five thousand years ago, what was Krishna thinking, what was in his mind? . . . but when they listen to me they think, “My God, we were not aware that Krishna had such depths, such heights.” Krishna had nothing. Those heights and those depths are my experiences that I am hanging on anybody; these people function like hooks, I simply hang my idea on them.

And even great scholars . . . this man was Bhikshu Jagdish Kashyap; he was dean of the faculty of Buddhism in the University of Varanasi, a very learned man. But when I said this to him, he became a permanent enemy. I said, “What happened to the heights and to the depths?”

People are much more concerned with names. If I say to you that “Zarathustra said this,” you listen with great attention. The very name Zarathustra looks so ancient, so prophetic, that he must have said something . . . and trust me, I know him, he is a poor guy. But don’t tell this to anybody! This is just a private conversation with you.

Michelangelo was painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He was getting tired of lying on his back, so he rolled over and saw an old woman praying, down in the chapel. He leaned over the edge of the scaffold and shouted, “I’m Jesus Christ! I’m Jesus Christ! Listen to me and I will perform miracles!”

The Italian lady looked up and clasping her rosary answered back, “Shut up-a your mouth. I’m talking to your mother!”

Michelangelo must have been thinking that he was joking with the old woman, but he was at a loss when he heard this. Of course, a mother is a mother, and you should not interfere between two old women talking . . . just go on and play outside!

So don’t be disturbed. If you want I can go on talking about any historical, mythological, fictitious figure; I can create my own fictions. Do you think all the stories that I have told you have happened? They should have happened! — they are so significant. But if I tell you that I am just making up this story, you will not be very interested; you will not be flying high.

Once in a while I want you to fly high, but it is just an imaginary flight. Really, I want you to be one day actually on those heights but for that, practical work is needed, pragmatic work is needed.

Just for you to fly a little high . . .

Goldstein, a string merchant from New York, was trying desperately to sell some of his goods in Alabama, but wherever he went he kept encountering anti-Semitism. In one department store the manager taunted him, “Alright, Goldstein. I will buy some of your string — as much as reaches from the top of your nose to the tip of your Jewish prick.”

Two weeks later, the manager was startled to receive a shipment containing eight hundred cartons of grade-A string. Attached was a note: “Many thanks for your generous order. Invoice to follow. Signed: Jacob Goldstein, residing in New York, circumcised in Kiev.”

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Discourse #9, Q2

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.

Osho’s Smoking Meditation

“A man came to me. He had been suffering from chain-smoking for thirty years; he was ill and the doctors said, “You will never be healthy if you don’t stop smoking. ” But he was a chronic smoker; he could not help it. He had tried – not that he had not tried – he had tried hard, and he had suffered much in trying, but one day or two days, and then again, the urge would come so tremendously, it would simply take him away. Again he would fall into the same pattern.

Because of this smoking he had lost all self-confidence: he knows he cannot do a small thing; he cannot stop smoking. He had become worthless in his own eyes; he thought himself just the most worthless person in the world. He had no respect for himself.

He came to me; he said, “What can I do? How can I stop smoking?” I said, “Nobody can stop smoking. You have to understand. Smoking is not only a question of your decision now. It has entered into your world of habits, it has taken roots. Thirty years is a long time. It has taken roots in your body, in your chemistry, it has spread all over. It is not just a question of your head deciding; your head cannot do anything. The head is impotent; it can start things, but it cannot stop so easily. Once you have started and once you have practiced so long, you are a great yogi – thirty years’ practicing smoking. It has become autonomous; you will have to de-automatize it.” He said, “What do you mean by ’de-automatization’?”

And that’s what meditation is all about: de-automatization.

I said, “You do one thing: forget about stopping. There is no need either. For thirty years you have smoked and lived; of course it was a suffering, but you have become accustomed to that too. And what does it matter if you die a few hours earlier than you would have died without smoking? What are you going to do here? What have you done? So what is the point – whether you die Monday or Tuesday or Sunday, this year, that year – what does it matter?”

He said, “Yes, that is true, it doesn’t matter.” Then I said, “Forget about it; we are not going to stop it at all. Rather, we are going to understand it. So next time, you make it a meditation.”

He said, “Meditation out of smoking?” I said, “Yes. If Zen people can make meditation out of drinking tea, and can make it a ceremony, why not? Smoking can be as beautiful a meditation.”

He looked thrilled. He said, “What are you saying?” He became alive! He said, “Meditation? Just tell me – I cannot wait!”

I gave him the meditation. I said, “Do one thing. When you take the packet out of your pocket, for a moment go slowly. When you are taking the packet of cigarettes out of your pocket move slowly. Enjoy it, there is no hurry. Be conscious, alert, aware; take it out slowly, with full awareness. Then take the cigarette out of the packet with full awareness, slowly – not in the old hurried way, unconscious way, mechanical way. Then start tapping the cigarette on your packet – but very alertly. Listen to the sound, just as Zen people do when the samovar starts singing and the tea starts boiling, and the aroma. Then smell the cigarette and the beauty of it . . . ”

He said, “What are you saying? The beauty?” “Yes, it is beautiful. Tobacco is as divine as anything. Even Morarji Desai is divine, so why not tobacco? Smell it; it is God’s smell.”

He looked a little surprised. He said, “What, are you joking?” “No, I am not joking.”

Even when I joke, I don’t joke. I am very serious.

“Then put it in your mouth, with full awareness, light it with full awareness. Enjoy every act, small act, and divide it into as many small acts as possible, so you can become more and more aware. “Then have the first puff: God in the form of smoke. Hindus say, ‘annam brahm’ – ‘food is God.’ Why not smoke? All is God. Fill your lungs deeply – this is a pranayam. I am giving you the new yoga for the new age! Then release the smoke, relax, another puff . . . and go very slowly.

“If you can do it, you will be surprised, soon you will see the whole stupidity of it. Not because others have said that it is stupid, not because others have said that it is bad: you will see it. And the seeing will not be just intellectual. It will be from your total being, it will be a vision of your totality. And then, one day, if it drops, it drops; if it continues, it continues. You need not worry about it.”

After three months he came, and he said, “But it dropped.”

“Now,” I said, “try it on other things too.”

This is the secret, the secret: de-automatize.

-Osho

From The Secret, Discourse #4

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 Fresh Waters of Life – Dada Gavand

My greetings to the citizens of Sonoma town. It’s nice to be with you this afternoon to talk little more closely about the life. I am coming from India, the East, and I am interested in talking to the people of different cultures, different traditions, with different lifestyles. I am here not as an Indian but as a person who is living on the same planet.

So let’s see if we can talk together to find out what living is. If there is any significance in living. If there is any purpose. We would like to find out the story of life, the process of living, not through any science, or technique, or any philosophy but if you can find out actually by knowing and experiencing what living is. We generally try to know about life through the books of psychology, or some philosophy, and sometimes through religions. I wonder if we really know anything through any science or through the opinion of any other person. To know anything, one has to go a little close to it, to observe, to watch, to see, to ponder, to find out exactly [what] the thing is. We can’t find out the reality of anything through the descriptions written by other people.

So to know and find out about life, this living energy, we are to come close to it. Do we ever do that? It is very easy to read the descriptions written by others, by experts, and perhaps that is how we are guided, by the opinions of the experts in all walks of life. Perhaps all our understanding and our opinions are the result of the statements of other people. We hardly know anything directly. Is there any direct experience of life? If we don’t have the opinion of others, we create our own opinion, and we always look at things in life and nature through our own opinion which is some kind of conditioned attitude of the mind. Opinion is positive and negative confirmation and that’s how we look at everything. Our relationship is, even intimate relationship, is based on our ideas, on our concepts which are mostly imaginations in the mind. So there is hardly any way of getting into a direct experiencing.

So if you want to find out about the life, this living process, the energy that is moving, living, pulsating in each moment – what is living for us? What is living in us now? Isn’t mostly a thought activity? Ceaseless movement of thought? That is living through its ideas and through its actions. It is a thought which is a mind that is living constantly through its projections, through its ideas, opinions, fears, planning, anxiety, worry. This whole process is operating all of the time. And it is existing; it is living. And we meet everything through these ideas, through this mind. Mostly our understanding is intellectual, through information and ideas, we live the life. That’s one way of living. Now I am questioning this process that we call living through the mind, through the ideas, through the concepts.

The first thing, do we experience anything freshly in the moment through these ideas? Is there any fresh contact with life? Idea is a concept which were formed on the basis of past information. We had some past information from some past experience and that experience has been retained in the mind. And that experience is an opinion, a concept, and through that experience we meet anything in the now, in the future. If you are to meet a person, we have a memory about the person, and it is the memory that meets the person. So [it] is [the] other way, and there is a meeting of two experiences, two memories, two concepts. Is that the way of meeting or experiencing any person? If you want to see a sunset, don’t you look at the sunset completely with your total being? But sometimes it’s the mind that chatters and talks about the sunsets it has seen previously. Or expects something other than what is in front of his eyes. “Oh, I wish there was no cloud like this.” “I wish it was a little more red than blue.” But he hardly sees that scene completely in that moment with his total attention.

There is a possibility of seeing the sunset or experiencing the sunset. We generally see it, but do we experience it? So is the case with other relationships. Do we experience anything, anyone? That kind of experiencing is quite a different thing, much more vital, much more alert, much more in the now, in the present. And for that one has to be a total personality, utterly, totally in the present, without any bias of the mind, without any idea in the consciousness.

Do we experience anything in life so viscerally, so profoundly, so totally? There is the only way of experiencing anything, maybe your child, maybe your dog, or in a flower, or any person to have a contact, a direct contact with the energy, with the other energy. There is a meeting; there is a communion. Otherwise, it is just a gossip of the mind. Many of us have created this habit, this pattern, through mind. That’s why there is not vitality, no energy. This is a dimension of life where one is vital, alert. And in that vitality, there is a blessing of life. You can have your own interiority. And that interiority can work as a reflection of the eternal energy. In that state, there is no room for any opinion, any movement of thought, any imagination.

We are meeting everything through our own imagination, through our own conditioning, through our own prejudices. Negative or positive, but they are all the same conditionings. Do we have to have this conditioning to meet anything freshly in that right moment? There is a new way of living and that is the only living. Otherwise, it is all a continuity in time. It is the past that continues in the hope of a future. That’s why we live by our hopes, create fears, and then face frustrations. Life is a series of planning and hopes unfortunately. There is a way of letting life live, letting this energy function without any hindrance of the ideas, then the life takes its own care. The life is, that energy is fullness in itself; it’s rich, it’s intelligent. And we need to discover this kind of life, otherwise there is not much fun, just a constant burden of thought and mind. There is a ceaseless activity which creates fears, creates planning, problems, conflicts. And we’re beginning to live with all these things without trying to see what the life is, what this living is.

We never come close to see what is happening. We have taken this kind of life for granted. Our education, our culture, our history has sanctified this kind of life. And what is life today? Personal life, or social life, or political or international life, what is it now? Is it all sane? Is it all orderly? We are always trying to create some sanity but it doesn’t happen. We’re trying to build some order in our personal life, family life, or international life, but there is no order at all. It is all a chaos and so filled with fears.

See anywhere and you’ll find these fears, doubts, violence, conflicts, and there isn’t at all disease or war there. We are sowing the seeds of war in our mind itself, through our own conflicts, through our own fears. There is enough violence in ourself, also in the mind, and whenever it gets a chance, it just comes out through angers, hatreds, fears. We are actually at war with ourself, within ourself, through different thoughts, wants and non-wants, good and bad, whether I should be here or I should be there, whether this is good or bad, all this kind of conflict, indecisions. There is never a smooth sailing in the mind, in this consciousness. There are ceaseless ripples going on and on, day and night. Should one live like this? To be in doubt? To be in conflict? To be in worry, anxiety, fear?

With all this plenty around, with this kind of good standard of living, should this consciousness remain like this? Why are we accepting this kind of living? This kind of our own self? If you come close a little and find out and watch, you will see what a picture it is. But we don’t dare come near to see it all that is why we are all the time out, planning, doing something outside, neglecting this inner, refusing to see what it is inside. So, we are to come a little nearer to us, to see, to take a close look at it. What is happening? What is moving? What is living? Not accept all these things blindly because somebody else has told. It’s our own life. We have to see it; we have to understand. We have to experience that. And do something, if it is necessary to do anything there.

So the first thing is to come a little close. To watch, to see, to wait and ponder about it. We never do this. We are all extrovert, planning, doing things outside. Of course, that is one aspect of living we have to do some of these things, but not all the time, all the way. We have lost the capacity to be with ourselves, to stay with ourselves, to look into ourselves.

It’s easy to be out with the thrust of a thought and an idea. From childhood, we are trained to do that, to live with the thought, to polish your thoughts, to have more and more thoughts. And we do not know how the thought is generated. How it takes its root. What happens there at the root? Why all these different thoughts, ceaseless thoughts, contradictory thoughts? It’s very necessary to see that breeding ground of the thought, that where the thoughts are generated ceaselessly. Perhaps many of the thoughts may be just mechanical, but they’re there. We shelter them, and we live with them. We act upon them to give the continuity.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

Perhaps we don’t have this capacity of seeing anything as it is. We can’t see anything without this projection of the mind, without the interference of the mind, the thought. So we are to begin to learn this new way of objectivity, to see anything as just the witness. The witness and the judge has no opinion, he just sees things as it is. So we’re to begin to look at ourselves, to look into ourself as we are, as we are functioning. That seeing and sensing is important. To sense, to feel, to see that, without any opinion, and for that we have to come very, very close almost into ourself, to see this whole game. And that is the beginning of this new understanding.

We have to understand ourself first, understand this whole living process. Know what is happening. How cleverly we are acting. How mechanically we are acting. With what bias in the mind, we’re acting and relating with people. All our relationship is biased very, very conditioned. There is never a freshness. There is never a newness to relate with anything that’s why we carry forward our quarrels, our prejudices. And the whole life is a series of this kind of prejudices. There is never a release from this thing to enter into the fresh waters of life, the fresh energy of life wherein there is no prejudice at all. It’s pure, free, independent, and intelligent.

There is that source of energy, but we are denying that source because we are all the time busy with this conditioned thought. The whole consciousness is so conditioned, colored. So the beauty of living is seen only when you are unconditioned, free. Then the living is a different moment of life. It’s is free, original, transformed. And there’s a new beauty in living. Then your relationships are different. You don’t carry forward any thought, any memory, but you live in that immediate now, with freedom. That is the freedom of life.

We never try to experience that freedom, that’s why we are busy with the other freedoms, economic freedom, political freedom, individual freedom, all these freedoms. Where is a free man with all this freedom? I would like to see a free person. We talk about all these freedoms, give them all these dozens of freedoms, and yet you live a bounded, encaged person. So the real freedom begins here only, then you will never be caught up in any other bondage.

There is a total freedom of that energy. So, there is that living, a real impulse, a real moment of living begins only there when you are totally free with energies completely unbiased, uncolored. Then the relationships are different. Your vision becomes different. Your life, becomes different. We need that kind of life of freedom otherwise what is life today? We know it. So this is a basic question. It is a very fundamental issue, and all the thoughtful persons in the world are conscious of this thing now. With all these scientific discoveries, and affluence, and productions, and new gadgets, what is the life? What is happening to this living? We may have a few more pleasures, few more conveniences, but basically, what is the state of this mind? Is it really happy, contented, peaceful, loving? Why are we denied all these basic things of life? On the contrary, we have become more assertive, more greedy, more competitive, more violent. Is it the result of this civilization, of this advancement?  So let us ponder over it, for our own sake, for our own children, for the next generation.

So we have to establish this sanity, this order, in our own life first. So this is a challenging thing.

Can we take some questions if you have in your mind?

I have a question. Do you believe in God?

Do I believe in God?

Mmm

I think I don’t have any belief. Belief is a hope of the mind. I think this idea, thought has created this God, and we have different images about God. Because of this opinion, we have different concepts of God, different forms of God. And is God a form, or a concept, or an image created by the mind? If God is there, it cannot be a concept. It is something like a thrill, beautiful energy, consciousness, the intelligence. That Supreme is there, but it would never be contacted through this mind and the concept and images, but God is an experiencing, is a fact. And it is that most intelligent energy, that source of creation, is there. I don’t have to have an opinion, a concept about it. Concept is a denial of that experience. God is that kind of experience. The totality of life is that consciousness, is that divinity, is that eternity, is that God. But we don’t need to have any name to it.

Are you saying take no thought, take no thought of whatever we have of God within us whether it be to know what, that would be it? With no thought, no concept of pinning it into one thing, is that what you are saying?

No thought is the first thing, that’s the beginning. From that no thought, we have to enter into the state and experience of non-thought, which is nothing but the pulsation of a dynamic energy within you. And after entering that state of dynamism, that pure energy, there is no room for any concepts. The mind itself is left out. The mind cannot work in that vitality, in that energy which is so dynamic. It is a different dimension of energy. On that dimension, the thought cannot linger. So, we have to transform this thought energy, this level of thought into that new dimension which is a divine state, which is the divinity, which is the vibrancy of eternity. There is no thought there, but there is a fullness of energy, vital, vibrant, pulsating in the now. There is no past and future, it’s only the thought that has created the past and future to refuse to see that present. So, to enter into that present and to be with that energy, to be with that vitality, is to experience that eternal which you call by any name. So again, this problem is of this naming this moment of the mind. See what mind has done even in the realm of God. In the domain of that eternity, it has created all the images, invented all the names and forms, and it cannot understand anything without the concept, without the form, without the image, and that is the limitation of this thought, the mind. So the mind has to become mindless. To experience anything, maybe to experience God, or to experience even your child, or a flower next to you.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

 Physical patterns can be even more overwhelming than thought patterns. I find myself that I can learn a lot by the physical side, through aches, through feelings. Feelings that are so strong that they make concentration difficult. How would you relate this to thought? Thought seems to be a higher level even than the physical level.

So you think that feelings are more powerful and dominant in you, and you can’t be free of the feelings and the pains that are associated with your body? And you think that thought is much more higher and superior?

Well, it seems to be a different level. If I am really distracted by physical things then it seems even more overwhelming.

Yes, by why are you distracted if there is a pain? If there is any complaint in the physical body? It may have its cause, a valid cause. You are to attend to the cause. Listen to the physical body also. You may have generated the cause because of your attitudes of mind. You know somethings are no good for the body, but yet the mind craves. Many of our physical ailments are the cause of our mind games, the temptations, the greed and the want of the mind. We are burdening our body through this craving of the thought, of the mind, and then we call it a physical pain. All these difficulties, even the physical, have a cause behind it. And probably you will see that the mind is responsible for those causes. Many of the pains and difficulties of the body are psychical. Many of them are psychosomatic effects. So, the psyche, the mind is so powerful. It is ruling everywhere even it tries to dictate body. It doesn’t want to listen to the body also, what it has to say, what it has to complain. Now a thought is so dominant. Medical science has discovered so many things which are detrimental to the body. But what happens? Does the mind listen to all these things? With all our education? With all this means of communication? With all knowledge? Do we listen to all these things? See what the mind is doing. With all these clear discoveries, the mind is not prepared to listen to it. It has its own enjoyable time.

See the domination of the thought in the mind. And yet, we are educated and intelligent people in the society. How much intelligence is really used in life? So again, we’re to see this disturbing factor, this dominant attitude of the mind which overrules the intelligence, the understanding. It refuses to see the medical facts which are so very well established now. We know the harmful effect of alcohol, of smoking, and see what happens? The result of smoking is clearly established by the medical discoveries but still the sales of cigarettes are mounting. There are so many things like this.

The commercial world is so active and it is making you believe things which may be even harmful. This commercial mind is so very dominant with its own greed, and we are becoming a prey to all this propaganda, and the mind is getting caught into this kind of propaganda, because of the temporary sensation, temporary excitement, and that is what the mind wants. There is no much intelligence in this mind, I tell you. It is interested only in some excitement. In some sensations, and that is how it continues in time.

So, the time has come to question the intelligence of this mind. How intelligent this mechanism is? How useful this activity is? For the mind has come to its dead end now. It is refusing to see facts of life, and that’s why we have to discover a new consciousness, a new intelligence, a new order of life which will not be based on this kind of mind activity at all.

The time is very much ripe for this kind of new discovery, and if you are sensitive and alert, you should be able to see the necessity of this kind discovery now. The discovery of that consciousness which is beyond the mind, which is beyond this thought pattern, and then perhaps we will be able to change the life basically. To create a really intelligent, harmonious, holy order of living.

-Dada Gavand

From a talk given in Sonoma, California

Dada with Amido while staying at our Boulder house in 1993.

Here you can listen to the talk The Fresh Waters of Life.

To see more from Dada look here.

Inscape – The Ultimate Annihilation – Osho

Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear. It seems disciples excluded from their records about their master any mention of sex, for fear that their master would be misunderstood. Would you like to comment?

It is a long story . . .

Zen has moved from one country to another country, from one climate to another climate. It was born in India.

Hinduism, as such, in its early stages, was very natural, very existential. It had no taboos about sex, its seers and saints had wives. Celibacy was not an imposition; it came on its own accord through the natural experience of sex. Hinduism in its early stages was a very natural, very existential approach – almost like Zen.

But then there was another tradition which is represented by Jainism. It is a very puzzling question, and historians are almost silent, because nobody wants to stir any controversy. It is left to me to create all kinds of controversies.

Jainism is not a part of Hinduism; it is far more ancient than Hinduism. […]

And Jainism has never indicated that it belongs to Hinduism. Its whole approach is different. […]

Jainism has nothing in common with Hinduism. Its language is different, its conception about the world is different, it has no God. It does not have any yoga system, it does not have any Tantra. It is absolutely against sex, it is repressive of sex. But this repressive tradition of Jainism influenced the whole of India.

Of course, their saints looked far more deeply holy than the Hindu saints who were married, who had children. And not only children, but they were allowed to have concubines. These saints were just householders and lived in the forests, they had all the possessions that anybody can have. In fact, they had more possessions than ordinary people, because thousands of disciples brought presents to them. Each seer had become almost a university in himself. Around him thrived hundreds of teachers, disciples, visitors. But compared to the Jaina saint, these Hindu saints looked very ordinary.

Because of this comparison, Hinduism also became contaminated with the idea of repression of sex. Otherwise, you can see beautiful statues of men and women in deep embrace, in different postures even in the temples in Khajuraho, in Konarak, in Puri. Such beautiful sculpture you cannot find anywhere else. These temples were Hindu. Of course, sex was accepted by the Hindus – not only accepted, but a system of transforming the sexual energy, Tantra, was developed by the Hindu saints.

Jainism has remained a very small current, but very influential. It is one of the very important things to understand: the more miserable your saint, the holier he seems. If the saint is happy, joyous, loves life, and enjoys everything that existence allows him, you cannot think of him as very holy. To be holy, one has to be miserable.

In short, pleasure in any direction is condemned. Jaina saints looked more saintly, more holy, and Hindus felt that they had to change – and by and by, they did change, but not consciously. They started respecting the repressed person. Tantra became taboo, and Hindus became completely disoriented from their own sources. It happened again when Christianity came, and Hindus became even more repressed.

Gautam Buddha is the original source of Zen. He was born into a Hindu family, but he lived a very different life than is possible for ordinary people. From his very childhood he was allowed everything that he wanted; he was kept surrounded by beautiful girls; he was married. His whole life up to the age of twenty-nine years was wrapped in pleasure, in dancing, in music, in women, in wine, because the astrologers had predicted that this boy either would become a great saint or would become a great conqueror of the world.

And of course, his father was concerned and worried – he did not want him to become a saint. He was his only son, and he wanted him to become a world conqueror. He asked the astrologers how to prevent him from becoming a saint. Those idiots advised that he should be surrounded with pleasure: “Don’t let him know that there is misery. Don’t let him know that there is sickness, old age, death. Don’t let him know at all about these things. Just let him be drowned in music, in dancing, surrounded by beautiful girls. Make three palaces in different places for different seasons: a cooler place when it is summer, and a warmer place when it is winter . . . ”

And the father followed all the instructions of all those so-called wise men; in fact, their advice made him a saint. Twenty-nine years of continuous luxury – he became fed up. And suddenly, when he saw one sick man, it was a shock, because for twenty-nine years he had been kept unaware of sickness, old age, or death. And when he saw these things… how long can you prevent? Even twenty-nine years must have been very difficult for the father to manage him not to see a flower dying, or a pale leaf falling from the tree. In the night, the garden had to be cleaned of all dead flowers, dead leaves. Gautam Buddha should not know that there was something like an ending.

But this created exactly the situation in which he became first, exhausted, bored . . . so many beautiful women. By the age of twenty-nine years, he became as old as a man cannot experience in three hundred years. In twenty-nine years, he saw everything of luxury, of sex, of licentiousness. And when he suddenly came to know old age, and saw the body of a dead man being carried, he was shocked. He would not have been shocked if from the very beginning he had known that people become old – it is natural. These twenty-nine years of protection proved dangerous. When he saw the dead man, he inquired of his charioteer, “What has happened to this man?”

The charioteer said, “I am not allowed . . . in fact, the whole city has been told that you are passing by this road, so no old man, no sick man, no dead man, should be allowed on this path. How he has entered . . . but I cannot be untruthful, he is dead.”

And the second question immediately was, “Is the same going to happen to me?” And the charioteer said, “I don’t want to say it, but the truth is, it happens to all. Nobody is an exception.”

And just then he saw a sannyasin in orange robes. He asked, “What kind of man is this, and what kind of uniform . . . ?”

The charioteer said to him, “This man is in search of the eternal. He has become aware that this life is momentary, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. Hence, he has started a search to see whether there is something inside him which will survive even death, or if there is nothing. He is an inquirer.”

Gautam Buddha was going to inaugurate the annual festival of youth. He told the charioteer, “Take me back home. I am no longer interested in the festival. I have been cheated. For twenty-nine years I have not been allowed to know the truth.”

That very night he escaped from the house. And because he was bored and fed up, those who followed him after his enlightenment obviously thought that sex was dangerous because it keeps you attached to the world. Naturally those who followed Gautam Buddha became escapists. For Buddha it was right, it was not an escape; it was simply getting out of the prison. But for others, it was not getting out of the prison. They had not even lived in the prison, they did not know the prison, they had not explored the prison. It had not come to their consciousness that it was a bondage. They simply followed Gautam Buddha. For them, sex became repressive, pleasure became contaminated.

But fortunately, Bodhidharma took Gautam Buddha’s message to China. That was a different climate. Tao was the climate in China, and Tao is very life affirmative. So in China, a new development happened: the meeting of Bodhidharma and Tao, a totally new concept. Zen is not just Buddhism; in fact, the orthodox Buddhists don’t accept Zen even as Buddhism, and they are right. Zen is a crossbreed between Gautam Buddha’s insight and Lao Tzu’s realization, the meeting of Buddha’s approach, his meditation, and Tao’s naturalness.

In Tao, sex is not a taboo; Tao has its own Tantra. The energy of sex has not to be destroyed or repressed, it is not your enemy. It can be transformed, it can become a great help in the search of your ultimateness. So in Zen, the idea of celibacy was dropped. There was no insistence on it, it was your choice, because the question is meditation. If you can meditate and live your life in a natural way, it is acceptable to Tao.

And then another transformation happened: Zen reached from China to Japan, where Shinto, the native religion, was very natural. There it became absolutely affirmative; hence it is not even talked about. There is no need, it is not a question.

You are asking, “Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear.” That does not mean that sex was a taboo. It was so natural that there was no need to discuss it. You don’t discuss urination. That does not mean you have stopped urinating. You start discussing things only when you start going against nature. If you are natural, there is nothing to discuss.

Life is to live, not to discuss.

Live as deeply and intensely as possible.

Ikkyu is certainly known to have used Tantra as a way of transformation. The sexual energy is nothing but your very life energy, it is only the name. You can call it sex energy, but by it ‘sex’, it does not become different, it is life energy. And it is better to call it life energy, because that is a wider term, more inclusive, more comprehensive. When you are going deeper into your center, that experience can be explained in many ways. It can be explained the way Hindus have explained it: it is realization of the ultimate, brahmabodh. But Brahma is not a person. The word is dangerous; it gives an idea as if we are talking about a person.

Brahma is simply the whole energy of the existence.

Jainas will call it self-realization, atmabodh, but their self is not synonymous with the ego. It is synonymous with Brahma. You are no more – in your self-realization you are no more. Buddha and Mahavira were contemporaries, and Buddha insisted again and again, that if you are no more, then why do you call it self-realization? That gives a very distorted description. Call it no-self realization. But Mahavira has his own reasons not to call it no-self realization – people are afraid of no-self realization; if you are going to be nothing, then it is better to remain something. And Mahavira knew that it does not matter whether you call it self-realization or not, you are going to disappear. But keep a positive word which is more attractive.

I can see Mahavira’s compassion in it, but I also can see Buddha’s truthfulness. He says, “If it is really no-self realization, then call it what it is. Don’t deceive people.”

Tantra will call it samadhi.

The names are different, but it is exactly life, pure life without any contamination. Once you reach to your center you can think in different categories. You can use the yoga method, then you can say this is the very center of your being: sambodhi. You can use the Tantra method, then you can say this is the center of your sex energy. And sex energy in Tantra is equivalent to life energy. These words have unnecessarily kept people discussing and discussing.

The reality is one. It is better to experience it.

Zen masters don’t talk about it for the simple reason Zen is a very natural phenomenon. It is not anti-life; it is not escapist. But most of the Zen masters have left their household life. Tired, seeing no point in the marketplace, they moved to the mountains. It was not against the marketplace, it was simply that the mountains were more silent, more peaceful. They allowed you to be yourself without any interference.

Sex is not mentioned in the records, for the simple reason that there is no reason to record it, it is accepted. If one has lived it, and there comes a time when you have outgrown it, then there is no point to go on and on, tired and disgusted. While it is beautiful, enjoy, and when it becomes a tiring, disgusting phenomenon, then just leave it for others. But there is no reason to condemn it.

A natural person simply passes beyond stages without condemnation. He has lived life, he has known life, now he wants to know something more. He wants to know something of the eternal. He has reproduced children, now he wants to know who he is in his innermost core. He has lived the world of the outside, he has been a Zorba. Now a moment comes of turning in. The outside reality has been explored without any inhibition, then you will naturally one day turn inwards.

It is the inhibition, the repressive mentality, that goes on forcing you to think of sex, because you have never lived it. Your Christianity, your Jainism, did not allow it, or allowed it and then created guilt in you that you were doing something which should not be done. Then you are living halfheartedly.

And when a thing is lived halfheartedly you never transcend, you never go beyond it. Dance to the moment when you stop automatically.

Live everything in life so you can transcend joyfully without any guilt. That is difficult for people who have been programmed with taboos: sex should not even be mentioned; death should not be mentioned either.

Sex and death are the two points: one is the beginning, the other is the end. People are kept unaware of both. About sex, it is dirty; about death, it is dangerous and gloomy . . . don’t talk about it. It is always somebody else who dies, don’t be worried. But in reality, you are born out of sex, and you are going to die. That which is born out of sex is going to disappear in death. Sex and death are the two points of the same energy. That which appears in sex, disappears in death. And both have to be understood, because both are the most important points in your life, and both have to be accepted and lived.

But religions like Christianity and Jainism are very repressive. Their very repression makes people guilty, sinners. They cannot live their life with totality, intensity, and they cannot meditate, because meditation’s first condition is to be total, to be total in everything. Then everything becomes meditation. Even making love, if you are total, then it becomes a meditation.

My own understanding about meditation is that in the beginning it must have happened to someone while making love, because that seems to be the only thing in which you can come to such a totality that time stops, mind stops, and everything becomes absolutely silent.

But that silence can be created by meditation also. The secret is known through sex, that if there is no time and no mind, you have entered into the ultimate. Through sex you enter for a single moment, and you fall back into the temporary. Through meditation you can remain in the ultimate, twenty-four hours around the clock, in an orgasmic joy. Your every moment becomes a dance. Knowing that you are not, there is nothing to fear.

Knowing that you are the whole, there is nothing to lose.

Sex is not talked about by Zen masters, simply because it is taken for granted.

One of our sannyasins has been working with John Stevens, author of One Robe, One Bowl.

He claims to have found ancient manuscripts never before published, in which Zen masters speak of sex as a tool for transformation. He has compiled a book of this material, which he is calling Lust for Zen. He anticipates that he is going to “upset Buddhists everywhere” by publishing this material.

Do it quickly, because without upsetting, it is very difficult to bring people to come to a settling. First upset, only then can they settle down in a zazen.

But there is nothing upsetting to the real Zen masters; only Buddhists may be upset. The Buddhists of India will be upset, because they have borrowed the sex-repressive idea from Jainism, from Hinduism, and from Buddha’s own experience.

But you cannot afford Buddha’s experience, because he was first a Zorba. Even Zorba was not such a Zorba as Buddha. His father found as many beautiful girls as possible from his whole kingdom . . .  and he became tired.

One night after much drinking and dancing, everybody had fallen asleep. He looked around – those beautiful faces… Foam was falling from their mouths, their makeup was upset, their hairdo was not in the right place . . . and it was disgusting. But that kind of experience is not available to everybody.

It should be available to everybody, then at the age of thirty everybody is going to escape from the world. But this escape will not be out of fear.

This escape needs a new name. It is inscape. One has lived outside, now one wants to live inside. One is bored of repetition, but because of the guilty, life-negative religions predominating over humanity, nobody ever comes to meditation through his love life. Nobody comes to an orgasmic experience where time stops, where mind stops, where suddenly a new sky opens its doors.

Tantra has used the method in India. And in China, Tao has used its own different technique of Tantra to bring people through sexual experience to a meditative state. But it is not a necessity that you should come to a meditative state through sexual experience. You can come by the direct route, by the immediate . . . this very moment, through meditation.

Sex is a long way. Nothing is wrong if somebody chooses the long way; if he enjoys the journey, there is no harm. But if somebody wants a shortcut, then meditation is available as a shortcut. It is really reaching to the same experience, but by a shortcut.

And as far as my sannyasins are concerned, there is no question of renouncing anything unless something renounces you. Many things will renounce you. By and by, you will start seeing – “Why go on playing these games . . . ?” Sooner or later, you will be sitting silently, doing nothing, rejoicing in the ultimate annihilation, disappearing into the ocean, losing all your boundaries.

[…]

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

A monk asked Daiten, a disciple of Sekito, “How is it when one meets the person-in-there?”

Daiten replied, “The person is not in there anymore.”

When you go in, you don’t meet any person, you simply meet the whole; you simply meet the impersonal existence. You are only on the surface; once you go deeper you disappear. The deeper you go, the less you are. And when you are not, then only have you touched the real depth.

You don’t meet any person, you simply meet the impersonal existence.

Daiten was right when he said, “The person is not in there anymore if you go in.” It is only when you don’t go in . . . it is a conception, an idea. If you remain in the mind, you remain a person. The moment you go beyond the mind, the person starts melting. There comes a point you are no more, everything is – you have become one with the whole.

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’? If there is no person, then who is there?”

Mind cannot conceive of nothingness; it can only conceive of something limited. If the person is not there, then who is there? God is there?

Buddha is reported to have said, “If you meet me in you, immediately kill, immediately cut my head! Because you have loved me, when you meditate, the image of your master may come to you. It is just an image, don’t let that image prevent you from meeting the whole. Cut the head.”

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’?”

Daiten said, “Don’t ask that question. That is the only question that cannot be answered. You better go in and see who is there.”

Daiten is a very clear master. Without much philosophy he simply says, “Don’t ask that question. Simply go in and see.”

The monk then asked, “In the ocean of misery, the waves are deep. With what can we make a boat?”

Daiten replied, “Make a boat with wood.”

The monk said, “If we do, can we go across the ocean?”

Daiten replied, “The blind are still blind, the dumb are still dumb.”

He is showing his frustration. This monk cannot understand. You don’t have to go to the other shore of the ocean, you have to melt in the ocean. You don’t need a boat for melting. The other shore will be just like this shore. You can change places, but that is not going to change your inner space.

Hence, he said, “Whatever the masters say, people still remain blind and still are dumb.” They don’t change. They go on listening. If it is a philosophy, they can understand it, but if it is an existential experiment, they simply remain blind, deaf and dumb.

Going in is not a philosophical question. Who is there inside you? What is the point of asking when the inside is yours? Go in and see who is there. You will not find any person. You will find a pure nothingness, an existential grace, a beauty, a song without sounds, a great drunkenness, a tremendous ecstasy. You will not find any person, just experiences, but those experiences are going to transform you. Those experiences are going to change your individuality, because you will now know there is absolute silence inside, no individuality.

Then, if somebody insults you, you will not feel insulted, because you don’t exist. He is throwing stones at nothing. Then even in your ordinary life you will function like a buddha – aware, alert, compassionate.

On another occasion a monk from Korea came to see Daiten. When the monk unrolled the sitting mat to make a bow, Daiten said, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!”

The monk had no answer. He could not understand what Daiten was saying to him. He is saying, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!” By “country” he does not mean Korea. By country he is meaning, before you go from your personality, the boundary that you have lived in, get one phrase. What is that phrase?

Rather than asking, the monk had no answer. He could not understand Daiten. That single phrase is zazen. Before you leave your personality and your individuality and your mind, remember to sit silently without asking any question, and without creating any hallucination, and without creating any dream.

Just get one thing: sitting silently.

In Japanese it is one word: zazen.

Daiten then came forward and said, “If you ask about the single phrase here,

I will answer with two phrases.”

He is saying that if you don’t go in by yourself, and somebody else has to show you the way, the oneness of inside becomes two, a duality of the mind. Anything said is dual; only the unsaid is non-dual.

You say day and it includes night; you say life and it includes death. You say man and it includes woman.

You say this – and it includes that.

You cannot say anything without implying its opposite. But inside, you can experience oneness without any duality – a pure silence not against sound, a beauty not against ugliness, a truth not against lies.

The function of the master is not to tell you what is in, but to lead you inwards, force you inwards. All that is said is in the service of that which cannot be said.

Basho wrote:

The wild heron
Sleeping –
Undisturbed nobility.

Have you seen a wild heron sleeping? Basho says, “undisturbed nobility.” That’s what you are when silence happens to you – an undisturbed nobility. Suddenly you become an emperor. The insight gives you the whole universe. It takes away all that is false, and it gives you all that is truth, all that is beauty, all that is grace, all that is sheer joy.

A man like Basho – a man of deep meditation – will start seeing it everywhere. Even in a heron sleeping, he will see an undisturbed nobility. In a wild bird on the wing, he will see immense freedom.

In the sky, he will see his own nothingness.

He will start having a new sight about everything – even a wildflower will become more beautiful.

Jesus says, “Look at the wild lilies in the field. They are more beautiful than even Solomon the emperor was in all his splendor.”

Solomon was an ancient Jewish king of great beauty, and of great understanding. In the whole of the Holy Bible, only his song, Solomon’s Song, has some truth; otherwise, everything is ordinary. But Jesus says, “These wild lilies are more beautiful even than the splendor of the great King Solomon.”

To the man of meditation, everything becomes totally new and fresh, young, alive. He radiates love and compassion and joy.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #8

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

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