Awareness is the Technique for Centering Oneself – Osho

Chidagni swaroopam dhoopah.

To create the fire of awareness in oneself is dhoopthe incense.

For philosophy, many are the problems – infinite. But for religion there is only one problem, and that problem is man himself. It is not that man has problems, but man is the problem. And why is man the problem?

Animals are not problems. They are so unconscious, blissfully unconscious, ignorant that there is no possibility of there being any awareness of problems. Problems are there, but animals are not aware. There are no problems for gods because they are totally conscious. When the mind is a total consciousness, problems simply disappear like darkness. But for man there is anguish. The very being of man, the very existence of man, is a problem, because man exists between these two realms: the realm of the animals and the realm of the gods.

Man exists as a bridge between two infinities: the infinity of ignorance and the infinity of knowledge. Man is neither animal nor Divine. Or, man is both – animal and Divine; that is the problem. Man is a suspended existence – something incomplete, something which is still to be – a becoming, not a being.

Animals have beings. Man is a becoming. He is not; he is only becoming. Man is a process. The process is incomplete. It has left the world of ignorance and it has not reached the world of knowledge. Man is in between. That creates the problem, the tension, the anguish and the constant conflict.

There are only two ways to be at peace, to be without problems: one is to fall back, to regress, to fall back to the world of animals; the other is to transcend, to go forward and to be a part of the Divine Being. To be either animals or gods: these are the two alternatives.

To fall back is easy, but it is going to be a temporary thing – because once you have grown you cannot fall back permanently. You can regress for a moment, but then you are again thrown forward, because there really is no way to go back. There is really no possibility of falling back. You cannot be a child again if you have become a young adult, and you cannot become young again if you have become old. If you know something, then you cannot fall back to the state when you were ignorant. You cannot go back, but for a moment you can forget the present and relive the past in your memory, in your mind.

So man can regress to the animal level. It is blissful, but temporary. That is the reason why intoxicants, drugs, alcohol, have such an appeal. When you become unconscious through some chemical, you have fallen back for a moment. For the time being you are not a man, you are not a problem. You are again part of the world of animals, the unconscious existence. Then you are not a man; that is why there are no problems.

Humanity has been constantly finding things from soma rasa to LSD in order to forget, to regress, to be just childlike, to regain the animal innocence, to be without problems: that is, to be without humanity, because to me humanity means to be a problem. This falling back, this regression, is possible, but only temporarily. You will come back again, you will be a man again, and the same problems will be standing and waiting for you. Rather, they will be more acute. Your absence is not going to dissolve them. They will become more complicated and complex. Then a vicious circle is created.

When you are again back and conscious, you have to face problems which have become more complicated because of your absence. They have grown. Then you have to forget yourself again and again, and every time you forget and regress, your problems are growing: you will have to face your humanity again and again. One cannot escape that way. One can deceive oneself, but one cannot escape that way.

The other alternative is arduous: that is, to grow to be a being. When I say “regress,” I mean to become unconscious – to lose the small consciousness that we have. When I say “to be a Being,” I mean to lose unconsciousness and to be totally conscious.

As we are, only a part is conscious – only a very small fragment of the Being is conscious – and the remaining whole continent is just dark. A small island is conscious, and the whole continent, the mainland, is under darkness. When this small island also becomes dark, you have regressed, you have fallen back. This ignorance is blissful because now you are not aware of the problems. Problems are there, but you are not aware. So at least for you it appears there are no problems.

This is the ostrich method: close your eyes, and your enemy is not there because when you cannot see – this childish, juvenile logic says that when you cannot see something – it is not: unless you see something it is not. So if you cannot feel problems they are not there!

When I say “to be a Being,” to transcend humanity, to become Divine, I mean to be totally conscious – to be not only an island, but the whole continent. This awareness will also lead you beyond problems because problems are there basically because of you. Problems are not objective realities: they are subjective phenomena. You create your problems! And unless you are transformed, you will go on creating problems. You solve one, and really, in solving that one, you will create many because you remain the same. Problems are not objective things. They are part of you. Because you are such, you create such problems.

Science tries to solve problems objectively, and science thinks that if there are no problems man will be at ease. Problems can be solved objectively, but man will not be at ease – because man himself is the problem. If he solves some problem, he will create others. He is their creator. If you give a better society, the problems will change, but problems will remain. If you give better health, better medicine, the problems will change, but problems will remain.

Quantitatively, there will be as many problems as ever because man remains the same; only the situation changes. You change the situation: old problems will not be there, but there will be new problems. And new problems are more problematic than any old problems because you have become accustomed to old problems. With new problems you feel more inconvenience. That is why, in our times, we have changed our whole situation, but problems are there – more fatal, more anxiety creating.

That is the difference between religion and science. Science thinks problems are objective, from outside somewhere – that they can be changed without changing you. Religion thinks problems are here inside, in me – rather, that I am the problem. Unless I change, nothing is going to be different. Shapes will be different, names will be different, but the substance will remain the same. I will create another world of problems; I will go on projecting new problems.

This man, unconscious to his own being, unaware of himself, is the creator of problems. Not knowing who he is, what he is, without any acquaintance with himself, he goes on creating problems – because unless you know yourself you cannot know for what you are existing and living, you cannot know where you have to move, you cannot feel what your destiny is, and you can never feel any meaning. You will go on doing many things, but everything will ultimately lead you to frustration – because if you do anything without knowing why you are, for what you are, it is not going to give you a deep contentment. It is irrelevant. The very point is missed, your effort is wasted.

And, ultimately, everyone is frustrated. Those who succeed are more frustrated than those who are not successful because those who are not successful can still hope. But those who are successful cannot even hope. Their case becomes hopeless. So I say nothing fails like success.

Religion thinks in terms of subjectivity, science in terms of objectivity: “Change the situation; do not touch the man.” Religion says, “Change the man; the situation is irrelevant.” Whatsoever the situation, a different mind, a transformed being, will be beyond problems. That is why a Buddha can exist in absolute peace as a beggar, and a Midas cannot live at peace even when he has the alchemical miracle with him: whatsoever he touches becomes gold. The situation with Midas has become golden; everything he touches becomes gold. But this doesn’t change anything. Rather, Midas is in a more complicated problematic situation.

Now our world has created, through science, a Midas situation. Now we can touch anything and it becomes gold. A Buddha living as a beggar lives, in such a deep peace and silence that emperors become jealous of him. What is the secret? The emphasis on man – the inside of man – is significant, not the situation. So you must change the inside of man. And there is only one change: if you grow in your awareness, you change, you mutate. If you fall down in your awareness, again you change, you mutate. But if your awareness is lessened, you fall down toward animals. If your awareness is increased, you move up toward the gods.

This is the only problem for religion: how to increase awareness. That is why religions have always been against drugs. The reason is not moral or ethical – no! And the so-called moralist puritans have given a very wrong color to the whole thing. For religions, it is not a question of morality that someone takes drugs. It is not a question of morality at all because morality only begins when I come in contact with someone else.

If I take alcohol and become unconscious, it is no one else’s affair. I am doing something with myself. Violence is a question for morality, not alcohol. Even if I give you a promise to meet you at a particular time and I miss it, it is immoral because somebody else is involved. Alcohol can become a moral question only if someone else is involved, otherwise it is not a moral question at all. It is something you do with yourself. For religions it is not a question of morality at all. For religions it is a deeper question: it is a question of increasing or decreasing awareness.

Once you have the habit of falling down into unconsciousness, it will be more and more difficult to increase your awareness. It will become more and more difficult because your body will not support you in increasing awareness. It will support you in decreasing it. The very metabolism of your body will help you to be unconscious. It will not help you to be conscious. And anything that becomes a barrier in being more aware is a religious problem, not a moral problem.

So sometimes it happens that you may find an alcoholic to be a more moral person than a nonalcoholic, but never a more religious person. An alcoholic may be more compassionate than a nonalcoholic; he may be more loving than a non-alcoholic, he may be more honest, but never more religious. And when I say “never more religious,” I mean never a more aware and conscious person.

This growth into awareness creates anguish. […]

You can feel more life, you can be more blissful, but you will become aware of death. You will be more blissful, but in the same proportion you will have to suffer anguish.

This is the problem, this is what man is – a deep anguish, a deep division between two polarities. You can feel life, but when death is there everything is poisoned. When death is there, every moment everything is poisoned. How can you be alive when death is there? How can you feel blissful when suffering is there?

And even if a moment of happiness comes to you, it is fleeting. And when the moment is there, even then you are aware that somewhere behind the unhappiness is there, misery is there, hiding. It will come up soon – sooner or later. So even a moment of happiness is poisoned by your consciousness that somewhere unhappiness is hidden, is coming near. It is just by the corner, and you will have to meet it.

Man becomes conscious of the future, conscious of the past, conscious of life, conscious of death. Kierkegaard has called this consciousness “anguish.” You can fall back, but that is a temporary measure. Again you will come up. So the only possibility is to grow – to grow in knowledge to a point from where you can jump out of it, because the jump is possible only from the extremes. One extreme we have: to fall back. We can do it, but it is impossible because we cannot remain in it. We are thrown forward again and again. The other possibility is that if we grow in awareness, there is a point when you are totally aware, where you transcend. […]

This sutra is concerned with awareness: “To create the fire of awareness in oneself is the incense” – to create the fire of awareness in oneself! First it must be understood what is meant by awareness. You are walking; you are aware of many things: of the shops, of people passing by you, of the traffic, of everything. You are aware of many things, only unaware of one thing: yourself. You are walking on the street: you are aware of many things; you are only not aware of yourself! This awareness of the self, Gurdjieff has called “self-remembering.” Gurdjieff says, “Constantly, wherever you are, remember yourself.”

For example, you are here. You are listening to me, but you are not aware of the listener. You may be aware of the speaker, but you are not aware of the listener. Be aware of the listener. Feel yourself here; you are here. For a moment a glimpse comes, and again you forget. Try!

Whatsoever you are doing, go on doing one thing inside continuously: be aware of yourself doing it. You are eating: be aware of yourself. You are walking: be aware of yourself. You are listening, you are speaking: be aware of yourself. When you are angry, be aware that you are angry. In the very moment that anger is there, be aware that you are angry. This constant remembering of the self creates a subtle energy – a very subtle energy in you. You begin to be a crystallized being.

Ordinarily, you are just a loose bag. No crystallization, no center really – just a liquidity, just a loose combination of many things without any center – a crowd, constantly shifting and changing, with no master inside. By awareness is meant be a master! And when I say, “Be a master,” I do not mean to be a controller. When I say, “Be a master,” I mean be a presence – a continuous presence. Whatsoever you are doing or not doing, one thing must be constantly in your consciousness: that you are.

This simple feeling of oneself, that one is, creates a center – a center of stillness, a center of silence, a center of inner mastery – an inner power. And when I say, “an inner power,” I mean it literally. That is why this sutra says, “the fire of awareness.” It is a fire. It is a fire! If you begin to be aware, you begin to feel a new energy in you – a new fire, a new life. And because of this new life, new power, new energy, many things which were dominating you just dissolve. You have not to fight with them.

You have to fight with your anger, your greed, your sex, because you are weak. So, really, greed, anger and sex are not the problems. Weakness is the problem. Once you begin to be stronger inside, with a feeling of inner presence that you are, your energies become concentrated, crystallized on a single point, and a Self is born. Remember, not an ego but a Self is born. Ego is a false sense of Self. Without having any Self, you go on believing that you have a Self. That is ego. Ego means a false self. You are not a Self, and still you believe that you are a Self. […]

Ego is a false notion of something which is not there at all.

“Self” means a center.

This center is created by being continuously aware, constantly aware. Be aware that you are doing something – that you are sitting, that now you are going to sleep, that now sleep is coming to you, that you are falling. Try to be conscious in every moment, and then you will begin to feel that a center is born within you, things have begun to crystallize, a centering is there. Everything now is related to a center.

We are without centers. Sometimes we feel centered, but those are moments when a situation makes you aware. If there is suddenly a situation, a very dangerous situation, you will begin to feel a center in you because in danger you become aware. If someone is going to kill you, you cannot think in that moment, you cannot be unconscious in that moment. Your whole energy is centered, and that moment becomes solid. You cannot move to the past; you cannot move to the future. This very moment becomes everything. And then you are not only aware of the killer: you become aware of yourself – the one who is being killed.

In that subtle moment you begin to feel a center in yourself. That is why dangerous games have their appeal. Ask someone going to the top of Gourishanker, of Mount Everest. When for the first time Hillary was there, he must have felt a sudden center. And when for the first time someone was on the moon, a sudden feeling of a center must have come. That is why danger has appeal. You are driving a car and you go on to more and more speed, and then the speed becomes dangerous. Then you cannot think; thoughts cease. Then you cannot dream. Then you cannot imagine. Then the present becomes solid. In that dangerous moment, when any instant death is possible, you are suddenly aware of a center in yourself. Danger has appeal only because in danger you sometimes feel centered.

Nietzsche somewhere says that war must continue because only in war is a Self sometimes felt – a center is felt – because war is danger. And when death becomes a reality, life becomes intense. When death is just near, life becomes intense, and you are centered. But in any moment when you become aware of yourself, there is a centering. But if it is situational, then when the situation is over it will disappear.

It must not be just situational. It must be inner. So try to be aware in every ordinary activity. When sitting on your chair, try it: be aware of the sitter. Not only of the chair, not only of the room, of the surrounding atmosphere, be aware of the sitter. Close your eyes and feel yourself; dig deep and feel yourself. […]

Lin-chi was lecturing one morning, and someone suddenly asked, “Just answer me one question: Who am I?”

Lin-chi got down and went to the man. The whole hall became silent. What was he going to do? It was a simple question. He should have answered from his seat. He reached the man. The whole hall was silent. Lin-chi stood before the questioner looking into his eyes. It was a very penetrating moment. Everything stopped. The questioner began to perspire. Lin-chi was just staring into his eyes.

And then Lin-chi said, “Do not ask me. Go inside and find out who is asking. Close your eyes. Do not ask, ‘Who am I?’ Go inside and find out who is asking, who is this questioner inside. Forget me. Find out the source of the question. Go deep inside!”

And it is reported that the man closed his eyes, became silent and suddenly he was an Enlightened One. He opened his eyes, laughed, touched the feet of Lin-chi and said, “You have answered me. I have been asking everyone this question and many answers were given to me, but nothing proved to be an answer. But you have answered me.”

“Who am I?” How can anyone answer it?

But in that particular situation – a thousand persons silent, a pin-drop silence – Lin-chi came down with strained eyes and then just ordered the man, “Close your eyes, go inside and find out who the questioner is. Do not wait for my answer. Find out who has asked.”

And the man closed his eyes. What happened in that situation? He became centered. Suddenly he was centered, suddenly he became aware of the innermost core.

This has to be discovered, and awareness means the method to discover this innermost core. The more unconscious you are, the further away you are from yourself. The more conscious, the nearer you reach to yourself. If the consciousness is total, you are at the center. If the consciousness is less, you are near the periphery. When you are unconscious, you are on the periphery where the center is completely forgotten.

So these are the two possible ways to move. You can move to the periphery; then you move to unconsciousness. Sitting at a film, sitting somewhere listening to music, you can forget yourself; then you are on the periphery. Even listening to me, you can forget yourself. Then again you are on the periphery. Reading the Gita or the Bible or the Koran, you can forget yourself. Then you are on the periphery. Whatsoever you do, if you can remember yourself then you are nearer to the center. Then someday, suddenly you are centered. Then you have energy.

That energy, this sutra says, is the fire. The whole life, the whole existence, is energy, is fire. Fire is the old name; now they call it electricity. Man has been labelling it with many, many names, but fire is good. Electricity seems a little bit dead; fire looks more alive.

This inner fire, the sutra says, is the incense. When someone is going to worship, you take some incense, dhoop, with you. That dhoop, that incense, is useless unless you have come with your inner fire as the incense.

This Upanishad is trying to give inner meanings to outer symbols. Every symbol has an inner counterpart. The outer is good in itself, but it is not enough. And it is only symbolic; it is not the substance. It shows something, but it is not the real. You must have seen incense. It is burning everywhere in temples. It is good in itself, but it is only an outer symbol. An inner fire is needed. And just as incense gives a perfume, the inner fire also gives it.

It is said that wherever Mahavir moved, everyone would feel his presence as a subtle perfume. That has been said about many persons. It is possible! The more you are centered inside, the more your whole presence becomes a perfume. And those who have the receptivity, they will feel it.

So enter a temple, not with outer incense, but with inner incense. And this inner incense can be achieved only through awareness. There is no other way. Act mindfully. It is a long, arduous journey and it is difficult to be aware even for a single moment. The mind is constantly flickering. But it is not impossible. It is arduous, it is difficult, but it is not impossible. It is possible! For everyone it is possible. Only effort is needed – and a wholehearted effort. Nothing should be left: nothing should be left inside untouched. Everything should be sacrificed for awareness. Only then is the inner flame discovered. It is there.

If one goes to find out the essential unity between all the religions that have existed or that may exist ever, then this single word “awareness” can be found.

Jesus tells a story:

A master of a big house has gone out, and he has told his servants to be constantly alert – because any moment he can come back. So for twenty-four hours they have to be alert. Any moment the master can come – any moment! There is no fixed moment, no fixed day, no fixed date. If there is a fixed date, then you can sleep, then you can do whatsoever you like, and you can be alert only on that particular date because then the master is coming. But the master has said, “I will come at any moment. Day and night you have to be alert to receive me.”

This is the parable of life. You cannot postpone. Any moment the Divine may just come; any moment the master may come. One has to be alert continuously. No date is fixed; nothing is known about when that sudden happening will be there. One can do only one thing: be alert and wait!

Rabindranath has written a poem, “The King of the Night.” It is a very deep parable.

There was a great temple with one hundred priests, and one day the chief priest dreamt that the Divine Guest was to come that night – the Divine Guest for whom they had been waiting and waiting. For centuries the temple had been waiting for the King to come, the Divine King to come. The deity of the temple was to come!

But the chief priest was in doubt: “It may be just a dream. And if it is just a dream, then everyone will laugh. But who knows? – it may be true. It may be a true intimation.”

The chief priest brooded that morning over whether to tell it to others or not. Then he became afraid. It may be time! So, then, in the afternoon, he told it. He gathered all the priests, closed all the doors of the temple, and said to them, “Do not go out and do not tell anyone! It may be just a dream; no one knows. But I have dreamt it, and the dream was so real. In the dream, the deity, the King of this temple, said, ‘I am coming tonight. Be ready!’ So we have to be alert. This night we cannot go to sleep.”

So they decorated the whole temple; they cleaned the whole temple; they made every arrangement to receive the Guest. And then they waited. Then, by and by, doubts began to arise. Then someone said, “This is nonsense. This was just a dream, and we are wasting our sleep.”

Half the night passed, then more doubts began to arise. Then someone rebelled and said, “I am going to sleep. This is nonsense. The whole day is wasted, and still we are waiting. No one is to come!” Then many supported him. Many laughed: “It is just a dream, so why pay so much attention to it!”

Then even the chief priest yielded and said, “It may have been just a dream. How can I say that it was real? We may be just stupid, foolish, just following a dream.”

So they said, “Only one person should wait at the gate and all the rest can go to sleep. If someone comes, he will inform us.”

Ninety-nine priests went to sleep, and the only priest who was appointed said, “When ninety-nine think that this is just a dream, why should I waste my sleep? And if the Divine Guest is to come, let him come. He will come in a great chariot, so there will be much noise, and everyone will be awakened.” He closed the doors, then he also fell asleep.

Then the chariot came, and the wheels of the chariot created much noise. Then someone who had been asleep said, “It seems the King is coming. It seems the wheels of the chariot are making much noise.” Someone else who was just going to sleep said, “Do not waste time; no one is coming. This is not the chariot. These are just clouds in the sky.”

And then the Guest came and knocked at the door. Someone again said, in his sleep, “It seems someone has come and is knocking at the door.”

So the chief priest himself said, “Now go to sleep. Do not go on disturbing again and again. No one is knocking at the door. It is just the wind.”

In the morning they were weeping and crying because the chariot had come in the night. There were marks on the street and the Divine Guest had come up to the door and knocked. There were footmarks on the dust, on the steps.

There are many parables. Buddha and Mahavir have told many stories with only one essential idea – that Enlightenment is at any time, at any moment, possible. It can happen any moment. One has to be alert and conscious and aware.

This parable of “The King of the Night” is not just a parable. It is real. We all are interpreting things in that way, and all our interpretations are just rationalizations of our sleep and for our sleep. We say, “It is nothing but the wind, it is nothing but the clouds.” Then we can sleep at ease. We go on denying religion, we go on denying anything that will break our sleep. We rationalize that there is no God, that there is no religion, that there is nothing – nothing but wind, nothing but clouds. Then we can sleep at ease, comfortably.

If there is a God, if there is Divinity, if there is a possibility of something higher than we are, then we cannot sleep so conveniently. Then we will have to be alert and awake and struggling, making efforts and endeavoring. Then transformation becomes our immediate concern.

Awareness is the technique for centering oneself, for achieving the inner fire. It is there hidden; it can be discovered. And once it is discovered, then only are we capable of entering the temple – not before, never before.

But we can deceive ourselves by symbols. Symbols are to show deeper realities to us, but we can use them as deceptions. We can burn an outer incense, we can worship with outer things, and then we feel at ease that we have done something. We can feel ourselves religious without becoming religious at all. That is what is happening; that is what the earth has become. Everyone thinks they are religious just because they are following outer symbols, with no inner fire.

Make efforts even if you are a failure. You will be in the beginning. You will fail again and again, but even your failure will help. When you fail to be aware for a single moment, you feel for the first time how unconscious you are.

Walk down the street, and you cannot walk a few steps without becoming unconscious. Again and again, you forget yourself. You begin to read a signboard, and you forget yourself. Someone passes, you look at him, then you forget yourself.

Your failures will be helpful. They can show you how unconscious you are. And even if you can become aware that you are unconscious, you have gained a certain awareness. If a madman becomes aware that he is mad, he is on the path toward sanity.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.2 #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Light of Awareness – Osho

We feel that to penetrate and transform the deeper layers of the unconscious only through awareness is difficult and not enough. What else should one do other than the practice of awareness? Please explain more about the practical dimensions of this matter.

The unconscious can be transformed only through awareness. It is difficult, but there is no other way. There are many methods for being aware, but awareness is necessary. You can use methods to be aware, but you will have to be aware.

If someone asks whether there is any method to dispel darkness except by light, howsoever difficult it may be, that is the only way – because darkness is simply the absence of light. So you have to create the presence of light, and then darkness is not there.

Unconsciousness is nothing but an absence – the absence of consciousness. It is not something positive in itself, so you cannot do anything except be aware. If unconsciousness were something in its own right, then it would be a different matter – but it is not. Unconsciousness doesn’t mean something; it only means not consciousness. It is just an absence. It has no existence in itself; in itself it is not. The word “unconscious” simply shows the absence of consciousness and nothing else. When we say “darkness” the word is misleading, because the moment we say “darkness” it appears that darkness is something that is there. It is not, so you cannot do anything with darkness directly – or can you?

You may not have observed the fact, but with darkness you cannot do anything directly. Whatsoever you want to do with darkness you will have to do with light, not with darkness. If you want darkness, then put off light. If you don’t want darkness, then put on light. But you cannot do anything directly with darkness; you will have to go via light.

Why? Why can you not go directly? You cannot go directly because there is nothing like darkness, so you cannot touch it directly. You have to do something with light, and then you have done something with darkness.

If light is there, then darkness is not there. If light is not there, then darkness is there. You can bring light into this room, but you cannot bring darkness. You can take light out from this room, but you cannot take darkness out from this room. There exists no connection between you and darkness. Why? If darkness were there, then man could be related somehow, but darkness is not there.

Language gives you a fallacy that darkness is something. Darkness is a negative term. It exists not. It connotes only that light is not there – nothing more – and the same is with unconsciousness. So when you ask what to do other than to be aware, you ask an irrelevant question. You will have to be aware; you cannot do anything else.

Of course, there are many methods for being aware – mm? – that is a different thing. There are many ways to create light – but light will have to be created. You can create a fire and there will be no darkness. And you can use a kerosene lamp and there will be no darkness, and you can use electricity and there will be no darkness. But whatsoever the case, whatsoever the method of producing light, light has to be produced.

So light is a must, and whatsoever I will say in reference to this question will be about methods to produce awareness. They are not alternatives, remember. They are not alternatives to awareness – nothing can be. Awareness is the only possibility for dispelling darkness, for dispelling unconsciousness. But how to create awareness? I talked about one method which is the purest: to be aware inside of whatsoever happens on the boundary line of the unconscious and of the conscious – to be aware there.

Anger is there. Anger is produced in darkness; anger has roots in the unconscious. Only branches and leaves come into the conscious. Roots, seeds, the energy source, are in the unconscious. You become aware only of faraway branches. Be conscious of these branches. The more conscious you are, the more you will be capable of looking into darkness.

Have you observed at any time that if you look deeply in darkness for a certain time, a certain dim light begins to be there? If you concentrate in darkness, you begin to feel and you begin to see. You can train yourself, and then in darkness itself there is a certain amount of light – because, really, in this world nothing can be absolute, and nothing is. Everything is relative. When we say “darkness,” it doesn’t mean absolute darkness. It only means that there is less light. If you practice to see in it, you will be capable of seeing. Look! Focus yourself in the darkness! And then, by and by, your eyes are strengthened and you begin to see.

Inner darkness, unconsciousness, is the same. Look into it. But you can look only if you are not active. If you begin to act, your mind is distracted. Don’t act inside. Anger is there – don’t act, don’t condemn, don’t appreciate, don’t indulge in it, and don’t suppress it. Don’t do anything – just look at it! Observe it! Understand the distinction.

What happens ordinarily is quite the reverse. If you are angry, then your mind is focused on the cause of anger outside – always! Someone has insulted you – you are angry. Now there are three things: the cause of anger outside, the source of anger inside, and in between these two you are. Anger is your energy inside, the cause which has provoked your energy to come up is outside, and you are in between. The natural way of the mind is not to be aware of the source, but to be focused on the cause outside. Whenever you are angry you are in deep concentration on the cause outside.

Mahavir has called krodha – anger – a sort of meditation. He has named it roudra dhyan – meditation on negative attitudes. It is! – because you are concentrated. Really, when you are in deep anger you are so concentrated that the whole world disappears. Only the cause of anger is focused. Your total energy is on the cause of anger, and you are so much focused on the cause that you forget yourself completely. That’s why in anger you can do things about which, later on, you can say, “I did them in spite of myself.” You were not.

For awareness you have to take an about-turn. You have to concentrate not on the cause outside, but on the source inside. Forget the cause. Close your eyes, and go deep and dig into the source. Then you can use the same energy which was to be wasted on someone outside . . . the energy moves inwards. Anger has much energy. Anger is energy, the purest of fires inside. Don’t waste it outside.

Take another example. You are feeling sexual: sex is again energy, fire. But whenever you feel sexual, again you are focused on someone outside, not on the source. You begin to think of someone – of the lover, of the beloved, A-B-C-D – but when you are filled with sex your focus is always on the other. You are dissipating energy. [. . .]

Science is more concerned with the cause and religion is more concerned with the source. The source is always inside; the cause is always outside. With cause you are in a chain reaction. With cause you are connected with your environment. With source you are connected with yourself. So remember this. This is the purest method to change unconscious energy into conscious energy. Take an about-turn – look inside! It is going to be difficult because our look has become fixed. We are like a person whose neck is paralyzed and who cannot move and look back. Our eyes have become fixed. We have been looking outside for lives together – for millennia – so we don’t know how to look inside.

Do this: whenever something happens in your mind, follow it to the source. Anger is there – a sudden flash has come to you – close your eyes, meditate on it. From where is this anger arising? Never ask the question: who has made it possible? Who has made you angry? That is a wrong question. Ask which energy in you is transforming into anger – from where is this anger coming up, bubbling up? What is the source inside from where this energy is coming?

Are you aware that in anger you can do something which you cannot do when you are not in anger? A person in anger can throw a big stone easily. When he is not angry he cannot even lift it. He has much energy when he is angry. A hidden source is now with him. So if a man is mad, he becomes very strong. Why? From where is this energy coming? It is not coming from anything outside. Now all his sources are burning simultaneously – anger, sex, everything, is burning simultaneously. Every source is available.

Be concerned with from where anger is bubbling up, from where the sex desire has come in. Follow it, take steps backwards. Meditate silently and go with anger to the roots. It is difficult but it is not impossible. It is not easy. It is not going to be easy because it is a fight against a long, rooted habit. The whole past has to be broken, and you have to do something new which you have never done before. It is just the weight of sheer habit which will create the difficulty. But try it, and then you are creating a new direction for energy to move. You are beginning to be a circle, and in a circle energy is never dissipated.

My energy comes up and moves outside – it can never become a circle now – it is simply dissipated. If my movement inwards is there, then the same energy which was going out turns upon itself. My meditation leads this energy back to the same source from where the anger was coming. It becomes a circle. This inner circle is the strength of a Mahavir. The sex energy, not moving to someone else, moves back to its own source. This circle of sex energy is the strength of a buddha.

We are weaklings, not because we have less energy than a buddha: we have the same quanta of energy, everyone is born with the same energy quanta, but we are accustomed to dissipating it. It simply moves away from us and never comes back. It cannot come back! Once it is out of you, it can never come back – it is beyond you.

A word arises in me: I speak it out; it has flown away. It is not going to come back to me, and the energy that was used in producing it, that was used in throwing it away, is dissipated. A word arises in me: I don’t throw it out; I remain silent. Then the word moves and moves and moves, and falls into the original source again. The energy has been reconsumed.

Silence is energy. Brahmacharya is energy. Not to be angry is energy. But this is not suppression. If you suppress anger, you have used energy again. Don’t suppress – observe and follow. Don’t fight – just move backwards with the anger. This is the purest method of awareness.

But certain other things can be used. For beginners, certain devices are possible. So I will talk about three devices. One type of device is based on body awareness. Forget anger, forget sex – they are difficult problems. And when you are in them, you become so mad that you cannot meditate. When you are angry you cannot meditate; you cannot even think about meditation. You are just mad. So forget it; it is difficult. Then use your own body as a device for awareness.

Buddha has said that when you walk, walk consciously. When you breathe, breathe consciously. The Buddhist method is known as anapanasati yoga – the yoga of the incoming and outgoing breath, incoming and outgoing breath awareness. The breath comes in: move with the breath; know, be aware, that the breath is moving in. When the breath has gone out again, move with it. Be in, be out, with the breath.

Anger is difficult, sex is difficult – breath is not so difficult. Move with the breath. Don’t allow any breath to be in or out without consciousness. This is a meditation. Now you will be focused on breathing, and when you are focused on breathing thoughts stop automatically. You cannot think, because the moment you think your consciousness moves from breath to thought. You have missed breathing.

Try this and you will know. When you are aware of breathing, thoughts cease. The same energy which is used for thoughts is being used in being aware of breath. If you start thinking, you will lose track of the breath, you will forget, and you will think. You cannot do both simultaneously.

If you are following breathing, it is a long process. One has to go into it deeply. It takes a minimum of three months and a maximum of three years. If it is done continuously twenty-four hours a day . . . it is a method for monks, those who have given up everything; only they can watch their breathing twenty-four hours a day. That’s why Buddhist monks and other traditions of monks, they reduce their living to the minimum so that no disturbance is there. They will beg for their food and they will sleep under a tree – that’s all. Their whole time is devoted to some inner practice of being aware – mm? – for example, of breath.

A Buddhist monk moves. He has to be continuously aware of his breath. The silence that you see on a Buddhist monk’s face is the silence of the awareness of breathing and nothing else. If you become aware your face will become silent, because if thoughts are not there your face cannot show anxiety, thinking. Your face becomes relaxed. Continuous awareness of breathing will stop the mind. The continuously troubled mind will stop. And if the mind stops and you are simply aware of breathing – if the mind is not functioning – you cannot be angry, you cannot be sexual.

Sex or anger or greed or jealousy or envy – anything needs the mechanism of mind. And if the mechanism stops, you cannot do anything. This again leads to the same thing. Now the energy that is used in sex, in anger, in greed, in ambition, has no outlet. And you go on continuously being concerned with breathing, day and night. Buddha has said, “Even in sleep try to be aware of breathing.” It will be difficult in the beginning, but if you can be aware in the day, then by and by this will penetrate into your sleep.

Anything penetrates into sleep if it has gone deep in the mind in the day. If you have been worried about a certain thing in the day, it gets into the sleep. If you were thinking continuously about sex, it gets into the sleep. If you were angry the whole day, anger gets into the sleep. So Buddha says there is no difficulty. If a person is continuously concerned with breathing and awareness of the breathing, ultimately it penetrates into the sleep. You cannot dream then. If your awareness is there of incoming breath and outgoing breath, then in sleep you cannot dream.

The moment you dream, this awareness will not be there. If awareness is there, dreams are impossible. So a Buddhist monk asleep is not just like you. His sleep has a different quality. It has a different depth and a certain awareness in it is there.

Ananda said to Buddha, “I have observed you for years and years together. It seems like a miracle: you sleep as if you are awake. You are in the same posture the whole night.” The hand would not move from the place where it had been put; the leg would remain in the same posture. Buddha would sleep in the same posture the whole night. Not a single movement! For nights together Ananda would sit and watch and wonder, “What type of sleep is this!” Buddha would not move. He would be as if a dead body, and he would wake up in the same posture in which he went to sleep. Ananda asked, “What are you doing? Were you asleep or not? You never move!”

Buddha said, “A day will come, Ananda, when you will know. This shows that you are not practicing anapanasati yoga rightly; it shows only this. Otherwise, this question would not have arisen. You are not practicing anapanasati yoga if you are continuously aware of your breath in the day, it is impossible not to be conscious of it in the night. And if the mind is concerned with awareness, dreams cannot penetrate. And if there are no dreams, mind is clear, transparent. Your body is asleep, but you are not. Your body is relaxing, you are aware – the flame is there inside. So, Ananda,” Buddha is reported to have said, “I am not asleep – only the body is sleep. I am aware! and not only in sleep. Ananda – when I die, you will see: I will be aware, only the body will die.”

Practice awareness with breathing; then you will be capable of penetrating. Or practice awareness with body movements. Buddha has a word for it: he calls it “mindfulness.” He says, “Walk mindfully.” We walk without any mind in it.

A certain man was sitting before Buddha when he was talking one day. He was moving his leg and a toe unnecessarily. There was no reason for it. Buddha stopped talking and asked that man, “Why are you moving your leg? Why are you moving your toe?” Suddenly, as the Buddha asked, the man stopped. Then Buddha asked, “Why have you stopped so suddenly?”

The man said, “Why, I was not even aware that I was moving my toe or my leg! I was not aware! The moment you asked, I became aware.”

Buddha said, “What nonsense! Your leg is moving and you are not aware? So what are you doing with your body? Are you an alive man or dead? This is your leg, this is your toe, and it goes on moving and you are not even aware? Then of what are you aware? You can kill a man and you can say, ‘I was not aware.’” And, really, those who kill are not aware. It is difficult to kill someone when you are aware.

Buddha would say, “Move, walk, but be filled with consciousness. Know inwardly you are walking.” You are not to use any words; you are not to use any thoughts. You are not to say inside, “I am walking,” because if you say it then you are not aware of walking – you have become aware of your thought, and you have missed walking. Just be somatically aware – not mentally. Just feel that you are walking. Create a somatic awareness, a sensitivity, so that you can feel directly without mind coming in.

The wind is blowing – you are feeling it. Don’t use words. Just feel, and be mindful of the feeling. You are lying down on the beach, and the sand is cool, deeply cool. Feel it! – don’t use words. Just feel it – the coolness of it, the penetrating coolness of it. Just feel! Be conscious of it; don’t use words. Don’t say, “The sand is very cool.” The moment you say it you have missed an existential moment. You have become intellectual about it.

You are with your lover or with your beloved: feel the presence; don’t use words. Just feel the warmth, the love flowing. Just feel the oneness that has happened. Don’t use words. Don’t say, “I love you,” you will have destroyed it. The mind has come in. And the moment you say, “I love you,” it has become a past memory. Just feel without words. Anything felt without words, felt totally without the mind coming in, will give you a mindfulness.

You are eating: eat mindfully; taste everything mindfully. Don’t use words. The taste is itself such a great and penetrating thing. Don’t use words and don’t destroy it. Feel it to the core. You are drinking water: feel it passing through the throat; don’t use words. Just feel it; be mindful about it. The movement of the water, the coolness, the disappearing thirst, the satisfaction that follows – feel it!

You are sitting in the sun: feel the warmth; don’t use words. The sun is touching you. There is a deep communion. Feel it! In this way, somatic awareness, bodily awareness, is developed. If you develop a bodily awareness, again mind comes to a stop. Mind is not needed. And if mind stops, you are again thrown into the deep unconscious. With a very, very deep alertness you can penetrate. Now you have a light with you, and the darkness disappears.

Those who are bodily oriented, for them it is good to be somatically mindful. For those who are not bodily oriented it is better to be conscious of breathing. Those who feel it difficult, they can use some artificial devices. For example, mantra – mm? – it is an artificial device for being aware. You use a mantra such as “Rama-Rama-Rama” continuously. Inside you create a circle of “Rama-Rama-Rama” or “Aum” or “Allah,” or anything. Go on repeating it. But simple repetition is of no use. Side by side, be aware. When you are chanting “Rama-Rama-Rama,” be aware of the chanting. Listen to it – “Rama-Rama-Rama” – be aware.

It will be difficult to be aware of anger because anger comes suddenly and you cannot plan it. And when it comes you are so overwhelmed that you may forget it. So create a device like “Rama-Rama- Rama.” You can create it, and it will not be a sudden method. And if used for a long time, it becomes an inner sound. Whatsoever you are doing, there will be “Rama-Rama” as a silent sequence. Be aware of it. Then the mantra is complete, the japa is complete, the chanting is complete, when you are not only the creator of the sound but also the listener. It is not only that you are saying “Rama” – you are also listening to it. The circle is complete. I say something. You listen; the energy is dissipated. If you yourself say “Rama” and you yourself listen to it, the energy comes back. You are the speaker, you are the listener.

But be aware of it. It should not become a dead routine. Otherwise, you can go on saying “Rama- Rama-Rama” just like a parrot, without any awareness behind it. Then it is of no use. It may create a deep sleep even. It may become a hypnosis. You may become dull. Mm? Krishnamurti says that those who chant mantras, they become dull, they become stupid. And he is right in a way, but only in a way. If you use any chanting just as a mechanical repetition, you will become dull. Look at the so-called religious people: they are just dull and stupid. No intelligence, no flame in their eyes of life, of aliveness. They just look dead, like lead, heavy. They have not given anything to the world, they have not created anything. They have just repeated mantras.

Of course, if you go on repeating a particular mantra without awareness, you will be bored by it yourself, and boredom will create stupidity. You will become dull; you will lose interest. A certain sound repeated continuously can even create madness. But Krishnamurti is right only in a sense; otherwise he is completely totally wrong. And whenever one judges something by those who are not following it, really that judgement is not good. Anything must be judged by the perfect example.

The science of japa is not just to repeat. Repetition is secondary. It is just a device to create something of which to be aware. The real thing is to be aware. The basic thing is to be aware. If you build a house, the house is secondary. You build it to live in. And if there is no living, and you create a house and live outside, then you are foolish.

Repetition of a certain name or sound is creating a house to live in. It is creating a certain milieu inside. And if you have created it, you can manipulate it more easily than sudden happenings. And by and by you can become accustomed to it, related to it in a deep consciousness – but the real thing, the basic thing, is to be conscious of it.

The science of japa says that when you become a hearer of your own sound, then you have reached. Then you have completed the japa. And there is much in it. When you see a sound, for example, “Rama,” your peripheral apparatus is used in creating it, your vocal apparatus. Or it you create a mental sound, then your mind is used to create it. But when you become alert about it, that alertness is of the center, not of the periphery. If I say “Rama,” this is on the periphery of my being. When I listen to this sound “Rama” inside, that is from my center – because awareness belongs to the center. If you become aware in the center, now you have the light with you. You can dispel unconsciousness.

Mantra can be used as a technique; there are many, many methods. But any method is just an effort towards awareness. You cannot escape awareness. You can start from wherever you like, but awareness is the goal. [. . . .]

These are all methods of will: you will have to do something.

On the path of will, there are only guides. There are not really Gurus, Masters. There are simply guides. They instruct you; you have to do everything. They cannot do. [. . . .]

The last dying words of Buddha to Ananda are, “Ananda, be a lamp unto yourself. Don’t follow me: appa deepo bhava – Be a lamp unto yourself! Don’t follow me.” Ananda was following Buddha continuously for forty years. It was not a small period. For his whole life Ananda had followed devotedly, and no one could say that his devotion was imperfect in any way or incomplete. It was total. But Ananda, the most devoted follower, could not achieve Enlightenment, and the death of Buddha was nearing.

One day Buddha said, “Now, today I am going to leave this body.”

So Ananda began to weep and said, “What will I do now? For forty years I have been following you in every single detail.”

Even Buddha could not say, “You have not followed and that’s why you have not reached.” He had followed and he was sincere, but he was still an ignorant man.

Buddha said, “Unless I die, Ananda, it seems you will not reach.”

“Why?” Ananda asked. Buddha said, “Unless I die, you cannot return to yourself. You are too much attached to me, and I have become the barrier. You have followed me, but you have forgotten yourself completely.”

You can follow a Teacher blindly and still reach nowhere – if you are just following the Teacher according to you. Remember these words: “according to you.” Then you have not surrendered. Surrender means now you are no more there to decide. The Teacher decides. Even if the Teacher is not there, surrender to the cosmic energy. Then the cosmic energy decides. The moment you surrender, your gates are thrown open and the cosmic flood enters you from everywhere and transforms you.

Look at it this way: my house is filled with darkness. I can do two things. Either I have to create light in my house – then I will have to create it; or, I can open my doors and the sun is outside. I just open my doors, and my house becomes a host to the Divine guest, to the sun, to the rays. Then I become receptive and the darkness disappears.

On the path of will, you have to create the light. On the path of surrender, light is there – you have just to be open. But when the house is dark and when everywhere there is darkness, one fears to open doors – one fears even more. Who knows whether light will enter or whether thieves will come in? So you lock up. You close every possibility so that nothing enters in. That is the situation.

Either create light by yourself: then the darkness disappears. Or use the cosmic light: that is always there. Then open yourself! Be vulnerable! Then don’t depend on anyone. Then be ready, whatsoever happens. If you are ready no matter what may happen, then darkness itself becomes light. With that readiness, nothing can remain dark. That very readiness transforms you totally.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #18, Q1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

For a related post see Path of Will or Path of Surrender.

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The Fragrance of Awareness – Osho

Sarvatra bhavana gandhah.

The feeling of That everywhere is gandhathe only fragrance.

The Indian metaphysics divides Existence into two realms. One is “this” – that which can be pointed out; and another is “That” – that which is beyond this, which cannot be pointed out. The Sanskrit word for truth is satya. This Sanskrit word is very meaningful and very beautiful. It is a combination of two words: sat and tat. Sat means “this” and tat means “That”, satya means “this plus That is Truth”. So first we should understand what “this” is and what “That” is.

That which can be perceived, that which can be understood, that which can be comprehended, that which can be pointed out, fingered out, that which can be shown, that which can be seen – all belong to “this”. That which cannot be seen but yet is, that which cannot be comprehended but yet is, that which cannot be contemplated but yet is, belongs to “That”. So “this” means the known and the knowable, and “That” means the unknown and the unknowable. The known plus the unknown is the Truth: this plus That is satya.

So this division is very meaningful, significant. Without giving it any name, we simply call it “this” and “That”. Whatsoever science can know is this, and whatsoever science cannot know is That. Science is concerned with this, and religion is concerned with That. That’s why between science and religion there is no meeting, and there cannot be really. That meeting is in a way impossible. This cannot become That. That means all which transcends – that which is always beyond. The very beyondness is That. So they cannot have a meeting, and yet they are not separate, yet there is no gap, there is no gulf. So how to understand it?

It is like this: darkness and light never meet, yet they are not separate. Where light ends, darkness begins. There is no gap – yet they never meet, yet they never overlap. They cannot. Where light ends, darkness begins. Where light is, darkness is not. Where darkness is, light is not. They never overlap, they never meet – and yet there is no gap, there is no distance. They never meet, yet they are very near. The boundary of one is the boundary of the other also. There is really no gap at all.

The same is the phenomenon with this and That – the world, this; and the Truth, That – they never meet, they never overlap, yet there is no gap. In a way they are always meeting somewhere, because where one ends the other begins – yet there is no overlapping. Light can grow more, then the darkness will go further away, Science can know more, but whatsoever it knows becomes this. The That goes further away; it can never touch it – yet is just on the boundary. It is there just by the comer where it ends. To call it “That” means it is far away – beyond, transcending.

The this is very near; That is far away. This is known by our senses, intellect, mind. We already know it. Our knowledge, our mind, has a focus. The realm upon which this focus falls is this; the beyond is That. The Indian yogis have not even called it God, because once you use such words – God, Soul, Nirvana, moksha – it seems as if that unknown has become known to you. The word “That” shows that the unknown is still unknown. You feel it, but yet you cannot express it. Somewhere it penetrates you, but still you cannot say, “It has become my knowledge, my experience.”

Whenever someone says, “God has become my experience,” it means that he has transcended God, because that which you know has become smaller than you. Your experience can never be greater than you. Your experience is in your hand. It is something you have; it is your possession. But God can never be possessed, Truth can never be possessed – it is never in your hand. It is not something which has become a memory, it is not something you are finished with, so it is not something you can define.

You can only define a thing when you have known it totally. Then you can define and believe it. Then you can say, “This is this.” But God remains indefinable. The moment never comes when you can say, “I have known.” God never becomes an experience in this sense. It is an explosion. but it is not an experience. It is a knowing, but it is never knowledge. Remember the difference. A knowing is a growing thing; it goes on growing. Knowledge is a dead stop. When you say, “I know,” you have stopped. Now there will be no growth, now there will be no flow, now there will be no unknown dimensions, now you will not be a riverlike living experience.

Knowing means flowing – a riverlike existence. You know, but not as knowledge; not as something finished, complete, dead in your hand. You know as an opening – a constant opening to the greater, a constant opening to the sea, a constant opening to the transcending. Knowing is a constant opening, knowledge is a closing. So those who have felt that knowledge becomes dead have not called that experience “God”. They have not given any name to it. Any name means knowledge. When you can give a name to a certain experience, it means you have known it totally, completely. Now you can encircle it. Now you can give it a word. A word means a limitation. So the Indian wisdom says: He is That. “That” is not a word – it is an indication.

Ludwig Wittgenstein has said somewhere that there are certain things which cannot be said but which can be shown. You cannot say, but you can show, you can indicate. This word “That” is an indication. It is just a finger pointing to the beyond. It is not a word; it gives no negation. It doesn’t show that you have known – it shows that you have felt.

Knowledge has a limitation, but feeling is unlimited. And when we say “That”, we say many things more. One: it is far away. “This” means near, here. We know it: it is in our capacity to know it. “That” means far away – very far away. In one sense, That is very far away; in another sense it is nearer than the near – but it depends from where you start. We are sitting here. The nearest point is just where you are sitting: anything compared to it is away from you. But you can go and travel the whole earth and can come back to your own point – then it will be the most distant point. […]

So it depends on where we are – on the very point where we are, on the very point of consciousness where we are just now. If we can see that point and penetrate that point, then this is very far away and That is the nearest thing. But if we cannot look at the center where we are and we follow the direction of the eyes and the senses, then this is near and That is the most faraway thing. It depends. But in both the ways That transcends this. If you go in, if you reach to the center of your being, then again you transcend this that surrounds you, and That is achieved. Or, if you go out, then you will have to go on a very long journey, an infinite journey, and you can touch That only when this ends. […]

Religion says that there is no journey. There is no journey – you can find it just here and now. You can be That without going anywhere. That is here. If you miss the inside center, then you are in the this. If you can transcend this, then you will be again in That. So That is beyond this – either in or out. The beyond means the That, and not using any particular name means it is a mystery.

Metaphysics is not mathematics; it is not logic. It is a mystery. So it will be good to understand what is meant by “mystery”. It means your categories, your ordinary categories of thinking, will not do. If you go on thinking in your ordinary categories, you will go on moving around and around and around, but you will never reach the point. About and about you will move, but you will never reach the point. Logical categories are circular. You go on, you do much, you walk much, but you never reach.

The center is not on the periphery, otherwise you would have reached. If you go on round and round in a circle, you can never reach the center. If you are walking slowly, you may think, “Because I am walking slowly, that’s why I am not reaching.” You can run; still you will not reach. You can go on using any speed, but speed is irrelevant – you will not reach. The more speed, the more dizzy you will become, but you will not reach because the center is not on the circle. It is in the circle, not on the circle. You will have to leave the circle completely. You will have to drop from the periphery to the center.

Logical categories are circular. Through logic you never reach a new truth – never! Whatsoever is implied in the premises becomes apparent, but you never reach a truth. Through logic you can never come to a new experience. It is circular. The conclusion is always there. It becomes apparent, it was latent – that is the difference. But through logic you never come to realize a new phenomenon, and through logic you never come to the unknowable. The mystery can never be reached through logic because logic is anti-mystery. Logic divides and logic depends on clear-cut, solid divisions – and reality is fluid.

For example, you say a certain man is a very kind person; but this is a statement. And in the meantime, while you have been making this statement, the person who was kind may now not have been so, he may have changed. You say, “I love someone.” This is a statement. But in the very statement your love may have disappeared. In this moment you are loving, in the next moment you are angry. In this moment you are kind, in the next moment you are cruel.

In the dictionary kindness never becomes cruelty – never. But in reality, it goes on moving: kindness becomes cruelty, cruelty becomes kindness; love becomes hate, hate becomes love. In reality, things move; in dictionaries they are static. Reality is dynamic and moving. You cannot fix it. You cannot say, “Stay here!” And not only do things change – they go on to touch their very contradictions, they move to the very extreme, the other extreme. Love can become hate. It is not a simple change – it is a dialectical change. The diametrically opposite has come into existence. A friend can become a foe, but the word “friend” can never become the word “foe”. How can it become? Words are fixed.

Reason works with fixed entities and life is never fixed. You say, “This is God,” but the God may have changed into the Devil. You cannot label. In reality, labelling is futile, because while you are labelling a thing it is changing; that time is enough to change it. But logic, reason, mind, cannot work without labelling.

We can understand how love can become hate, but even more fixed categories can change. You say, “This person is man, male; that person is female, woman.” Again, these are categories, labelings. In reality this is not so. When I say that in reality this is not so, I mean you may be male in the morning and female in the evening. It depends. There are moods when you are female and there are moods when you are male. And now modern psychology says man is bisexual. Logic will never believe it. No one is man and no one is woman – everyone is both. The difference is only of degrees; it is never of quality; it is only of quantity. And degrees go on changing.

Reality cannot be labelled; nothing can be labelled. But we have to label. It is a necessity; mind cannot function without it. Without labelling mind cannot function, so mind goes on labelling things. This labelled world is known as “this” – the world that is created by labelling. And the world that exists beyond these labels is That – the unlabeled, the undefined, the uncharted.

You have a name – mm? – this is a labelling, so your name belongs to “this”. You are a man or a woman. This is labelling, so your being a man or a woman belongs to “this”. If you are finished with your labelling, then there is no That. But if you feel that you exist beyond the label; if you feel that your labelling is just on the periphery and there is a center which remains unlabeled, untouched; if you feel that even this being male or female is a labelling, this being young or old is a labelling, this being beautiful or ugly is a labelling, this being healthy or ill is a labelling – if you can feel something within you which is unlabelled, you have touched the realm of That.

So “this” is the labelled world and That is the unlabelled. “This” is the realm of the mind – categories, thinking, logic, mathematics, calculation – That is a mystery. If you try to reach it through logic you cannot reach, because logic is anti-mystery. When I say logic is anti-mystery, I mean that logic cannot function in a mysterious world. It can function only in a fixed, dead, labelled world.

Alice went to Wonderland, and she was just confused. A horse was coming and suddenly the horse changed into a cow, just as it happens in dream. You never object in dream. Have you ever objected? You see something, and suddenly it changes without any cause. The causality doesn’t exist in the
dreamworld. A horse can become a cow, and you never ask why or how this has happened. No one asks in dreams; you cannot ask. If you ask, you will come out of the dream, the sleep will be broken. But the doubt never arises.

Why? If you pass through the street and suddenly a horse becomes a cow, a dog becomes a man, your wife or your husband suddenly becomes a dog, you will not be able to take it. It will be impossible for the mind. But in the dream, you take it with no hesitation at all, with no doubt, with no questioning. Why? In the dream the logical categories are not functioning. The “why” is absent, the doubt is absent, the labelled world is absent. So, really, a horse can become a cow and there is no questioning. The horse can flow and become a cow. It is a fluid world.

So in that Wonderland, Alice was just confused. Everything flows into everything else – anything. So she asked the Queen, “What is this? Why are things changing? And how can I function here? – because nothing can be taken for granted, nothing! Anything can be anything, and in any moment it
can change. Nothing can be taken for granted, so how am I to function here?”

The Queen said, “This is an alive world. It is not dead. You are coming from a dead world; that’s why you feel the difficulty. Things are alive here, A can become B. There are no fixed categories, no categories at all. Everything is just fluid and flows into everything else. This is an alive world – you are coming from a dead world.”

We live in a dead world. That dead world is the “this”. If you can feel the live current beyond this dead world, then you have felt That. But the rishis have not given any name to it – mm? because to give it a name is again to label it. If you call it “God” you have labelled it, so God becomes part of “this”.

Shankara has said that even God is part of maya – illusion. Mm? This is inconceivable for a Christian or a Jewish mind, because God means the Supreme Reality. But for the Hindu, God has never been the Supreme Reality – because the Supreme cannot be named! The moment you name it, it is not the Supreme. You name it, and it becomes part of “this”. Hindus have struggled and tried to indicate, but never to define.

“That” is an indication. If you say it is God, you have defined it. It has come within the categories. That’s why Buddha remained silent. He would not even use the word “That”, because he said that if you use “That” it refers to “this”. Even to use “That” means a reference to “this”, and the Ultimate Reality cannot be in reference to anything. If we say it is light, it refers to darkness. It may not be darkness, but it refers to darkness, it is related to darkness. It has meaning only in reference to darkness, so it is not beyond. So Buddha remained silent. He would not even say “That”.

“That” is the last word to be used. But Buddha felt that even to use “That” is not good, so he would deny “this”, he would destroy “this”, but never assert the word “That”. He would insist, “Destroy this, and then . . .” And then what? But he would remain silent. Beyond “then”, he would remain silent. […]

Logical categories will not do because logic exists in thinking and mystery exists in non-thinking. You come in contact with mystery when there is no thought. You come in contact with mystery, all the bridges are destroyed, all the gaps are destroyed, when there is no thought. So from another dimension, “this” means the world of thinking and “That” means the world of no-thought. If you can be in a state of no-thought, you are in That. If you are in thinking, you are in this. When you are in thinking you are not in Being. When you are in thinking you are on a journey away from yourself. The deeper you go in thought, the further away you are from yourself. So a thinker is never a knower – never! A thinker is just dreaming. […]

If you are thinking, then knowing is not possible because you can do either thinking or knowing. The mind cannot do both simultaneously. Either you can think, or you can know. It is just like you can either run or you can stand; you cannot do both. If someone says, “I am standing while running,” he is saying the same absurd thing as we go on thinking and saying: “I am knowing while thinking.”

You cannot know, because knowing is a standing and thinking is a running from one thought to another. It is a process. You go on running and jumping and running and jumping. If you stand still inside, no running . . . a centering, just sitting. In Japan they call it “Za-zen”. It means just sitting. The Japanese word for meditation is “Za-zen”. It means just sitting, doing nothing – not even meditation, because if you are meditating you are doing something. The Japanese say that even if you are doing meditation, you are still doing something, you are running. Don’t even meditate – just be. Don’t do anything. Just be! If you can be without any doing, you drop into That, because thinking is this – the thought process, the labelling, the logic.

Thinking is a process of ignorance. You think because you don’t know. If you know, there is no need to think. You think because you don’t know – it is a groping in the dark. But thinking is a very tense process – most tense! And the more you are tense inside, the less you are in contact with the center. Relaxed, fall into yourself. Relaxed, just be. Relaxed, don’t go anywhere. Remain in yourself – suddenly you are in That.

This sutra says:

The feeling of That everywhere is the only fragrance.

The only Divine fragrance – the feeling of That everywhere! But how can you feel it everywhere if you have not felt it inside? If you have not felt it in yourself, how can you feel it everywhere? The feeling must come first in your center; then it goes out in waves all around you, everywhere. Once you have known that fragrance inside, you suddenly become aware it is everywhere. Then this this is just an appearance and That is hidden everywhere. So this is to be understood: unless you know it inside, you cannot know it outside; unless you come to That within, you cannot come to it without. You have to drop into That inside first, otherwise you can create a very illusory phenomenon.

Many religious persons are doing that. Without knowing the inside, you can go on thinking that That is everywhere – in the trees, in the houses, in the sky, in the stars, in the sun – everywhere. You can go on thinking – I insist, thinking – you can go on thinking That is everywhere, and you can come to a false feeling through constantly thinking that it is there everywhere. This is an imposition, a projection, and mind is capable of it. It can project. But projection will not lead to you That. Mm? – you are dreaming about that – not knowing it, not feeling it, not living it. So you can, by constant repetition, auto hypnotize yourself that That is everywhere. You can go on repeating that you are feeling it in every stone.

Try it! It is a good experiment. Try for twenty-one days continuously to feel That, the Divine, the God, everywhere – in every leaf, in every stone, everywhere. Whatsoever comes to your mind, remember it is That continuously for three weeks, and you will be able to create a certain illusion around you. You will be in a very high euphoria just like with LSD or mescaline or marijuana. By constant repetition of a certain feeling, you can project it without any chemical drugs. The mind creates its own chemical drugs. But it is arduous; through drugs it is very easy. But the same is the process.

When you take a pill and instant heaven comes to you, what does it mean? It means only that the chemical drug lowers down all your defense measures, breaks down your logic, your rational thinking. You are in a waking dream. The logic has stopped – not as an achievement, but just as a chemical enforcement. You are in a waking dream; with LSD you are in a waking dream.

Timothy Leary has written a book comparing Tibetan mystics with LSD-takers, and he says the same is the experience. He says about Marpa and Milarepa, or you could say Kabir and Ekhart, Huang Po or Hui-Hai, or Bayazid and Rabiya, that whatsoever they have known or have come to know is just similar to LSD experiences. And Timothy Leary is right in a way – but still fundamentally wrong. He is right in a way because the experiences are similar, but not the same.

When you take some chemical drug which lowers down the defense mechanism of the mind, the logic, the reason, you are in the same state as in a dream in the night. The difference is only that now you are in a waking dream. You are awake and still dreaming, so if a horse becomes a cow, there is no problem. And this waking dream gives the whole reality a new rainbow color. Everything becomes fresh. All the labels have dropped; your dream has spread all over. Now, whatsoever is happening inside chemically is being projected outside.

The colors that you see outside arc a projection of your inside mind. Now your dreams are projected everywhere. The whole world has become a screen and you are a projector now: you project everything. So whatsoever is inside you will now be projected. So LSD will not give the same experiences to all. A poet will have a very poetic experience, but a murderer cannot have the same experience. Someone can have heaven instantly, and someone may drop into hell. So whatsoever is inside will now be projected outside.

The same can be done through constant repetition. If you go on constantly repeating a certain feeling, you can project it. You can begin to live in this world as if this world has become dead. But unless you have known it inside, it is a false phenomenon. Any day you stop your repetition, and the hypnosis will go down. You can go on in this process for lives together. It is self-perpetuated because it is so pleasant.

So remember this: you are not to project. You are to know it inside, not to project it outside. For projection thinking will be needed, and for realization no-thinking will be needed. For projection you will need a certain concept to be enforced on reality. It is a rape of reality. And you can auto hypnotize yourself, but this is a dream existence. The real thing to be done is to come to a stop of inside brooding and thinking. The clouds must be thrown. Your inner center must come to a very uncloudy sky. Your inner center must be there without any action, and thinking is the action.

If every thought stops . . . but that you can do even by becoming totally unconscious. If you become unconscious, then it is of no use. You have fallen into deep sleep. In projecting outside you have fallen into a waking dream. You can stop every thought inside and be unconscious – you have fallen into deep sleep. It will not do.

A third thing has to be done – no thinking and no unconsciousness. This is the basic formula: no thinking and no unconsciousness. Conscious totally with no thoughts, and you come not only to know That but to be That. You are one with it. And once tasted, the taste never leaves you. Once felt, it never leaves you because you are transformed, you are not the same. And when you have known it, felt it inside, then open your eyes and it is everywhere. Now everything becomes just a mirror. You need not think about it; there is no need. You need not remember that it is there – it is there! That felt inside is felt everywhere.

Really, the inside and outside drop. Then your inside is the outside. Then the whole distinction between the within and without is meaningless. Once you have known That, the infinite inside, then it is the same outside. Then a very different feeling comes. Then it is not that you are inside, and you are not outside – then you are everywhere. The inside and the outside are just two poles of one reality. You are spread between the two. You are the reality – the That. One pole was known as inside previously; another pole was known as outside. Now you are spread between the two. They are both your poles.

This knowing inside is authentic religion. And this sutra says:

The feeling of That everywhere is gandha, the only fragrance.

If one is to know, if one is to live in that divine fragrance, in that bliss, this is the path. Why does the rishi say that the feeling of That everywhere is the fragrance? If you go to worship, you take some flowers with you. This is a symbolic expression. Ordinary flowers will not do for worship. Take this fragrance with you – this feeling of That everywhere. Then only will your worship be authentic; otherwise, it is just a false show. Ordinary flowers will not do.

Take this fragrance with you when you are going to worship. But then there is no going because then there is no temple. Then everything has become a temple. If you feel That everywhere, then where is the temple? Then where is the Mecca and where is Kashi? Then He is everywhere. Then the whole Existence becomes a temple. If you feel That everywhere, then this becomes a temple. Take this fragrance with you.

But really, the rishi is very deep, even in his symbology. He will not say “flowers”, he says “fragrance” – because flowers again are part of this fragrance, part of That. A flower is born, and it dies; a fragrance is forever. You may know, you may not know it. A flower is a material manifestation; a fragrance is a spiritual part. A flower you can have in your hand, but you cannot have fragrance in your hand. A flower can be purchased, but never the fragrance. A flower is a limitation, but a fragrance is simply the unlimited. A flower is somewhere, but the fragrance goes everywhere. You cannot say it is here; you cannot say it is there. It is everywhere. It goes on, it goes on.

So that’s why the rishi says not “flowers”, but “fragrance”. Take this fragrance with you, and only then will you enter the real temple – because the reality of the temple doesn’t depend on the temple, it depends on you. If you are authentic, the temple becomes authentic. Then any temple or any place will do; it makes no difference. […]

The rishi says, “The feeling of That everywhere is the only fragrance.” Go to Him, go to His feet, with this fragrance. But then there is no going. Then wherever you are, you are in His presence. If the fragrance is inside, then the presence is outside. If you are filled with the feeling of That, then there is no seeking.

Bokuju, a Zen Master, has said that sansar is Nirvana – this world is the Ultimate. When he said this for the first time, his own disciples became disturbed and they said, “What are you saying? This world, sansar, is nirvana! This world is the ultimate! This world is Brahma! What are you saying?”

Bokuju said, “When I didn’t know, when I was ignorant, there was a division. But when I came to realize That, the division disappeared – now everything is That.”

So the last thing: this and That is a division for the ignorant and of the ignorant. You know only this, and That is just a concept. When you come to know That, this becomes only a day-to-day concept, a utility. If you only know this, then That is just a concept, a metaphysical concept. If you come to know That, then this disappears. Knowing That does not mean that the world disappears; it will remain. But for you it will not be this – it will become That. […]

This is a non-dualistic concept, feeling. When you know That, this disappears; when you know this, That remains just a concept somewhere. But start from yourself. Don’t go to find it out anywhere else; otherwise, the journey will be very long. And you may reach, you may not reach. Take a total about-turn – seek it in your own center.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #13

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

You Are Responsible – Osho

What are the physical and psychic factors that are necessary for the encounter of the inner light in meditation? And how can one grow in them?

Three things to be remembered: one, you must be consciously frustrated about the life outside – consciously frustrated! We are all frustrated but unconsciously. And whenever we are frustrated unconsciously, we only change objects of desire. But one object changed for another will not help you to go in. You remain outside. You change one thing for another, then for another. Because you are frustrated by object A, you substitute your desire by object B. Then you are frustrated by object B, so you go on to C. You go on changing objects because you are only unconsciously frustrated. If you become conscious, then you will not change objects – you will change direction.

I can change. I can love one woman, then another, then another. I can love one man, then another, then another. This is unconscious frustration. So I think that A is not good and B might be, so I choose B. Then B is not good and – who knows? – C may be, so I choose C. This is unconscious frustration. If you become conscious, then it is not a question of A, B or C. It is a question of the very relationship, of the very expectation, of the very desire. This desire to get happiness through someone else is the root. You go on changing persons, but this direction is never changed.

When I say become consciously frustrated, I mean know well that persons are irrelevant. Unless you change your direction in the search for happiness nothing is going to happen. So there are two ways: either change A for object B or change direction A for direction B. A is outward-going, B is inward-going – so change the direction. By changing the direction, you begin to change yourself; by changing objects you remain the same.

I can go on changing objects for years and years, and lives and lives. I will remain the same. And with every object, since I am the same, the same is going to be the result, the same suffering is going to follow. When I say be consciously frustrated, I mean don’t be frustrated by others – be frustrated by yourself, be frustrated about yourself. Then only does the direction change.

We are all frustrated by everyone else. The husband is frustrated by the wife, and the wife is frustrated by the husband; and the son is frustrated by the father, and the father is frustrated by the son. Everyone is frustrated by others. This is the outgoing mind. Be frustrated with yourself, and then the direction changes: you begin to be ingoing. And unless you are frustrated with yourself there is no possibility for transformation.

A Buddha is not really frustrated by the world. If he is frustrated by the world, he must try to change it for another world, he must try to get another world. He is really frustrated with himself, so he begins to change himself. The object of frustration becomes the object of transformation.

So the inward journey begins, the search for inner life begins. only when you begin to feel that outside is nothing but darkness. And unless you turn your eyes inwards, light is not to be found. So the first thing: be consciously frustrated. But this much is not enough. It is necessary, but not enough, because you can be frustrated with yourself and can go on living in frustration. Then you will be just a living corpse. You will be just dead – a burden to yourself. This is necessary, but not enough.

The second thing to realize is that whatsoever you are it is because of you yourself. We say, “I am like this because of my destiny, because of the Divine Creator, because of the forces of nature, because of heredity, because of environment, because of society.” Whatsoever I am, I am always because of something or someone else. It may be the God in heaven, or it may be the heredity in the books of biology, or it may be just the society of the communists, or it may be just the childhood trauma of Freudians – but something else. You are not responsible.

The society has gone on changing causes. Sometimes it is God: then you are at ease. Then whatsoever you are, you cannot help it. Then sometimes it is karma: it is past actions which have produced you as you are, and nothing can be done. Then communism says it is the society. Communism says that it is not consciousness which determines the society; on the contrary. It is the society which determines consciousness. You are just a cog in the wheel. You have been determined. You have been manipulated. You are a by-product, so you are not responsible.

Then Freudians say that it is not economics as Marx says. Really, it is the childhood which determines you. So whatsoever you are, your seven years of childhood have made you that way. Now you cannot be a child again, and those seven years cannot be changed. So whatsoever you are, you are. At the most, through psychoanalysis, you can come to an adjustment with yourself. You can begin to feel: “Okay, now nothing can be done. and I am as I am.” Again, you begin to deteriorate.

You can be frustrated with yourself: this is a negative part. The positive, the second thing, is to remember that whatsoever you are, you are responsible. Society may have played a part, and even destiny may have played a part, and childhood also may have played a part, but ultimately you are responsible. This feeling is the base of all religion. So if Freudians win and Marxists win, religion will disappear – because the base of religion is the possibility that you can transform, the possibility that you can change yourself. And this possibility depends on the feeling of whether you are responsible for yourself or not.

If I am just determined by my cells, by heredity, then what can I do? I cannot change my bio-cells. That is not possible. And if my bio-cells have a built-in program, they will go on unfolding. What can I do? And if God has determined everything, then what can I do? And it makes no difference whether it is God or bio cells or heredity or childhood – it makes no difference! The basic thing is that if you are putting your responsibility on something else, X-Y-Z, you cannot go in.

So the second thing: remember, whatsoever you are – if you are sexual – you are responsible. If you are angry, anger-filled, if you are afraid, if fear is your chief characteristic, then you are responsible. Everything else may have played a part, but only a part, and that part also can be played only because you cooperated. And if you destroy your cooperation this very moment, you will be different. So the second positive thing is to be constantly aware that whatsoever you are, you are responsible.

It is difficult. To feel frustrated is very easy. Even to feel frustrated with oneself is not very difficult, but to feel that “whatsoever I am, I am responsible” is very difficult – very difficult, because then there is no excuse. This is one thing. And, secondly, if whatsoever I am, I am responsible for it, then if I am not changing. I am responsible even for that. If I am not transforming, then no one else but I am guilty. That’s why we create many theories – to escape from one’s own responsibility.

Responsibility is the basis of all religious transformation. You may have heard someone say that to believe in God is the base of religion. It is not! One can be religious without any god, and one can be very irreligious with all the gods. Someone else says it is rebirth, reincarnation, that is the base. It is not, because you can believe in reincarnation and your life’s duration becomes longer, but how, by just a longer duration, can you become religious? Time is not the factor to make you religious. You may be eternal: how does it help you to be religious?

No, the real thing, the base of all religiousness, is the feeling of responsibility – you are responsible for yourself. Then suddenly something opens in you. If you are responsible, then you can change. With this you can enter inwards. So feel frustrated with yourself.

Nietzsche has said somewhere, very beautifully, that that day will be the doomsday when no one feels frustrated with oneself, because then there is no possibility for further evolution. But I must add hurriedly that even if everyone feels frustrated, but no one feels responsible for it, that will be an even greater doomsday.

Frustration is negative. Feel responsible positively, and you gain much power. The moment you know that if you are bad, it is because of you, then you can be good. Then it is in your hands. You gain power, you become powerful. You release much energy, and only this releasing of energy can be used for the inner journey, just as when an atom is split, much energy is released. That is what is meant by atomic energy. Just like that, if in your mind this thing goes deep that “I am responsible for whatsoever I am, and whatsoever I like to be I can be,” this concept will release much energy. And only with that energy can you go to the inner light.

And, thirdly, remain continuously in discontent unless the light is achieved – continuously in discontent! Again, that is one of the most basic qualities of a religious mind. Ordinarily we think that a religious man is a contented man. That is nonsense. He looks contented because he has the discontent of another dimension. He looks contented. He can live in a poor house, he can live in ordinary clothes, he can live naked, he can live under a tree. He can look contented, not because he is contented with these things, but because, really, his discontent has gone towards other things, and now he cannot be bothered with these things.

He is so discontented with the inner revolution, so discontented hoping for inner light, that he cannot bother about these things. These things have just become peripheral. Really, they don’t mean anything to him. It is not that he is contented – they don’t mean anything, they are irrelevant! They are somewhere on the periphery; he is not concerned. But he lives in a deep discontent, in a fiery discontent, and only that discontent can lead you inwards.

Remember, it is discontent which leads you outside. If you are discontented with your house, then you can make a bigger one. If you are discontented with your financial position, you can change it. In the outward journey, it is discontent which leads you on and on. The same is the factor in the inward journey also. Be discontented! Unless you achieve light, unless you transcend mind, be discontent, remain discontented – this is the third point.

These three points: frustration with oneself, not with others; responsibility on oneself, not on others; and a new discontent for something which is inner – these will help. Even in a single moment it is possible to reach the ultimate goal. But then you must be absolutely discontented. Then lukewarm discontents will not do. Then you must be uncompromising. Then nothing should deter you, nothing should come in your way. Whatsoever happens outside, you must be unconcerned about it, because you have no energy to move that way. All the energy is moving inwards. These three things can help you.

These are just helps. The central thing is meditation. Meditate, and with these helps the inner light can be achieved. It is there, it is not far off – only you have no discontent, only you have no longing for it, or your longing is just dissipated outside. Accumulate it, collect it, and turn the direction. The arrow must not move from you towards the world. The arrow must move from you towards yourself, to the center. So meditation has to be done! These three are just helps. Without meditation these three will not do anything, but meditation can do even without them. They are just helps.

But when I say meditation can do even without them, don’t misunderstand me, don’t think that they are not needed. For ninety-nine percent of people those helps are a must, because unless these three things are there you are not going to meditate at all. Only for one percent these three are not needed – not because they are inessential, but because meditation is such a whole-hearted effort in itself that nothing is needed as a side help.

I remember a Sufi mystic, Hassan. He went to his teacher and he asked the teacher, “Tell me, what am I to do?”

The teacher began to explain to him; he was going to deliver a long lecture. This Hassan was just new to him, he didn’t know him. He simply said, “Meditation . . . ” This was just the beginning word. He was going to tell many things, but first he simply said, “Meditation . . . ” Hassan closed his eyes. The teacher looked at him and said, “Are you feeling sleepy?” but he had gone.

The teacher had to wait for hours. When he came back, the teacher said, “What were you doing here? I just began to explain, and you closed your eyes. For what have you come to me?”

Hassan said, “But you said the key word to me. You said ‘meditation’. It is more than enough. What more is needed now? I went in, and I am thankful that you gave me the key.”

But this one percent type is rare. To find a Hassan is rare. It is rare: just a word can click something. He was just on the verge – just a push: “meditation”, he hears a word and takes the jump.

Even this may not have been necessary. Many times, it has happened that a bird flies in the sky, and someone achieves Enlightenment. Not even the word “meditation” is uttered. Just a bird flies in the sky against the sun, and someone achieves meditation. A dry leaf falls down from the tree, and someone sees it and achieves – and achieves! These people are just on the verge. Anything absolutely irrelevant-looking can do it. How does it make sense?

Lao Tzu achieved his Enlightenment. He was just sitting under a tree and a dry leaf fell down. He looked at the fallen leaf, and he began to dance. And if anyone would ask him he would say, “How can I teach you? It is very difficult. Sit under a tree, let a dry leaf fall down, look at it, and it happens – and one begins to dance!” And he was really not joking. This had happened to him.

But such a simple, innocent mind is rare. He was meditating and meditating, upon life, upon death – and then a sudden dry leaf drops down, and everything opens. Life disappears, death becomes the reality. And in the dropping of the leaf, he sees his own death, and everything is finished. But this is rare. For ninety-nine percent of people helps are musts, so don’t misunderstand me.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1 #12, 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.

The Inner Illumination – Osho

Sadaadeeptih apaar amrit vrittih snaanam.

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination and in the infinite inner nectar is the preparatory bath for the worship.

Light is the most mysterious thing in the universe – for many reasons. You may not have felt it like that, but the first thing about light is that light is the purest energy. Physics says that everything material is not really matter. Only energy is real. Matter is dead; matter exists no more. It never existed except in our conceptions. Matter appears to be, but it is not. Only light is – or energy, or electricity. The deeper we penetrate into matter; the less material is found. At the very deepest there is no matter and matter itself becomes non-material. But light remains, or energy.

Light is the purest energy. Light is not matter, and wherever we feel matter it is only light condensed. So matter means light condensed. This is the first mystery about light, because it is the substratum of all Existence. So in a new way, the oldest concept of religions – that in the beginning God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light – becomes very significant, because Existence in its purity is light. So if Existence begins, it has to begin with light.

Another thing: light can exist without life, but life cannot exist without light. So life also becomes secondary. Matter simply disappears. It is not. It is only condensed light. Then light can exist without life. Life is not a necessity for light to exist, but life cannot exist without light. So life becomes secondary, and light becomes primary. In this context, one thing more: just as light can exist without life but life cannot exist without light, just the same, life can exist without love, but love cannot exist without life. So these three l’s have to be remembered – light, life, love.

Light is the substratum, the ground, and love is the peak. Life is only an opportunity for tight to reach love. Life is just a passage. So if you are only alive, you are just in the passage. Unless you reach love, you have not reached. Light is the potentiality, love is the actuality, and life is only a passage. So when it is said that God is love, this is the love that is meant. Unless you become love, you are just in between, you have not reached the end. Light is the beginning, love is the end, and life is just a passage.

So remember this: light can exist without life. Matter is just an appearance, a “condensity”, an intensity of light, and life is a manifestation. That which is hidden in light is manifested. Life is not an appearance: life is a manifestation. Matter is just light condensed. So when light remains light and becomes condensed, it is matter. When light evolves, manifests its potentiality, it becomes life. If it simply remains life, then death is the end. If it evolves more, then it becomes love – and love is deathless. You may call it God; you may call it anything. These are basic points. If you remember them, then we can proceed into the sutra.

Thirdly, in this whole world everything is relative except light. Only light has a constant velocity. That’s why physics takes light as the measurement of time. Everything is relative; only light is, in a certain way, absolute. Light travels with a constant velocity. Nothing else is constant. So only light is absolute. There is no change: the velocity is absolute; the speed is absolute. So light becomes a mystery. It is not relative to anything, and everything else is relative to light. So nothing can travel with more speed than light, because if anything takes the speed just equivalent to light, it will turn into light.

If we can throw a stone with the speed of light, the stone will become light. Anything moving with the speed of light will become light. So nothing reaches the velocity of light, and nothing transcends the velocity of light. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. Anything travelling with that speed will become light. That’s why scientists say we cannot travel with the speed of light: because anything – we or aircraft, rockets – anything travelling with that speed will become light itself.

Fourthly, light travels without any vehicle; everything else can travel only with a vehicle. Only light travels without vehicles. That is mysterious. And also, light travels without any medium. Everything else has to travel through a medium. A fish can travel in water, a man can travel in air, but light travels in nothing, in nothingness.

In the beginning of this century, physicists just imagined something like ether. They imagined something must be there; otherwise, how can light travel? So that was a basic question: light comes to the earth from the sun or from some star, it travels, so there must be some medium through which it travels. So just because nothing can travel without a medium, in the beginning of this century scientists hypothetically assumed that there must be some X – they named it ether – through which light travels.

But now they have found that there is no medium. The whole universe is just a vast space, and light travels in nothingness. That means even nothingness cannot destroy it, even emptiness cannot affect it. That means even non-being cannot affect light’s being. And it can travel without any medium, without any vehicle. That means the energy is not derived from somewhere else. Light itself is the energy. If you have some derived energy, then you will have to travel through mediums, through vehicles; you cannot go yourself. Light goes by itself.

Fifthly, light is neither being pushed nor being pulled. It simply travels! If I throw a stone, then there is a push. I put my energy in the stone, and the stone will only go to the limit, to the extent, up to where it can be forced by my energy. When my energy fails or is exhausted, the stone will fall down.

The stone is not travelling with its own energy. The energy has been given to it; it is foreign.

Everything in the world has foreign energy in it – except light. Everything moving is moving with some energy derived from somewhere else. A tree is growing, but the energy has been derived. A flower is flowering, but the energy has been derived. You are breathing and living, but the energy is derived. You have no energy of your own. Nothing has except light.

In this reference, the saying of Mohammed in the Koran becomes very significant. He says, “God is light,” and he means there that only God is His own source of energy. Everything else is just derived.

So we really live a borrowed life. It is borrowed from many, many sources. That’s why our lives are conditional. If one source just refuses to give us energy, we are dead. Light lives with its own energy – unborrowed, self-originating. It is neither pushed nor pulled, and it moves. That’s the most mysterious thing possible. It is a miracle!

Sixthly, if only light has its own energy and everything else lives with borrowed energy, certainly it must be that everywhere, ultimately, the energy is borrowed from light – because if everything lives with borrowed energy except light, then ultimately light is the donor. Wherever you get your energy, ultimately the source must be light.

You are eating food and you are getting energy, but the food itself gets it through light, through sunrays, so you are not getting it from food. Food does not have its own energy source: food is deriving it from somewhere else. The food is doing only an in-between work, the work of a medium. Because you cannot absorb light directly, trees are absorbing it, and then they transform it in such a way, they compose it in such a way, that you can take that energy directly. So they work as mediums – then light becomes the only source of energy.

So if everything drops in the universe, light will not be affected. If everything just goes off, if the whole universe is dead, light will not be affected. The universe will still be filled with light. But if light goes off, then everything will die. Nothing can exist.

This basicness of light is not only basic for science, it is basic for religion also. So now the second part: if you penetrate matter you stumble upon light. If you penetrate life, you again stumble upon light. So religious mystics have always said, “We experience Light, we realize light – the light within, the flame within.” All the mystics have talked this way, and it is not only symbolic. Only in this century has it become possible to say that it is not only symbolic. If matter dissolves into light, comes out of light, why not life itself? And when a mystic goes deep, he is going deep in life, he stumbles upon light. This going deep in oneself means going more and more to the original source of light.

So the outer light is not the only light. You have inner light also, because you cannot exist without it. It is the base. To be means to be grounded in light; there is no other being. So when you go in you are bound to come to and realize a dimension, a realm, of light – inner light. This inner light and your life make just two layers. Your life is the outermost layer; light is a deeper layer.

Your life will end in death. Unless you realize the inner light, you cannot know the deathless, because your life is just a phenomenon; it is not the base. It is just a phenomenon, a wave – a wave on the ocean of light. It will go! If you can penetrate through it to the deeper realm of light, you will know that which is immortal, which cannot die – because only light cannot die, only light is immortal. Everything will have to die, because everything lives on derived life, borrowed life. Only light has its own life. Everything else has life borrowed from somewhere else. So one has to return it, one has to give it back.

So unless you realize the inner light, you will not know that which is beyond death. In a sense it is beyond death and beyond life also. Only then does it become immortal. That which is born will have to die; that which is alive will be dead. So only that can be beyond death which is beyond life itself. Light is beyond life and beyond death. Whenever mystics have been talking about light, they always talk about deathlessness, because the moment you enter the inner light, the source of life, you enter deathlessness.

In this sutra, both terms have been used. This sutra says:

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination, in the inner light, and in the infinite inner nectar, is the preparatory bath for the worship.

So unless you are bathed in your own inner light, and in the nectar, in the immortality which belongs to that light, you are not ready to enter the Divine temple. This is a preparatory bath. Water will not do: light has to be used. Pure light has to be used. Unless you are bathed in pure light, you are not ready to enter the Divine temple.

When Krishna showed his infiniteness to Arjuna, Arjuna said, “I don’t see you, Krishna, I see only light. Where have you gone? I see only thousands and thousands of suns – and I am scared. You come back!” When one enters into the inner light . . . it is there, because without it you cannot be. nothing can be. It is a scientific fact, because without light nothing can be. If there is anything, then in its ground light is bound to be. You may know it, you may not know it, but light is the ground of all. You are, so you have a deep realm of light. The moment you enter it, you are bathed. and this bath means many things.

Ordinarily, when you enter a temple, outwardly you take a bath. You take a bath because dirt can be washed from the body, and you can enter into the temple with a purer body – fresh, undirty, clean. But when you are really entering into the Divine temple. your body is not entering: your consciousness is entering. And you cannot bathe your consciousness with water. But consciousness can have a deep cleansing in inner light, and that deep cleansing means cleansing the dirt of all karma – all actions.

Whatsoever you have done, whatsoever you have been, whatsoever your past has been, it clings to you – just like dirt, just like dust, it clings to you. When you enter inner light, it disappears. Why? Because the moment you enter that inner light, everything takes the velocity of light, and nothing can remain. The dirt, the dirt of karmas, dissolves – all that you have done in all your lives. When you enter that realm, everything becomes light, because with light, in that velocity, nothing can remain anything else. So it is not simply a bath. All the karmas, just disappear, they become light, and the consciousness is cleaned. It becomes fresh and young as it should be, as it is meant to be.

And when all the karmas disappear – by “karmas” I mean the material dust that one accumulates through actions and desires and passions – when it disappears, the entity, the nucleus of ego disappears also, because ego exists only as a collectivity of all the dust, of all the dirtiness, of all the impurities. It exists as a center. When everything disappears, ego disappears. And when ego disappears, you are pure, clean, you are born anew. So to enter this inner light is to enter the inner fire.

Another thing: the light that is outside is constant, but it cannot be constant for you. The sun will rise and set. The sun itself never rises and never sets, but for the earth it rises, and it sets; the night comes. So with outer light you cannot remain constantly in light. Only with inner light is there no rising and no setting. That’s why the sutra says, “To be centered constantly . . .” continuously. There is no night, there is no setting, because there is no rising. The light is there as your Being, as your very Existence. So to be constantly centered in this light is the bath. And by “bath” is meant that everything to which one was clinging is just destroyed – not only destroyed but transformed also. It becomes light itself.

This entry has three parts: first you will realize light, then you will realize a deep cleansing of your soul, of your being, and, thirdly, you will realize the elixir, the nectar – the amrit – the immortality, the deathlessness of it, because once the ego dies you are deathless, once the karmas are washed away you are deathless, once you have entered deeper than life you are deathless.

Deeper than life, death cannot exist. Death exists parallel to life. It means the end of life. So life has two dimensions. One is just horizontal. You go from one moment of life to another moment of life, then another – A-B-C – in a sequence. Then ultimately, the Z is going to be the death. You move from A to B, from B to C, then to X-Y-Z. A is birth, Z is death, and you move from A-B-C-D horizontally. This is one movement – birth to death. Buddha says, “One who is born will have to die, because he is moving horizontally.” So death is a necessity on a horizontal plane.

But you can move vertically. From A, instead of going to B, drop below the A or go above the A. Don’t move to B. So from any life movement, you can move in two ways. You can move to another life movement; then death will be the end. Then you are progressing towards death automatically, unknowingly. You can move down or up – not horizontally but vertically. So move down or up from A, and then you move from life to light. If you move down, then you move to light. If you move up, then you move to love. This is the vertical plane.

If you move down from life, then you move to light. If you move up, then you move to love. And both give you the door to the deathless, because death only means horizontal moving. Now you are not moving horizontally. And move either way. If you can consciously go down to light, your life will become love – because once you have known the deathless you can be nothing but love.

Really, death is the enemy of love. You cannot love because there is death; you cannot love because you are fearful of death; you cannot love because you are afraid of everyone else, of the other. And all fears are basically fear of death. They all can be reduced to the fear of death. Once you know the deathless, the fear has gone. And when the mind is fearless, it is love. When the mind is fearful, it is never love. You may put on a show, you may pretend, but it is never love. With fear hate can exist, with fear jealousy can exist, with fear anything can exist, but not love. That’s why we pretend love, and love is not found. In the end jealousy is found, hate is found, fear is found – love is not found.

Why? Because you cannot love really. How can you love when there is death? How can you love unconditionally when every moment death is coming near?

Look at it in this way: you are here, your beloved or your lover is here. You are just in the ecstasy of love, and then someone says that within five minutes you are going to die. The moment this is said, that within five minutes you are going to die, love will disappear. You will forget the beloved, the lover and the poetry, and everything will just disappear. Why does it disappear? It has never been there. It was only that you were unaware of death, so you were pretending love.

Deathlessness known becomes love. Then you cannot do anything else. Then it is not that you love; rather, you become love. Love becomes your quality – not your act – your very being. So either, drop down from A; from the horizontal line drop down vertically to light: that is one way. Yoga is concerned with this dropping down. Or, from A, rise vertically to love. Bhakti – the path of devotion – is concerned with rising up. Either way you go vertically. The same will be the result.

If you can go up from A, again you find the deathless. Vertically, there is no death; only horizontally is there death. So if you find love by going up, you will find light, because entering the deathless one is bound to find light, entering the light one is bound to find the deathless. They are one! So, really, life and death are two aspects of one coin, and death is not opposite to life. It is a part. Light is opposed to death, not life, because light is immortality. Love is also opposed to death because again it is deathless.

So the problem is either to enter light by going down or by going up to enter love. This vertical journey is the journey of religion. And this sutra says:

To be centered constantly in the inner illumination and in the infinite inner nectar is the preparatory bath for the worship.

So how to enter and how to be centered? How to enter? How to find this light?

Two or three things: one, whenever you say light is, what do you mean? I say, “The room is lighted.” What do I mean? I mean that I can see. Light is never seen; only something lighted is seen. You see the walls, not the light; you see me, not the light. Something lighted is seen, never the light itself, because light is so subtle that it cannot be seen. It is not a gross phenomenon. So we only infer that light is. It is an inference, not a knowing. It is just an inference! Because I can see you, I infer, assume, that light is How can I see you without light?

No one has ever seen light – no one! And no one can ever see light. But we use the words, “I see light,” and by that we mean, “I see things which cannot be seen without light.” When you say it is dark, there is no light, what do you mean? You only mean, “Now I cannot see things.” When you cannot see things. you infer that light is not. When you can see things, you infer that light is. So light is an inference even in the outer, the outside world. So when one has to enter, when one is ready to enter inside. what do we mean by light?

If you can feel yourself, if you can see yourself, that means the light is there. This is strange, but we never think about it. The whole room is dark; you cannot say anything is there, but one thing you can say: “I am.” Why? You cannot see yourself either. The room is totally dark, nothing can be seen, but about one thing you are certain and that is your own being. No need of any proof. no need of any light. You know that you are, you feel that you are. A subtle, inner illumination must be there. We may not be aware of it, we may be unconscious of it or very dimly conscious, but it is there.

So turn your gaze inwards. Close all your senses so that there is no feeling of the outside light. Go into darkness, close your eyes, and now try to penetrate, to see inwards. First you may feel simple darkness; that is because you are not accustomed to it. Go on penetrating. Just try to look into the darkness which is within. Penetrate it, and by and by you will begin to feel many things inside. An inner illumination begins to work. It may be dim in the beginning. You will begin to see your thoughts because thoughts are inside things. They are things! You will begin to stumble upon the furniture of your mind.

Much furniture is there – many memories, many desires, many unfulfilled passions, many frustrations, many thoughts, many seed thoughts, many, many things are there. When you begin to feel them, first try to penetrate the darkness. Then a dim light begins to be there, and you begin to be aware of many things. It is like when you enter a dark room suddenly – you can’t see anything. But remain there. Be adjusted to the darkness, let your eyes be adjusted to the darkness. Eyes have to adjust, they take time. When you come from without, from a sunlit garden to your room, your eye will have to readjust themselves. Your eyes will take a little time, but it happens.

If one is constantly using his eyes only to see things which are very near – for example, if one is constantly reading – then he will become shortsighted, because so much use of short sight will fix the mechanism of the eyes. So when he wants to see a far-off star, he cannot see it because the mechanism has become fixed. Now it is not flexible. The same happens inside: because we have been looking outside continuously, for lives, the mechanism has become fixed, and we cannot look inside.

But try, make an effort – look into the darkness. Don’t be in a hurry, because the mechanism has been fixed for many lives. Eyes have forgotten completely how to look inside. You have never used them for that purpose. So look into the darkness, see the darkness, and don’t be impatient. Penetrate the darkness, go on penetrating, and within three months you will be able to see many things inside which you never thought were there. And now, for the first time, you will become aware that thoughts are just things. And when you become aware, then you can put a thought anywhere you want. If you want to throw it out, you can throw it out.

But now you cannot throw it. Just now you cannot throw out any thought, because you cannot catch it. You don’t even know that it is a thing, that it can be caught, and it can be thrown. You don’t know where thoughts are located; you don’t know from where they come. Everyone says, “I don’t want to be fearful; I don’t want to be angry.” But they cannot do anything because they don’t know even from where this anger comes, what the root is, where this anger has its reservoir, where this anger is accumulated. You don’t know the roots.

Every thought is a thing. It has an accumulated reservoir. So when one thought comes, it is just a leaf on a big tree. You cannot cut it and throw it – another leaf will come out. Roots are there, the tree is there. When you begin to be aware even dimly that thoughts are there, desires are there – anger, passion, lust – everything is there, don’t begin to fight. Just watch, because by watching you will become more aware, and by fighting you will never become aware. So don’t fight – watch! “Watch” is the word, the mantra. Watch constantly, and the more you watch, the more you will begin to feel that more light is there. Light is there; only your eyes have to be adjusted. So watch!

By watching, eyes will become adjusted. And when more light is there and everything becomes clear, when there is no dark spot, then you become master of your mind. You can put anything out; you can rearrange everything. And once you become master of your mind, then you will become aware from where this light is coming, what the source is. The sun is not there; it is without. You have not even brought in a candle, but everything has become illuminated. From where is this light coming? First you will become aware of things which are lighted, then you will become master of the things of your mind, and then you will begin to be aware of where this light is coming from, of what the source is. You will begin to be aware of a flower blooming. Then you will begin to be aware of where this light is coming from. Then you can know the sun.

Only secondarily will you have to proceed from a lighted object towards the source of the light. Again, light is not seen; again, you will see the sun. So first you will begin to feel the content of the mind. Then, more and more, the mind will become clear. Then you will be aware of where this light is coming from. Just in the center of the mind is the source. Then enter the source! Now you can forget the mind – you are the master. You can just say to the mind, “Stop!” and the mind will stop.

Awareness is needed for the mastery. Never try the reverse: never try to be the master first and then to be aware. That never happens, that cannot happen. That is not possible. Be aware, and the mastery happens. You become the master. Then go to the source, then enter the source, from where this light is coming. Go! Enter the illumination! That entering into the illumination is the “bath”. You have become master of the mind. Now you will become master of life itself; now you will become master of consciousness itself. And once bathed in this illumination, in this source of light, you will be able to see yourself in your eternity. In this moment, all the past and all the future will be there. This moment is eternal. You are so pure that the whole time gathers in you. The past purified creates a purified future – and this moment becomes eternal.

Watch, be aware, observe deeply the contents of the mind. Then you will become aware of the source; then enter the source. It is fearful, because whatsoever you have known as yourself will die. This bath is a death – a death of all that you have known yourself to be. The identity, the ego, the personality, everything will die. because the personality, the identity, the ego, they are the dirt – the accumulated dirt around your being. Only being will remain without name and form. And this sutra says this is the preparatory bath. Only now can you enter, and only up to here do you have to make efforts. The moment you are purified, the moment you have gone through this bath, the moment the karmas have dissolved. now you need not make any effort.

From this point, God becomes a gravitation. Now you enter the field of grace. It is the same like the gravitation on the earth, but you have to enter the field. So for spaceships we have tb make one basic arrangement: they must be thrown out of the grip of the earth, out of the gravitation field. Two hundred miles above the earth, all around, is the field. If you are under the field, you will be pulled back. If you go beyond two hundred miles, then the earth cannot do anything.

The Divine cannot pull you unless you are totally pure, unless you yourself become light. Then with the same velocity, you enter the Divine. So this entering the light is the last effort. Once you are purified you begin to gravitate. Now you need not go: you are being pulled. This gravitation is known as grace: the gravitation to the Divine is grace. Grace is not really a help – it is not! It is just a law. God is not grace-ful only to some, it is not so, He is not partial; the earth is not gravitational only for some – the moment you enter the field, the law begins to work.

So don’t say that God is grace-full, don’t say that God is helpful, don’t say that He has compassion. It is not right. God means “the Law of Grace”. The law begins to work. Once you enter the field, the law begins to work. Once you begin to be light yourself, the law begins to work – and you begin to gravitate.

I said that light is the foundation of life. With this statement even science can agree. Science ends on this point; there is no beyond for science. Religion still has a beyond because religion says that even beyond light there is Existence.

Now another thing: light exists, so light has two qualities – being the light and also existence. Still, light is not the ultimate one because it has two qualities – light and existence. Religion says that existence can be without light, but light cannot be without existence. So one step more: religion says, “God is pure Existence.” So, really, for religious people, this word or this sentence that “God is”, is fallacious, because “God” and “is” both mean the same thing.

A table is, but to say “God is” is not good. Man is because man may not be, so man and is-ness are two things conjoined. They can be disjoined. But “God is” is not right because God means is-ness. So it is tautological, repetitive. To say, “God is” is as absurd as someone saying, “Is is” or “God God”. “God is” means the same as “God God” or “Is is”. They are meaningless, absurd! Is-ness is God. So religion reduces it still more and says that when you enter light, then you will enter the Is-ness, Existence, That. So light is just the aura of That. When you enter light, you enter the aura. But the moment you enter the aura you will be pulled. and there will be no time gap. There is no time gap!

Now another thing: I said that light moves with the highest velocity – 186,000 miles in one second. in one second. in one minute, in one hour, in one year, how much light moves! The unit with which physics measures its movement is the light year. A light year means the movement of light in one year at this velocity. This is still a time movement. It is very fast, but yet light takes time to move. So as I said, light needs no medium, light needs no vehicle, light needs no borrowed energy – but still light needs time. So for religion, light still needs something without which it cannot move. So light is still dependent on time.

Religion says we have to go even deeper in order to find something which need not have even this dependence – time. So for us it looks meaningless. How can light move without any medium? But now science says it moves. It is so. Religion says, “Don’t be disturbed. How can God be without time?” He is, and God moves without time, consciousness moves without time.

Light has the highest velocity as far as science has measured, but in a way, it is the highest because Existence cannot be said to have more velocity. Really, it moves without time. So there is no question of velocity. We cannot say how much it moves in one second. The movement is absolutely absolute. There is no time gap. So when one enters this illumination, one is pulled. Even the word “pulled” takes time to be asserted, but the very phenomenon of being pulled takes no time.

When I say “pulled”, it takes time, time is lost. But really, when one enters the illumination, even this much time is not needed. There is no time gap. You are pulled, and beyond this light is God, the temple. This light only bathes you, purifies you, just like a fire. You become purified. And the moment you are purified – the entrance, the explosion.

With light you become deathless, but you still feel. You feel that now you have entered immortality. But when entering into That, the Is-ness, you are not even aware of deathlessness. Life and death are meaningless now – only Being is. You are, without any conditions. That Being is the Ultimate for religion.

Light is the field, mind is around the field, and we are around the mind, we live outside the mind. So one has to enter the mind, then light, and then the Divine. But we just go on round and round, outside the mind. This state of always being outside the home has become a fixed habit. We have forgotten that we are living on the verandah. It is easy: the verandah is easy for moving outside. That’s why we have become fixed there – it is easy. We can move outside anytime. and because our mind and our desires are moving outside, we live on the verandah. So at any moment, at any opportunity to move, we can run. We have forgotten that there is a home, and this running outside is just being a beggar. Entering the house means you will have to turn your eyes around completely, and you will have to use your eyes in a new way, and you will have to pass a dark night – only because of a fixed habit.

Christian mystics have talked much about “the dark night of the soul”. This is the dark night – because your eyes are so fixed. As I said, someone becomes shortsighted, someone else becomes farsighted. If he goes on looking far, then he cannot look near. If he goes on looking near, then he cannot look far. Eyes become fixed. They are mechanical; they lose the flexibility. Just as someone becomes nearsighted and someone farsighted, we have become “outsighted”. “Insightedness” will have to be developed.

You must have heard the word “insight”, but you might not have heard the word “outsighted”. You know the word “insight”, but it is meaningless unless you understand the word “outsight”. We have become outsighted, fixed; the insight has to be developed. So whenever you find time, close your eyes, close your mind to the outside, and try to penetrate in. At first you will be in a deep dark night. Nothing will be there except darkness. Don’t be impatient. Wait and watch, and by and by darkness will become less, and you will be able to feel many inner phenomena. And only when you become aware of the inner world, then only can you become aware of the source from where this light is coming. Then enter the source. This the Upanishads call “the bath”.

How stupid the human mind is! We ritualize everything, and the significance is lost. Then only stupid rituals remain. So we take a bath when we go to the temple. Neither the temple is there nor the bath. The temple is inside and the bath also. And this bath, the Upanishads say, is the bath in inner illumination.

Light is really the bridge between the Divine and the world. The Divine creates the world through creating light. Light is the first creation, and then light condenses and matter happens; then light grows, I say light grows, and life happens; then life grows, and love happens. […]

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #11

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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The Purity of the Path – Osho

Seeing the dialectical facts of life, can one practice the path of relaxation and the path of effort simultaneously?

No, it is not possible! You cannot practice both simultaneously because both are diametrically opposite. They lead to one point, but they don’t pass through the same road, through the same route, through the same realms. They are quite diametrically opposite.

You cannot practice both, just like you cannot go to one place simultaneously following two roads. Two roads may be going. You are going to the station and two roads may be going to the station, but you cannot follow both the roads simultaneously. And if you do follow them, you will not reach the station. Both roads go, but then you will not reach because then you will have to go ten steps on one, then come back, follow the other, then come back, follow the first one. Then you can follow much, but you will reach nowhere.

Every way is a particular way. It has its own route, its own steps, its own milestones, its own symbols, its own philosophy, its own methodology, its own vehicles, its own mediums of movement. It has its own everything: every way is a perfect way. So never be in two minds. It will simply create confusion. Follow one! When you reach to the end, you will know that even if you had followed the other you would have reached. When you have reached, you can try just as a play to go on the other – that’s another thing – just to know whether this road also comes or not. But don’t follow two simultaneously, because every path is so scientifically perfect that this will only create disturbance.

Really, in the old days, even to know about the other path was prohibited because even that knowing creates disturbance. And our minds are so childish and so curious, and foolishly curious, that if we hear about something else or read about something else, we begin to amalgamate. And we don’t know that anything which is meaningful on a particular path may be just harmful on another. So you cannot amalgamate. Some part in one car may be meaningful, useful – so useful that the car cannot move without it. But the same part can become a hindrance in another car. Don’t use it, because every part is meaningful only in its own pattern, in its own gestalt. The moment you change the whole, the part becomes a hindrance.

So much confusion has come into the religious world because now every religion is known to everybody, every path is known, and you are just confused. Now, to find a Christian is difficult, to find a Hindu is difficult, to find a Mohammedan is difficult, because everyone is just something of a Hindu, something of a Mohammedan, something of a Christian – and that creates a lot of danger. It is dangerous. It may prove suicidal.

So purity of path is a basic necessity for one who has to follow. If one has just to think about it, then there is no need for any purity. You can go on thinking. But if you are to travel, then purity of the path is very essential. And you must be aware not to confuse anything and not to bring any alien, foreign element in it.

It doesn’t mean that the other is wrong. It only means that the other is right only on the other’s path. You need not take the other conclusion that “Only I am right and the other is wrong.” The other is right in its own way. And if you have to follow another path, just go to the other’s way leaving your way completely.

That is why the old religions – and there are only two basic religions: Hindu and Jewish – were never ready to convert anyone. And the only reason was this, that they knew a very old, very deep tradition – that to convert is to confuse. If someone has been brought up as a Christian and you convert him into a Hindu, you will just confuse him because now he cannot forget that which he has known. Now you cannot just wash it out. It will remain there, and on that foundation, whatsoever you give him as Hinduism will not mean the same because his old foundation will always be there. You will just confuse him, and that confusion will not make him religious, cannot make him.

So the old religions – really, there are just two old religions, the Jewish and the Hindu, and all other religions are just branches of those – have remained very dogmatically non-converting. The Hindu concept was disturbed by Dayananda. Because his mind was working in a political way, not in a religious one, he began to convert. But that concept has a beauty of its own. It doesn’t mean that other religions are bad; it doesn’t mean that others are not right. It doesn’t mean anything like that. It only means that if you have been brought up in a particular concept, it is better to follow that – follow that! It has gone deep in your bones and blood, so it is better to follow that.

But now it has become impossible, and it will never be possible now again because the old patterns have broken. Now, no one can be a Christian, no one can be a Hindu. That is not possible now, so a new categorization is needed. Now I don’t categorize as Hindu and Mohammedan and Christian. That categorization is not possible now. It is just dead and must be thrown away. Now we must categorize every path.

For example, there are two basic divisions: the path of relaxation and the path of effort, the path of surrender and the path of will. This is a basic division. Then other divisions will follow, but these two are basic and quite diametrically opposite. The path of relaxation means surrender just here and now with no effort. If you can, you can. If you cannot, you cannot. If you can, you can. If you cannot, you cannot – there is no go. The path of surrender is very simple: Surrender! If you ask how, then you are not for this path, because the “how” belongs to the other path. Mm? “How” means by what effort, by what technique: “How am I to surrender?” If you ask, “How I am to surrender?” then you are not for the path of surrender. Then go to the other.

If you can just surrender without asking how, only then is it possible. So it seems simple, but it is very difficult, very arduous, because the “how” comes instantaneously. If I say “Surrender!” you have not even heard the word and the “how” comes up: “How?” – then you are not for this path. Then the other path is of will, effort, endeavor. Then every “how” is supplied – how to do it. Then there are many ways. So surrender has only one way, and there are no branches. There cannot be. There cannot be different types of surrender. Surrender is simply surrender. There are no types. Types belong to techniques. There can be different techniques; but because there is no technique surrender remains the purest path, without any division.

Then the second: the path of will. It has many divisions. All the yogas, methods, belong to the second. The second says, “You cannot relax just now, so we will prepare you: a preparation is needed. So follow these methods, and a moment will come when you will drop.”

They look difficult – they are not! They look difficult because they say preparation, methods, years of training and discipline are necessary. So they look difficult, but they are not – because the more time is given to you, the more simplified the process becomes. And surrender is the most difficult process because no time is allowed. They say, “Just here and now.” If you can, you can. If you cannot, you cannot.

Baso, a Zen monk, would say to whosoever would come, “Surrender!” If the person asks, “How?” he would say, “Go elsewhere!” His whole life he used only two statements continuously – never a third. He would say, “Surrender!” If you would say, “How?” he would say, “Go somewhere else!”

Sometimes some persons came who would not ask, “How?” and would surrender. But rare becomes the phenomenon! As our modern mind progresses surrender will be rare, surrender will be difficult, because surrender means an innocence, a trusting mind, an absolute faith. It doesn’t need effort; it needs faith. It doesn’t ask for the method and the way and the bridge; it takes the jump. It doesn’t ask for the steps – it doesn’t ask anything.

But the other path is of effort, tension. And many methods are possible, because to do something there are many techniques. There are many techniques for how to create the ultimate tension so that you explode. But never follow both. You cannot follow! You can just go on thinking about both. And don’t confuse. Determine clearly, exactly, which is for you.

Can you trust? Are you ready without any “how” to take the jump? If not, then forget relaxation, then forget surrender, then even forget the very word – because you cannot understand it. Then effort – and this Upanishad is talking about effort: upward effort, a continuous arrowing of the mind towards the peak.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, 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.

Two Types of Freedom – Osho

You said last night that to have an upward flow of the mind one has to make a constant effort against past animal habits. Please explain what the difference is between effort against habits, and suppression.

Transformation of the mind is a positive effort. Suppression of the mind is negative. The difference is that when you are suppressing your mind, you are positively concerned with being against something. When you are transforming your mind, you are not directly concerned with being against something. You are positively concerned for something: the effort is for something, not against something.

For example, if you are fighting directly with sex, then it will be suppression. But if your positive effort is for transformation of sex energy, your positive effort is for something else, then it will not be suppression. Suppression means you have blocked the natural door for the energy, you have blocked the natural outflow, and you have not opened anything else. It is just a blockage. You are against anger, so you block anger – but where will the energy go? The energy that you have suppressed will create inner complexities. It will even be more perverted. So to be natural is better than to be perverted. Perversion is disease; to be natural is healthy.

Of course, just to be healthy is not the end. One can go even beyond health. So these are three things – suppression, being natural and transcendence. Just being natural is just being healthy. If you suppress and there is no positive outlet, no creative outlet for your suppressed energy, then you will become perverted. You are not healthy: you become diseased, you become a “dis-ease”.

Don’t be concerned negatively. Change the energy, the door, the path, the outlet, positively, and when there is a creative change, the energy that was flowing into sex will not flow. Whenever you can open a higher passage for it, it will flow through it. Whenever you can create something which is better than nature itself, then there is no suppression. This difference must be understood.

Only man can fall below nature; no animal can fall below nature. There are no abnormal animals. Sometimes animals also become abnormal, but only when they are with men – never alone. A dog can go abnormal, a horse can go abnormal, but never alone, never in their natural state. They can go abnormal with man, with man’s society. They can go abnormal in a zoo.

Man can fall down below nature. This may seem unfortunate. This is not, because this capacity comes with another capacity: man can transcend nature. No animal can transcend nature. The higher you can go than nature, the lower you can go also, in the same proportion. Every possibility is a double possibility. Every possibility opens two doors that are diametrically opposite. Unless you can fall below nature, you cannot transcend above it. And if you have the capacity to transcend nature, you will have the capacity to fall below it also.

Animals are just natural; they are neither perverted nor are they transformed. Never do they become sub-animal and never do they become super-animal. They are just animal. Man is a flexible potentiality. He can fall below nature, can be perverted, can become mad. He can transcend nature, can become superhuman, can become a Buddha.

Another thing: animals are born with their nature. In a way they are born perfect. An animal is born developed. Man is born without any nature and is not developed at the time of birth. He develops later. Then many possibilities open, and there is a great range of possibilities. Marl is born undeveloped – not only mentally, but even bodily he is born undeveloped. No animal child is born with an undeveloped body; the body is complete. That’s why, when the animal child is born, he is capable of living even without parents.

But man’s child is born undeveloped, and even in the physiological structure many things develop only after he is born – and it takes years. In the mother’s womb he is not completely developed, and because of that, the phenomenon of mother is born – because mothering continues. If the child is born completely developed, then there will be no mothering. The whole institution of the family developed – and, consequently, the whole society – the whole society was born because the child is born undeveloped. He has to be looked after, taken care of. Only after twenty years will he really be out of the womb. In these twenty years, he will need a family, loving care, a society, in which to develop This will be a greater womb.

Even when he is physically complete, mentally he is not. He will have to develop his mind. And, really, the average mind is never beyond fourteen years of age. The average mind remains below thirteen and a half. The average mental age is thirteen and a half. A person who is physically seventy is mentally thirteen and a half. The mind remains in such a primitive, primary state! Body becomes complete, mind remains incomplete, and spirit is not even touched. Man dies without ever having evolved any spirit.

Whenever someone asked Gurdjieff, “Have we souls?” he would say, “No! Sometimes it happens that a man has a soul. Sometimes only does it happen.” Gurdjieff would say, “only sometimes, rarely does it happen that a man has a soul. You are not even complete minds, so how can you have a soul?”

A body incomplete cannot have a mind, an incomplete mind cannot have a soul, and an incomplete soul cannot realize the Divine. Really, body works as a womb for the mind, and mind works as a womb for the spirit, then spirit works as a womb for God. So man is not born fixed, complete. He is born only as a multi-potentiality, and he can fall down – below nature. He can be more animalistic than any animal and he can be a superhuman being also, he can be just Divine. This range of possibilities is there.

Now you can do two things. If your mind becomes negative, suppressive, you go on fighting things which are not “good”. So you fight sex, you fight anger, you fight greed, you fight jealousy, you fight violence – you go on fighting. But when a person is fighting violence, he will never be non-violent, because to fight violence one needs to be violent.

You cannot fight violence without being violent, so your so-called nonviolent saints are all violent – deeply violent. Of course, their violence is not against others: their violence is against themselves. So no one objects; you can even applaud them. They are against themselves – very violent! You cannot fight violence. How can you fight violence without being violent? How can you fight anger without being angry? The very attitude to fight anger is a subtle anger. The very fight means you are angry. You are not at ease with your anger.

You can take a negative attitude, and you can go on fighting with things which are there. The more you fight them, the more you become like them. A person fighting sex will become sexual. His every gesture will become sexual. His sitting, his standing, his walking, will become sexual. He will be so much obsessed with fighting it that everything will take the tinge and color of sex.

When you fight with something, you have to use the techniques of your enemy. If you want to win, you have to use the same techniques that your enemy is using. So even if you win in the end, you will not win because the techniques will be the same. Really, you will have been defeated. Fight with anger, and if you are defeated then anger will be there. If you win, then also there will be anger. Only anger will have won against anger.

This negative fight will narrow down your consciousness more and more, and you will become afraid of everything. A negative mind is always in fear. Everything becomes a sin, and everything creates guilt, and everything creates fear. You are just in a deep escape from everything. Your consciousness will be narrowed down; it will not expand. You will become so much afraid that you will just hide within yourself, and everywhere around will be all the enemies. You have created them because you became negative.

This is suppression, and you will end in a madhouse. Everything that you have suppressed you will have to suppress continuously. The fight will be so continuous that you will not be able to do anything else. If you are fighting sex, then it will be enough – your whole life will be just a fight. If you are fighting greed, then it will be enough; even greed itself will not take so much energy as the fight with greed. Sex will not take so much energy, it will not dissipate so much energy, as fighting with sex – because sex is just natural, and the fight creates negativity: whenever you are negative, you only dissipate energy. Nothing is gained, nothing creative is achieved. You become self-destructive.

So always remember never to be negative; then there will be no suppression. But I have told you that to go against the current is the way for the mind to flow upward. What do I mean by going against the current? The difference is very subtle, but once felt, you can never lose the track.

For example, you are swimming in a river against the current. Two are the possibilities: one, you are just fighting the river, just fearful of being taken away by the river – taken down, taken in the flow – just afraid, trembling, fighting against the river. Then you will be defeated because this very attitude of fear of being taken away, of this trembling mind, cannot win. The defeat has set in How long will you be able to fight the current? The whole attitude is negative, and the river is very much positive, lifelike. But you are just fear and trembling. How can you win? Sooner or later, you will dissipate energy in the fight, and the current will take you away.

There is a second point, another dimension: you are not fighting the river because you are not fearful of it.

The first thing: fight is created because of fear. Remember, fight means fear. Fear comes first, then you begin to fight Your fear creates fight, your fear creates the foe. So basically, fear is at the root.

The second point: you are not fighting the river because you are not fearful of the river. You are not fearful of the river because you know that this is just natural that the river flows downward. Even if you flow downward, there is no guilt. It is natural. Even if you flow downward, it is not a defeat. It is a defeat only if you fight – then it becomes defeat. It is just natural: the river flows downward, and you flow with it. You can even enjoy it. You can feel the bliss of the flowing river – without any effort, just moving with the current, and the current takes you away. You can even conserve energy by flowing down naturally.

So the first thing: don’t be fearful of a downward flow don’t be fearful! Remember, it is natural, and it is better to flow with the current than to be defeated and taken away – because then the whole thing will lose the bliss that is possible naturally. So the first thing: to be natural is not a sin. Remember, because only then can whole effort become positive; otherwise, it will be negative.

To be natural is not a sin. Of course, it is not enough – mm? – that is another thing. But it is not a sin. If you are flowing naturally, that is okay. As far as it goes, it is okay. It is not a sin, it is not a guilt, it is not immoral – it is just healthy. But I say it is not enough. It is not enough because your possibilities are still more. They are not just to be healthy. You can be holy also.  So don’t be in fear – first thing. Don’t be in condemnation of nature, and then the negative attitude will not be there.

Now: don’t fight the current – play with the current. You are not fighting the river really; you are just training yourself to go upward. Feel the difference: you are not fighting the river – you are just filled with an abundance, you are just filled with energy and training the energy to go upward. Now the river is not an enemy. Rather, it is a friend, because it gives you the opportunity to go up, to play with it. Now the fight is not a fight at all. It is a game; it is a play. And the river is not your enemy, it is a situation. Life is a situation; it is not an enemy. Nature is a situation; it is not an enemy – it is an opportunity.

So try to train your inner energy to flow upward. You are not really concerned with the river going downward. You are concerned with a different river of energy going upward. Your mind is basically concerned with the inner energy which can go upward.

Feel thankful for the river – because it gives you a background, it gives you an opportunity, it helps you, it cooperates with you. You can weigh yourself only through its current. You can feel yourself only because the river is going downward. The feeling that you can go upward even when the river is flowing down gives you a very different quality of confidence – you can go upward. And now, even if you relax and flow with the river, you know very well that you can go upward. Now even this downward flow with the river is not a defeat. You have known something – something different from nature.

If you have glimpsed something different from nature even for a single moment, then you have known your potentiality. You may achieve it, you may not achieve it, but now you are not just part of the downward flow – the upward flow is possible. Now it will depend on you. You will be the decisive factor, not the downward current. Now there is no enmity! If the river flows downward, it is okay. You need not flow, you need not fight, you need not be in fear. You can go up.

Ultimately, there is another possibility in which tantra has gone very deep. Tantra says there is a possibility when you flow downward with the river and still you flow upward. Then only your body is carried away. How can the river carry you away? It can carry only the body. Tantra tried to create many downward rivers. So go into the river, feel the downward flow, flow with it, and remember constantly that you are not flowing.

I was saying that by fighting with sex you may be obsessed with sex totally. There is another possibility: even going deeply in sex, you may not be sexual at all. But that possibility opens only when your effort becomes positive. This is what I mean by positive effort against the current. It is not really against the current; it is for the consciousness. The current is being used just as an opportunity – just to weigh yourself, just to find yourself out – just to feel the upward, the downward is needed. The more forceful the current, the more forceful will be the feeling of the upward. So use nature as an opportunity, not as an enemy. Use instincts as friends, not as enemies They are friends. Only through your ignorance can you make them enemies. They are friends!

When someone reaches the original source, the peak of the river from where the river comes down, one is just thankful – thankful towards the river, grateful towards the river, because it is only through the river that he could achieve the source. So when someone reaches the peak of consciousness, one is thankful to every instinct – because they all helped, they all created the situation, they all created the opportunity. And they were flowing in the opposite direction. So their opposite flow is not really against you; the river is not against you. You can be against the river, and if you are against the river then you will never win. The greater possibility is that you may become perverted.

So use nature to transcend it. When you see there is anger, don’t fight anger directly. Weigh yourself, feel the energy, transcend the anger. Anger is there: remain silent, feel anger and feel yourself and weigh yourself – begin to flow upward. Take it as a play. Don’t be serious! Seriousness is a disease. If you take everything negatively, then you will be serious. Then everything disturbs you: “Why is there anger? Why is there greed? Why this? Why that?” Everything disturbs you and you become serious.

But our so-called saints are very serious. Really, I cannot conceive how a saint can be serious. He can only be playful. The seriousness shows he has been fighting. A soldier, of course, is bound to be serious. A saint need not be, must not be. Really, it disqualifies him from being a saint. A saint must be playful because nothing is against him – everything is for him. He can use everything for himself.

When I say, “effort against the current”, I mean play against the current – play! Try! See what you can do. The current is flowing downward. Can you flow upward? The anger is there. Someone has insulted you; the button has been pushed. Can you remain non-angry? Just play – play with the situation; don’t be serious. The moment you become serious, you become angry, really. Anger is very serious. Be playful, laugh, and see that the anger has been put on, that the conditioned mind has been put on. The anger is boiling there. Now, swim against the current. Take it as a play and see whether it is possible that someone has insulted you. the anger has been created in the metabolism. Can you still swim beyond it? Don’t fight it!

That’s why I say the difference is very subtle. Standing on the bank you cannot feel the difference – unless you have been in the river and experienced both. You are standing on the bank, and someone is fighting the river, and someone is just playing with the river, going upward. What difference can you see from the bank? Only one: one will be serious and the other will be playful – nothing else.

One who is in fear, afraid, fighting, will be serious – dead serious. How can he laugh? How can he play? If the current pushes him, he will feel defeated. The other one who is playing will not be serious at all. He can laugh: he can laugh with the river, he can laugh with the waves. And if the current pushes him down he will not feel defeated – he will try again. He will not be serious. Rather, he will begin to love the river because it pushes. He will begin to love the river! The difference will be inner, qualitative.

Suppression is a serious disease. Transforming oneself is a play – it is not serious at all. It is sincere. but never serious. It is authentic, but never serious. The quality of playfulness always remains there. It is the very spirit. With positivity you are creating something inside. The outward is just an opportunity; the inside creation is the thing. The emphasis is on something else. It is not on fighting the river: the emphasis is on the upward flow.

For example, I am writing something on a blackboard. I use a blackboard, but I write with white chalk, because on a blackboard the white chalk becomes clear in contrast. I can write on a white wall also. The writing will be there, but it will be as if it is not because the contrast will not be there. So the blackboard is not against the white chalk. It is not the enemy: it is the friend. Only when they are against it do the white lines become more white. On a white wall they will just lose themselves, they will be nowhere.

So who is the enemy – the white wall or the blackboard? Who is the enemy? The white wall is the enemy because you lose. The blackboard is not the enemy. Really, it is the friend. On it, the white becomes more white and clear and apparent. But when I am writing on a blackboard my emphasis, my intention is not to destroy the blackboard. Rather, my intention is to make the white lines clear. If you are trying to destroy the blackboard, then the blackboard is the enemy. See the difference: if you are trying to destroy the blackboard by whitewashing it, then you will feel the blackboard as the enemy.

You can whitewash it; then there will be a fight. But when you are writing something on it, your emphasis is not on the blackboard. Really, you never remember it, you need not remember it. It is not even in your awareness; it is only on the fringe. You write: the emphasis is on writing, not on destroying the blackboard. You remember what you are writing, and the blackboard helps. It never obstructs you.

So your emphasis must be on what you are trying to achieve. not on what you are against. If you are trying to achieve love, then be positively concerned with love, not with destroying hate. You can never destroy it! You will not be able to destroy hate. But the moment love is there, the whole energy is transformed. It begins to flow “lovewards”.

Don’t be negative about your energies, instincts, about anything. Be positive. And when you are positively creating something, be playful. It is your nature. Why fight it? you have created it. It is your effort. You wanted to create it, so you have created it. You have chosen it; it is your freedom. If you are angry, it is your choice – so why be against it? It is your choice! For lives and lives you have used anger, so it is there. Why be angry against it? No one has chosen it except you. So whatsoever you are, you are your own creation.

So it is nonsense to think in terms of negativity. Rather, feel that if you can create such a madman inside of you, then, really, you are capable of many things. If you can create such a hell, why not a heaven? But don’t be concerned with the hell. Be concerned with heaven and begin to create it. When the heaven is created you will not find the hell. It will have disappeared completely because it exists only as a negative, it exists only as an absence.

Because there is no heaven, hell has to be. Because there is no love, hate has to be. Because there is no light, darkness is there. Don’t fight with darkness: create the light, be concerned with the creation of light. When the light is there, where will the darkness be then? But you can fight directly. Don’t think about the light at all and begin to fight darkness directly. But no matter what you do, the darkness will never be destroyed. On the contrary, you may be destroyed in the fight. How can you fight darkness directly? It is an absence. Darkness only means that the light is not. So, please, create light.

The river is flowing downward, and you are flowing with it because you don’t know the upward flow. You have not known it: that is the only thing. Once you know it, all the rivers may flow downward, but you cannot flow downward. Then go with the river to the very sea, and you will not go downward.

It is difficult to sense the difference. That’s why so much suppression is in the world. No one has taught it – everyone has understood it. No one has taught it – neither a Buddha nor a Mahavir nor a Jesus nor a Krishna. This is a miracle. No one has taught suppression because no one can. It is absolute nonsense! But everyone has suppressed, and everyone is suppressing – because the difference is so subtle that whenever transformation starts, suppression is understood.

Whenever a teacher is born who begins to talk about transformation, followers gather who begin to understand about suppression – because it is so delicate, so delicate that unless you experience it there is every possibility you will misunderstand it. So try to experience it. The primary requirement: Don’t be against anything – be for! Be for something! Don’t be against something!

Really, when you are against something your future is not open. Only when you are for something does your future open. When you are against something you are clinging to the past. You can never be against the future. How can you be against the future? You can only be against the past. So let it be understood in this dimension also: when you are against, you are against the past. You are fighting with death. The past is no more, so why fight it? Create the future; be for something. Then you become positive.

There are two types of freedom: one is from something and one is for something. A young man is fighting with his parents to be free; he goes hippie. Then for some time the fight continues. The parents cannot do anything, and they forget. Then for the first time the boy begins to feel, “What to do?” because he was only against. The freedom was from the parents. It was not leading anywhere; it was not for something. It was just against something. […]

Life will be a boredom if you are always against and never for. Never be against: be always for. So when I say, “against the current”. I mean for something, for the peak. Sex is not bad, but the peak is better. So never think in terms of bad and good. Always think in terms of good and better. Mm? The bad must be thrown out; it must not be given any status in the mind. Always think in terms of good and better and better. Life is that.

Once you create good and bad, soon the good will drop and bad and worse and worse will follow. So nothing is bad, but better things are possible. Always remember, and struggle for better things. Then you have a positive flow.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #8, Q1

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 Upward Flow of the Mind – Osho

Unmani bhaavah paddyam.

The upward flow of the mind is paddyam – the water of divine worship.

The mind is the bridge between matter and consciousness, between without and within, between the gross and the subtle. When I say mind is the bridge, I mean many things. Man comes to the world through mind; man comes to the body through mind; man comes to desires through mind. So wherever you reach, the reaching is always through the mind. If you create a hell for yourself, you create it through mind. If you create a heaven, that also is through mind.

One of the Zen patriarchs, Hui-Hai, has said, “Mind is heaven and mind is hell.” So whatsoever you are or whatsoever you can be, it will depend ultimately on how your mind works. This working can create something for you which is not; this working can reveal to you that which is. So a mind can create a very illusionary world around it: it is capable. It can dream, and it can dream so real that you cannot even detect that whatsoever is seen and perceived is not real.

So mind has a projective force; it can project. That which is not, mind can create. And because mind can create that which is not, it can forget that which is. It can just be in such a state that the reality is never in any contact with it; and whatsoever happens, it depends only on the mind. So the mind has to be taken as the root of everything that one can experience. Even if one has to know the Divine, one has to go through mind. Of course, that going is difficult because that going implies dropping of the mind. Even if dropping of the mind is needed, it is through mind – because unless you drop the mind you will never be able to know the true.

Mind is everywhere, either positively or negatively. Whatsoever you are doing – creating an illusory world or discovering the real creating a madness for yourself or creating a meditative state – it is all through mind. Wherever you go, you go through the bridge of the mind. Even if you have to come to yourself, it will be through mind. Of course, the coming will be negative; you will have to negate mind. You will have to come back, and the same steps will have to be taken – only the direction will be different. If I go from my home, there are steps which lead me away. If I am returning back, the same steps will lead me back – only the direction will be different. So if you can understand how mind goes out, you know that the same path is to be followed back.

Secondly, in Indian symbology, “upward” is synonymous with “inward”, and “downward” is synonymous with “outward”. When we say “upward” we mean inward; they both mean the same. The more inward you go, the more upward; the more outward you go, the more downward. These two are different symbols. The Chinese mind has always used “downward” as synonymous with “inward”, and “upward” as synonymous with “outward”. So whenever Lao Tzu would speak, he would never use “upward”; he would say, “Come downward,” and by down he means come within. So the within for Lao Tzu is just like an abyss: you fall in.

Indian symbology is different. We use upward for inward. For us the inward is not like an abyss, it is like a peak. Both can be used because symbols are just symbols, they indicate; more than that is meaningless. So it has always been a problem. The Upanishads always talk of upward, and the symbol is fire – fire constantly running upward. For Lao Tzu and Taoists, water is the symbol – water running downward, finding the most downward position possible. It can rest only when the deepest abyss has been found. But fire will rest only with the sun. It will go upward, upward, to the invisible upwardness.

There is no contradiction. Really, whenever persons like Lao Tzu or Zarathustra or Jesus speak, they may use contradictory terms but they are never contradictory. They cannot be, that is impossible. So if their words are contradictory, that only shows their type, their choice, their individuality, their way of saying things – nothing more. But pundits, scholars, can make much out of these apparent contradictions. And whenever we are talking about the Absolute, the Ultimate, one thing must be understood very clearly: you can use either of the extremes to express it, and each extreme is as valid as the other.

For example, the Upanishads use for the Divine the word “Absolute”. This is one extreme, that of positivity – the Perfect, the Absolute. Buddha uses for that same state and the same realization, “Nothingness” – the other extreme. Totally opposite as far as words go, but as far as the realization is concerned, they both mean the same. But it created much confusion.

Buddha appeared to be absolutely contradictory to the Hindu mind. He was not. He was one of the purest Hindus possible, but he used a negative word. That was his liking, and it is good not to discuss likings – because one is as valid or as invalid as the other. Both can be used. Either you say “the infinite” or you say “the zero” – both are infinite. If you take it in the beginning, it is zero. If you take it in the end, it is infinite. Both mean the same thing.

Just like this, Buddha and Mahavir, both contemporaries, used very contradictory language. Mahavir says, “To know the Self is the ultimate knowledge, the wisdom. To know the Self is the wisdom.” And Buddha says, “To believe in the self is the only ignorance.” Mahavir says, “Only the Self is,” and Buddha says, “Only the self is the deception, the most false thing.” Nothing can be more contradictory, so Jains and Buddhists have been fighting constantly for twenty-five centuries. But the whole conflict is based just on linguistic fallacies – because Mahavir uses the word “Self”, negating everything of the ego in it. He says, “You become the Self when there is no ego.” So really, “Self” becomes just like “no-self”. If there is no ego, the Self becomes just like no-self. And Buddha uses the “self” as the ego and he says the self means the ego, so the most perfect ego means “the self”. Then the meaning becomes clear. So both are right. When Buddha says, “To believe in a self is to be ignorant,” he is right. And Mahavir is also right when he says, “To know the Self is the ultimate wisdom.” The contradiction is just apparent.

Lao Tzu says, “To go down to the last is to reach the basic Existence.” He begins from the beginning: “Drop down back to the very beginning, to the original source. The original source is deep down.” The Upanishads say, “Go up to the last where the peak is achieved.” Lao Tzu says, “Go down to the original source,” and the Upanishads say, “Go up to the ultimate possibility, to the very end. Achieve the potentiality to the very end; make the potentiality absolutely actual.” The beginning and end are not two separate things. Really, no end can end unless it reaches again to the beginning. And the beginning begins only where the end ends.

Life moves in a circle, so if you begin a circle, the point of beginning will be the point of the ending also. Life moves in a circle, so you can say the same point is the beginning and the end both. So the upward is not contradictory to the downward. The Lao Tzuan downward and the Upanishadic upward – both mean the same. Only the words differ.

If we can penetrate to the meaning beyond the words, only then can we conceive of and comprehend these minds. These minds are living in such experiences which cannot really be expressed through ordinary words. But they have to use ordinary words, so they can use only ordinary words with a very different meaning, with a very different connotation. So one thing more: when the Upanishads say upward, remember, it is the same as inward. The more you go in, the more up, and vice versa: the more up you go, the more in. What is this upwardness or inwardness? And why should the sutra say that this upward flow of the mind is the only water by which you can worship the feet of the Divine? So many things are implied. One is that it is useless to use just water – it is useless!

Al-hillaj Mansoor, a Sufi mystic, was killed. When his hands were cut, blood began to flow, and he used that blood as Mohammedans use water for wazu – cleaning the body before going to the worship. They use water, but Mansoor used blood. And when he made the gesture of wazu, someone asked from the crowd, “Mansoor, have you gone mad? What are you doing?”

Mansoor said, “For the first time I am doing wazu, cleaning myself with my own blood – because how can you clean yourself with water?”

He gives a deeper significance. Really, he means that unless you die, how can you purify yourself for the prayer? Wazu through blood means dying. Only dying can be a real cleansing, a real purity. And when you die, you become able to pray. Unless you die, you cannot pray. So the courage to die becomes a basic requirement for prayer.

This sutra says, “The upward flow of the mind is the water for the Divine feet.” No other water will do. It goes even deeper than Mansoor’s blood, because blood is not so deep – it is only skin-deep. You can do wazu with your blood; it is not so deep yet. But the upward flowing mind is the deepest possibility, for two reasons: basically, the mind is downward flowing; basically, the trend is to flow downward because it is easy. The downward flow is always easy. The upward needs effort; the upward needs a fight with the gravitation; the upward means austerity. You cannot flow upward – unless you change your nature completely. It is a transformation! The downward flow is but natural, it is in the very nature of things. So mind has a downward flow naturally.

Think of it in this way: if you want to think and concentrate on the Divine, you will feel much difficulty. The mind will be wavering constantly. You will not be able to concentrate even for a single moment, really. It will be going here and there. Concentration will not be possible, contemplation will not be possible, meditation will not be possible. Mind will not be ready. Even with much effort, you will find it is not coming to the Divine, towards the Divine. But think of sex, and mind is absorbed. No need to concentrate – it concentrates. No need to make any effort – mind flows easily.

Really, we don’t know anything else except sex by which we can understand what concentration means. So it happens always that whenever a person can concentrate on any other thing, sex will not be a problem for him – whenever! Even if he is just a scientist, a research-worker, working in his lab, if he can concentrate on his work then sex will not be a problem in his life at all. But if you cannot concentrate on anything else, then your mind will be flowing through the channel of sex constantly.

One thing must be understood: when you are thinking about sex, you are totally absorbed. There is no wavering. You even forget that you are thinking about sex – you may remember afterwards. Even this much wavering is not there. You forget that you are different and that this procession of sexual thoughts and images is different. You become one with them. This is what is meant when bhaktas say, “the constant remembering of the Divine – without you, without ‘I’.” The same phenomenon occurs, only the object changes. It is not sex now; the object becomes Divine. And unless the Divine becomes as absorbing as sex is naturally, you cannot flow upward.

So the upward flow is an effort: you have to pull yourself together for it. The downward flow is easy. That’s why, whenever you feel tense, sex becomes a relaxation, a relief – because every tension means that you have been pulling yourself together towards something which is not natural. Then if you can relax to the downward flow, you will feel a relief. So in the West particularly, sex has become just a relief – just a relief from tensions. It is, and it is because when you flow downward no effort is needed. So sex is used by many, really by ninety-nine percent of people, as a tranquillizer. If you move in sex then you can sleep well. Why? Because when the mind is flowing downward your whole body is relaxed. Unless you are relaxed m the same way when your mind is going upward, you are not a religious person at all.

That is the difference between a secular mind and a religious mind. A secular mind is at ease with downward flowing, relaxed. A religious mind is only relaxed when upward flowing. Whenever a religious mind has to flow downward, it becomes tense. Ultimately, when the upward flow is achieved, the same effort will be needed to flow downward – even more effort, because upwardness, even when arduous, is still upwardness, and downwardness. even with no effort, is downwardness. And when one has to come down with effort, the effort becomes a thousandfold more arduous.

For a person like Ramakrishna, even to eat is an effort. For a person like Buddha, even to move is an effort, even to be in the body is an effort. This effort means that the whole nature has become transformed. That which was downward before has now become upward, and that which was upward before has become downward. A religious mind flows upward as if the upwardness has just become downwardness. Meera is at ease when she is dancing and singing for Krishna, but when her husband Rana is there, she is not at ease, because Rana now is a downward flow. This upward flow is bound to be an effort for us. Unless you will it, you will not achieve it.

Now, again, you will find a conflict between Tao and the Upanishads. Lao Tzu says, “Effortlessness is the means,” and the Upanishads says, “Effort, total effort, is the means.” When Lao Tzu says “effortlessness”, he means be so still that not a single movement is there, because any effort is a movement, any effort is a tension, any effort means that you are outside. So when Lao Tzu says “effortlessness”, he is using it to mean an absolutely relaxed state of mind – do not do anything.

It is not so easy. It is as difficult as the upward flow – rather, even more difficult, because we can understand terms which imply doing, but we cannot understand terms which imply non-doing. Non-doing for us is more arduous, but both are arduous, and both try through different ways to achieve the same point. If you become totally effortless, you achieve your innermost center – because you cannot move! When there is no movement you will drop down, down, down to the center. Every peripheral event is an effort. When there is no effort, you will be down in your ultimate center.

The Upanishads again use a different way which is, of course, in logical relationship with their concept of upwardness. They say absolute effort is needed. When you make an absolute effort, you will become more tense, more tense, more tense, and there will come a moment when you will be nothing but tension. You will be nothing but tension! Then there is nothing further. The ultimate has been achieved. Now you are just a tension. When this climax comes, suddenly you will fall from the climax. You cannot go further; you have come to the last limit. The tension has come to its ultimate, the maximum; it cannot go further. When tension comes to a total climax, you suddenly relax and you reach the point which is meant by Tao, by Lao Tzu – effortlessness. You come to the center.

So there are two ways: either relax directly as Tao implies or relax indirectly as the Upanishads say. Create the tension to its ultimate, and then there will be relaxation. And I think the Upanishads are more helpful, because we are tense and we understand the meaning, the language, the ways of tension. Tell someone suddenly to relax and he cannot. Even relaxation becomes a new tension for him. I have seen a book which is entitled You Must Relax. The very “must” will create tension. The word is anti-relaxation – “must”. It becomes hard work: you must relax. So try now to relax, and your very effort to relax will create more tensions. The title should rather be You Must Not Relax, if you want to relax.

Relaxation cannot come directly to us. We are tense, so much tense. Relaxation doesn’t mean anything; we have not known it. Lao Tzu is right, but to follow him is very difficult. And it looks simple. Always remember – whenever something looks very simple it must be very complex, because in this world the most simple is the most complex. And because it looks simple you may deceive yourself. So I can say, “Just relax!” – it will not happen.

I was working for ten years continuously with Lao Tzuan methods, so I was continuously teaching direct relaxation. It was simple for me so I thought it would be simple for everyone. Then. by and by, I become aware that it is impossible. I was in a fallacy: it was not possible. I would say, “Relax!” to those I was teaching. They would appear to understand the meaning of the word, but they could not relax. Then I had to devise new methods for meditation which create tension first – more tension. They create such tension that you become just mad. And then I say, “Relax.”

When you have come up to the climax, your whole body. your whole mind, becomes hungry for relaxation. With so much tension, you want to stop, and I go on pushing you to continue, continue to the very end. Do whatsoever you can do to create tensions, and then, when you stop you just fall down from the peak into a deep abyss. The abyss is the end, the effortlessness is the end, but the Upanishads use tension as the means.

So be effortful to flow upward. Really, to use the word “flow” is not good because flow means downward. How can you flow upward? You have to struggle. To flow upward means a struggle, constant struggle. A moment is missed, and you will find you are downward. For a moment you stop the struggle, and you will be flowing downward. It is a constant struggle against the current. So now understand what the current is and against what current you have to struggle upward.

Your habits are the current, long habits, habits generated by many, many lives; not only human lives – animal lives, vegetable lives. You are not isolated; you are part of a long succession, and every habit is just engrained. You have been flowing downward continuously for millennia, so it has become a deep habit. Really, it has become your nature. You don’t know any other nature. You know only one nature which goes down and down and down. This downwardness is the current, and every cell of the body, every atom of the mind is just part of a long, long succession of habits. They are so deep that we don’t even remember from where they came. […]

This is the current. When you are violent, you alone are not violent: your whole history is violent. When you are sexual, you alone are not sexual: the whole history is sexual, the whole succession. That’s why it has so much force. You are just a dead leaf in a big current.

So what to do so that you can go upward against the current? What to do?

Three things to be done: one, whenever mind begins to flow downward, become aware as early as possible – as early as possible! Someone has insulted you. For you to become angry, a little time is needed because it is a mechanism. You will get angry, but after a gap. Things will happen like a flash. First you will feel insulted. The moment you feel insulted, the second current will begin to flow: you will become angry. At first the anger will not be conscious; first it will be just like a fever. Then it will become conscious. Then you will begin to express or suppress it.

So when I say, “the earlier the better”, I mean when someone insults you, become aware as soon as you begin to feel that you have been insulted. And whenever you become aware, just make an effort to stop. Don’t fall into the automatic track even for a single moment. Even a single moment’s stop will help much. Longer stops will help even more.

When Gurdjieff’s father was dying, he called his boy. He was just nine, and Gurdjieff remembered the incident all his life. The father called him. He was the youngest child and the father said, “I am so poor, I cannot give you anything, my boy. But one thing which my father gave to me I can give you. You may not even be able to understand what it means now, because I myself was not able to understand what it meant when my father gave it to me. But it proved the most precious thing in my life, so I am just giving it to you. Preserve it! Someday you may begin to understand it.”

So Gurdjieff just listened. The father said, “Whenever you feel angry, never reply before twenty-four hours. Reply, but let there be a gap of twenty-four hours.”

Gurdjieff followed his dying father’s advice. It became deeply impressed in his mind the very day his father died, and Gurdjieff said, “I have practiced many, many, many spiritual exercises, but that was the best. I never could be angry in my life, and that changed the whole flow, the whole current, because I had to stick to the promise. Whenever someone would insult me, I would create something, some situation. I would just tell him that I would come back after twenty-four hours to reply, and I have never replied because it proved such nonsense to reply.” Only a gap was needed. And the whole life of George Gurdjieff became something different.

So even if you can begin with one thing in the current, you will begin to change the whole. Really, this is one of the basic truths of esoteric religion: that you cannot change a part unless you change the whole. And it works both ways. Either you change the whole, then the part will change; or you change even a single part totally and the whole will follow – because they are so integratedly related.

So begin anywhere. Find out your chief characteristic. Find out the chief characteristic for you: that which is most forceful, which you cannot resist, that which tempts you and causes you to go down. It may be sadness, it may be anger, it may be greed, it may be anything. Find out your chief characteristic, your weakness. And begin with the stronger one, then the weaker ones can be won very easily. Begin with the strongest. If anger is the strongest begin with anger. First, when you feel that you have been insulted, you have been rejected, you have been hindered – anything which creates anger – just when you feel that “Now the first step has been taken and I am feeling insulted,” stop for a moment. Don’t breathe; just stop the breath wherever it is. If it is out, let it be out. If it is in, let it be in. Stop breathing for a moment, then release the breath. Go in, and find out whether you have missed the thing, or it is still there.

You will have missed it. The connection is missed. You will have given a gap to the automatic working. Somewhere you have disjointed the mechanism, and breathing is wonderful to disjoin anything. Just stop breathing, and there is a disjoining inside. Your feeling insulted and the mechanism of anger will not be joined. And if they are missed even for a single moment, they are missed. Your mechanism will never know that you have been insulted.

The earlier this happens, the better. There are even earlier stages – they belong to the other, not to you. When the other is insulting you, before feeling insulted look at him and feel that he is angry. Stop your breath and look at him again, and you will not be insulted. He will insult you, but you will not be insulted. You will not feel insulted because again there comes a gap. This gap is between him and you. Now he cannot cross this gap; he cannot insult you. He will insult, but somewhere he has missed you. You are not the target now. For him you are the target, but actually you are not. You can laugh, and if you laugh it is better.

So first create a gap. Second: do something which is ordinarily never done in such situations. When someone is insulting, no one laughs, no one smiles, no one thanks, no one hugs, embraces. Do something which is never done! Then you are against the current, because the current is always that which is done, that which is usually done. This is what the current means. Be unusual! Someone is beating you: laugh and feel the difference – not only in those who are beating you, but within yourself. If you can laugh, you will feel totally different. Try it – something absurd. Then you disconnect the whole mechanism, you confuse the whole mechanism, because the mechanism cannot understand what is happening. A mechanism is just a mechanism. It may be very deep rooted, but it is mechanical; it has no consciousness. So confuse your animal. Don’t allow him to push and pull and manipulate. Confuse the animal! The more you confuse him, the less powerful he becomes – and by “animal” I mean your past.

This is a rare experiment: to do something which is never done. When you are happy, do something which is never done in happiness: be sad, act sad, be angry, act angry. Confuse the mechanism. Just don’t allow the mechanism to know everything that is to be done. Don’t allow, and within a year your mechanism will be at a loss. Someone will be insulting, and your mechanism will not know at all what to do. You have broken from your past. So try! Every moment can be an experiment, and you will feel a sudden change in your consciousness. When someone is insulting you, laugh and feel what is happening inside – something new you have never known. […]

Become unpredictable: this is the second thing. If you are predictable, you are a thing, not a person. The more unpredictable, the more you are not a thing – not just a thing among things. You become a person. So the second thing against the current: be unpredictable. Sometimes be absurd. Just don’t try to be logical because the current is logical. Remember this: the current is very logical – strictly logical. Everything is related. You insult me: I am angry. You appreciate me: I am happy. You call me good, and I am one way; and you call me bad, and I am different. Everything is predictable, it is logical.

Really, if you are angry and I don’t reply to you with anger, you will feel something strange has happened. You will not be at ease. You will not be at ease because something illogical has come in. We live in a logical world. This current is very logical, mathematical; everything is fixed. Unfix it! Disturb it! Create a chaos! Create an inner anarchy! Only then can you throw the animal heritage. Animals are predictable and animals are very logical. To transcend them you must have the courage to be illogical, and that is the deepest courage – to be illogical. […]

Really, if you can understand, life is illogical, death is illogical, love is illogical, God is illogical, and all that is logical is just marketplace. In this life everything that is meaningful, significant, deep, ultimate, is illogical. So create an illogical-ness inside. Don’t be too logical – then you can break. Logic is the foundation of your old mind, your traditional mind. Illogic should be the beginning of the new mind.

And, thirdly, whenever you feel convenience, comfort, easiness, be alert: the mind is flowing downward. So don’t ask for inner comfort, otherwise you will be lost. Don’t ask for inner convenience, otherwise you will be lost. Whenever you feel everything is okay, be alert, you are flowing downward – because nothing is okay really. So whenever you feel that everything is okay, nothing is to be done and everything is just flowing, everything is good, remember, you are flowing downward. Be aware of inner conveniences. And when I say “comfort and convenience,” I mean inner ones. Outwardly it makes no difference – you may be in comfort outwardly – but inwardly never allow comfort to set in.

That’s why no one remembers religion when he feels happy. When you feel sorrow, when you feel sadness, when you feel misery, you begin to think about religion. Inconvenience inside must be used. So two things: first remember always that the downward flow is very convenient. Don’t be a victim to it. Always create some inner inconvenience. This is tap – inner inconvenience. This is tap – this is austerity. What do I mean by inner inconvenience?

You are sleeping, relaxed: create an inner inconvenience. Let the body relax, but don’t relax the alertness. Sufis have used vigil, night vigil, as an inner inconvenience. The whole night they will be on vigil. In India, sleep was never used, really – food and hunger were used as inner inconveniences. The hunger is there: don’t take food. The hunger is there: remember it, be aware of it, and yet be away from it. An inner inconvenience is created. The mind has a habit to fall for the convenience, so create any inner inconvenience. And always go on changing, because if you are fixed to one thing it will not be an inconvenience for long.

You can even become fixed to your fasting, then it becomes a convenience rather than an inconvenience, because to take food may begin to appear as an inconvenience. Once you know that the body can run without food – the body begins to feel more light, the body begins to feel more alive, the body begins to feel more vital; and the body has a built-in process so that for at least three months you can be without food, without any food – after seven or eight days, to take food will be inconvenient. So use fasting as an inconvenience, and when fasting begins to settle, use food.

Gurdjieff was strange in this. He would give you such strange foods – such strange foods you have never eaten! The whole stomach would be disturbed, and he would create inconvenience. […]

And his followers were very much afraid because he would force them to eat so much that it became a torture. From eight in the night up to twelve – four hours – would be for eating, and he would be there. He would go on forcing – no one could say no, He would force so much alcohol that ordinarily it would just make you deadly unconscious, but he would go on. He would create inner inconvenience and he would say, “Let the inconvenience be there. Remember! Be awake!” He would go on pouring alcohol, and he would say, “Remember! Remember, and be awake!”

Tantrics have used alcohol, and a real tantric can take any amount of it without being affected at all. They say, and they say rightly, that alcohol creates the deepest inconvenience inside. To fight with it and remain aware is the most arduous thing. When the alcohol goes in, and every body cell becomes lethargic, and the chemical begins to work, and the mind begins to lose consciousness, then to be aware is the most arduous tap – austerity – possible. But it is possible, and once it happens you will never be the same again.

So create any inner inconvenience. The current always helps you to be convenient: that is a trick; then you begin to flow with it. So the third thing for the upward flow of the mind is to create inward inconvenience continuously and go on changing. You can make anything a habit – go on changing. When something becomes convenient, leave it; create something new. Then, by these inconveniences, you create a crystallization inside. You become integrated, one. And for this oneness, this integration, this chemical crystallization, alchemists use the word “gold”. Now the baser metal has been changed into higher. Now you are gold. This integration is the third point to remember.

So continuously be aware that some integration must take place. No moment should be missed in which you have not tried to integrate yourself. You are walking: a moment comes when your legs give way, and they say, “Now you cannot move.” That is the point to move. Now move! Now don’t listen to the legs, and you will become aware of a subtle force – because the body has two force reservoirs. One is just ordinary, for day-to-day use. Another, a deeper one, is infinite. It is not for everyday use: it only comes into operation when some emergency is there.

You are walking: you have walked twenty miles, and now you know very well, your logic says, your mind says, every fiber of the body says that now no movement is possible – you will just drop dead. A single step more, and you will drop dead! This is the moment: now move! Don’t listen to the body! Now run! Don’t listen to the body, and suddenly there will be an upsurge of energy again. Within moments you will feel a new energy, and now you can walk for miles together. This energy comes from the reservoir, and this reservoir is connected only when the day-to-day energy source is just empty. If you listen to the body then this reservoir is never used.

You are feeling sleepy, and now you cannot even open your eyes. This is the moment. Stand! Open your eyes! Stare! Don’t blink! Forget sleep and try to be awake – and within seconds a sudden upsurge of energy will overflow. There will be no sleep. You will be fresher than you have ever been in the morning. A new morning, an inside morning has happened. A deeper source energy has come. This is how to integrate your mind and how to let it be arrowed upwards continuously.

The rishi says, “The upward flow of the mind is the water for Divine worship.” Mm? No other water will do. This constant upward flow, by this and only by this can you worship the feet of the Divine.

-Osho

From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1, Discourse #7

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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Remain with the Doubt – Osho

I am never born as a body. I am not the ten senses. And I am neither intellect, nor mind nor everlasting ego. I am eternally pure self-nature without vital breath and mind. I am the witness without intellect. And I am the ever knowing self-nature. Ther is no doubt, whatsoever, about it.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

A very long journey from “I” to “thou,” from “thou” to “that,” and from “that” to the beyond. And now again the rishi begins to talk about “Who am I?” Obviously, the first “I” is not referred to, that has been just disposed of. This is a second “I.”

The first “I” constitutes the ego; constitutes whatsoever we have done, whatsoever we have achieved, whatsoever has been our accumulation. This second “I” is not our doing; this second “I” is our being. So we must distinguish between these two: the doing and the being.

The being is something which is there, has been there; it is a priori. It is not your creation, it is not your construction, you have not contributed anything to it, because you are it. So how can you do anything? And whatsoever you have done is just an accumulations around – never on the center; the center has always been there.

The child is born. The child is born with a being, with a center, but with no periphery, with no circumference. The child is born with a being, but with no doing at all. Now the doing will grow; now the child will cultivate the ego. Whatsoever the child is going to do will become part of his ego. If he succeeds, then a superiority is accumulated; if he fails, then an inferiority is accumulated. And whether you begin to feel to be inferior or superior, a certain ego is formed. Even when you feel inferior, you have an ego which feels to be inferior. If you succeed, you have an ego which feels to be superior.

The ego means whatsoever you have done – whether you succeed or fail, it is irrelevant, you create an ego. You begin to assert, “I am this, I am that.” And the more this feeling grows, the more the center is lost, and by and by forgotten. In the end we are nothing but our doings. The being is just lost; we have lost the track.

So first we discussed the “I,” the ego, the superficial, the one created by us – our own creation. Now the rishi is talking about the being – what we are, not what we have done; what we are, pure, simple beingness. Of course when we say “I” and use “I” for it, the meaning is totally different. We again refer to it as an “I,” because this is the innermost center of our existence. But now there is no feeling of “I-ness,” only a reference, only a word to be used and forgotten. This pure “I,” this pure being, can only be described in a negative way, through elimination. We have to say, “This is not, that is not,” and go on denying. And when nothing remains to deny anymore, it is revealed.

There are two ways to indicate a thing. One is direct, positive; another is indirect, negative. The more sublime a phenomenon, the more deep a thing is, you cannot indicate it positively, you cannot figure it out. You cannot say, “This is.” No, that’s not possible. How can you say what love is? How can you say what goodness is? How can you say what God is? If you say something positive, you will feel that much has remained unexpressed, and your word has given a limitation.

Saint Augustine has been asked by someone, “What is God?” Saint Augustine says, “When you do not ask me, I know very well, but when you ask me, everything is lost. So don’t disturb me; go and find out. Please go and find our for yourself. I am not going to answer, because the moment I begin to answer, I feel guilty. Any expression becomes just criminal, because whatsoever I say is nothing compared to that about which I am saying.” This has always been felt, very deeply felt, and so many have just remained silent, mm? – not to be guilty; it is better not to say.

Wittgenstein has written in his Tractatus, “It is better not to say than to say something about a thing which is inexpressible. So be silent, it is better, because at least you are right.” At least you are right! The moment you say something you are bound to be wrong, any assertion is bound to be wrong. So infinite a phenomenon as the deeper “I” . . . It is better to be silent.

But it needs expression. It may be better for the person who is going to say, but it is not better for the person who is going to understand it, to enquire about it. Silence will not do.

So the rishi uses the second method, the negative one. The Upansishads have been using the same method always. That has been their technique, to negate. They will say, “I am that which is never born. I am the unborn one. All that which is born, I am not. So whatsoever is born, I am not.” This is the eliminating process. Whatsoever is born, I am not. Breathing has been born in me. It is born because a child is born without breathing, then he breathes. So the being precedes breathing; being comes first, and then there is breathing. Then there is thinking, then there is ego – all this is born.

If we go still deeper, when the mother becomes pregnant, the first egg has no senses, but the being is there. Then by and by the egg grows and then senses come into being; they are born. After the being is, it is born.

So the rishi says: “I am not the senses, because I am always prior.” I always precede. And whatsoever has succeeded me, I am not.”

“I am not the senses” – that is, I am not the body – “neither am I the mind,” because mind is a later growth, and sometimes mind can be destroyed without destroying you. Sometimes it happens that accidentally the mind is destroyed, and you are.

In the second world war, one English soldier fell down into a ditch. He became unconscious, and he remained unconscious for one week. And when he came back from unconsciousness, he was not the same mind again. He couldn’t recognize anyone – not even himself; he couldn’t recognize his face in the mirror, because all his memory was lost; the whole mechanism was destroyed. But the being was still there. So the mind is a mechanism – something added to you, but not you. It is something instrumental to you, but not you.

The rishi says, “I am not the mind. Neither am I the feeling of being a self.” Neither am I the feeling of being a self, because how can you feel yourself as a self without the mind? The feeling of self is part of the mind, that, “I am.” Go deep into it. We use “I am.” This feeling of “I” is part of our mind. The rishi says, “No not this either. This feeling of being a self is again not my reality, my being.” So when the rishi says, “Not even the feeling of self,” then what remains? “I” drops completely, and only “am-ness” remains. The feeling of “I” belongs to the mind, but “am-ness” belongs to my being itself. A feeling of “am-ness” is what is meant by atma – just “am-ness.”

If you can drop your thinking, you will be, but in an oceanic feeling of “am-ness.” Even this formation of “I,” this formation of self-hood, is not there. That is a later growth.

The rishi is really trying to bring into consciousness, the purest possibility of existence, with nothing added to it – the purest, just a clean slate, nothing written on it. So he is washing everything that we have written on it, and just cleaning the whole thing. When nothing more remains to be washed, he says, “This is the being.” Because whatsoever is written is just doing – howsoever subtle, howsoever hidden, howsoever unconscious – whatsoever is written is a later growth.

So go back, retrace, regress to the original “am-ness.” That, he says, even when there is no breathing, where there is no “minding,” this being is there – without mind, without breathing, without senses. What remains? But what remains? Just a vacuum? Just a nothingness? No, all remains, but in its purity, in its potentiality, in its absolute seed.

Only one positive assertion is made, and that is, “This innermost center is aware, is conscious.” The very nature of it is consciousness. When everything has been eliminated – thoughts, senses, body, mind – when everything has been eliminated, only pure consciousness remains. This is the nature of it.

What is meant by pure consciousness?

By pure consciousness is meant that there is consciousness; not conscious about anything – just a mirror, mirroring nothing. Towards this purity is the whole search. And the rishi says, “There is no doubt about it,” because this is not a doctrine, this is not a philosophical system; this is experience, this is realization. The rishi says, “This I have known; this I have lived; this I have reached.

This is not just a mental projection; this is not just a thought-out system; this is what I have lived and known and experienced.”

This must be understood because this is one of the most emphatic characteristics of Eastern darshan – I will not call it philosophy. It has been called and translated as philosophy very wrongly – not only wrongly, but the very meaning is perverted. By darshan is meant that which you have seen, not thought. By philosophy is meant that which you have thought.

Philosophy means love of thinking. philo means love, sophy means thinking – love of thinking. Darshan is not love of thinking; it is love of seeing. So only one man, Hermann Hesse, has rightly translated it; he has coined a new word to translate darshan into English, and that word is philosiaphilo for love, and sia for seeing – not sophy, but sia.

The Eastern mind has been constantly concerned, not with thinking, but with seeing. They say thinking is a pale substitute. You have seen the sunrise, that is one thing. Someone who is blind can only think about the sunrise. Can there be any parallel? Can there be any comparison? Whatsoever you have seen and whatsoever he may have thought – can there be any link between the two? A blind man thinking about the sunrise is really a very complex phenomenon, primarily, because a blind man has never known what sunrise is, what light is. What does rising mean to a blind man? What does light mean to a blind man? Simple words – only words, mere words with nothing in them – meaningless. He has heard “light,” “sun,” “sunrise”; he can think. What can he think? He can think in a chain of words. He can create a chain of words – simple – a chain of words, not of meanings, because meaning is something which is always felt. A word is meaningless unless you have felt the substance of it. A blind man cannot think about the sunrise because he cannot even think about light; really, he cannot even think about darkness.

We always think, we assume that the blind man is living in darkness. That is simply absurd, because darkness is a phenomenon of the eyes, not of blindness. You have to be not blind to know darkness: darkness is seen, and a blind man cannot see. So a blind man is not in darkness – remember this.

A blind man has never known what darkness is, because for darkness to be felt, you need eyes. So even darkness has not been known. So if you eliminate, negate, and you say to the blind man, “Light is what darkness is not,” it still means nothing. You cannot even use the eliminative process; you cannot say, “Light is not darkness.” He will ask what darkness is. A blind man can think. Thinking is a dimension which need not be experienced. He can think, he can create concepts in his own way – in his own blind ways he can create concepts. He can create some parallelism; he can create some synonyms. He can begin to think in terms of his own experience about light, darkness and sunrise, and he can create a philosophy. Really, only blind men create philosophies, because those who can see will not bother to create philosophies. If you can see, there is no need.

This is the basic difference between Eastern thinking and Western. Western thinking has always remained with thinking; Eastern thinking has always stepped out of thinking, because they say even thinking is a barrier to seeing. If your eyes are filled with thoughts, you cannot see. The eyes must cease all thinking, all ideation, all minding – then the eyes are clear, then you can go deep into reality.

So the rishi says, “There is no doubt about it. Whatsoever I am saying, I have seen, and there is no doubt.” So it is not, “I don’t know, but I propose . . . perhaps . . . it may be so . . . ” It is not so. The rishi is not saying, “Perhaps it may be like this,” or “Perhaps it may be like that.” He is simply saying – he is describing. So it is not that he is proposing any ideology; it is simply this, that he is describing something he has gone into. So he says, “There is no doubt. I myself have know this: this pure consciousness.”

How to go? – because for us still there is doubt. It may not be for him – for the rishi it may not be – but for us there is still doubt. And it is good – if you also say, “Now there is no doubt,” then you are lost, because if there is no doubt for you, you will not go for the journey where the certainty is. You will create a pseudo certainty; all believers create pseudo certainties. They also say, “We believe it is so,” and they have not known.

Unless you know, do not believe.

Unless you know, do not say, “There is no doubt.”

Remain with the doubt.

Doubt is healthy; it pushes you.

But don’t get stuck in the doubt – go ahead, find the state where you can also say, “Now there is no doubt. I know it.” But not before that – not before that. Live with doubt, go with doubt; search, enquire. Don’t make your doubt suicidal – that’s enough – don’t make your doubt suicidal. Let it be a healthy push! Let it be an enquiry, an open enquiry.

So be with doubt. Don’t create any false belief. It is better to be sincerely in doubt, than to be insincerely into belief, because at least you are authentic. And authenticity is very meaningful. An authentic, sincere person can reach – will reach. But a non-authentic, insincere person may go on believing for lives and lives together. He is not even moving a single inch; he cannot move.

So when this rishi says, “There is no doubt,” it is not meant that thereby you begin to believe. The rishi is simply giving a statement about his own stage. He is saying, “For me, there is no doubt. Whatsoever I am saying, I mean it, and I have known it.”

Really, the Upanishads have never given any arguments. Whatsoever they say, they say without any arguments, without any proofs. This is rare! They don’t say why this is so; they say, “This is so.” Why? It is significant. It is very significant, because whenever you try to prove something – you argue something, you gather witnesses for it – it means that you are creating a philosophy, a rationalization, a reasoning, a logical system; but you have not known.

If you have known, then a simple statement is enough. So the rishis give simple statements, and then methods – not proofs. Whatsoever they say, they say, “It is so; now this is the method, you can also know it.” They never give any proofs; quite the opposite.

There are Greek thinkers: Aristotle, or Plato, or even Socrates. They go on giving proofs. They go on giving proofs, arguments. They say, “This is so because . . . And in “because” they will never say, “because I have known it.” They will say, “because this proves it, that proves it; that’s why it is so.” It is a syllogism, a logical syllogism.

These rishis are just illogical. They say, “This is so.” And if you ask, “Give us proofs,” they say, “This is the method. Experiment with it and you will get the proof.” In a way this is more scientific – less logical, but more scientific – not concerned with arguments at all, but with experiment. Really, this is what scientists are doing. If you ask them, “Why is this so, why does fire burn?” they will say, “Put your hand in it. We don’t know why; we know how it burns.”

So the basic approach of any philosophical ideation is “why?” And the basic scientific approach is always concerned with “how,” never with “why.” The rishi will never ask why we are not minds; he will ask “how” – the method. This is religious science, not philosophical systematizing. Of course, the experiment has to be different, because the lab has to be different. For scientific experimenting a lab is needed outside you; for religious experimentation you are the lab.

How? How can this pure consciousness be achieved? The very description is the process also – this eliminatory method of saying a thing is also the process. When the rishi says, “I am not the body; I am not the senses; I am not the mind” – this is also the method. Go on, go on being more and more conscious of the fact that “I am not the body.” Remain with this fact: “I am not the body.”

Remember this fact – let it go deep in you:

I am not the body.

Begin to feel the gap between you and the body and soon the gap is known, because the gap exists there – you have only forgotten it. It is not to be created; it is there already – you have just forgotten it. You have just escaped from the gap. The gap is always there, but we never go in to see the gap.

Really, this is miraculous in a way, and very strange, that we know our bodies from the outside – even our own bodies we know from the outside. This is as if you live in a house but you have never known the inner walls of the house; you have known only the outer ones – your own house! You cannot describe your body – how it looks from within? You can describe how your body looks in the mirror. But the mirror cannot see the inside; it can only see the outer, the outer shell.

But there is an inside also, because no outside can exist without an inside – or can an outside exist without an inside? But we have never become aware from the inside of our own body.

So be aware:

Close your senses, remain in, and be aware.

And begin to feel your body from the inside. There will be a gap, because there is always a gap. You will come to know that gap, and then you will know what this rishi means when he says, “I am not the body, I am not the senses, I am not the mind.” Go on, deep. Begin to look into your minding itself, into your mind process itself, and then you will begin to be aware that there is still a gap, between you and your mind.

Go on eliminating, and a moment comes when you explode into simple am-ness – without any I, without any self, without any selfhood – into pure authentic, existential being.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #15

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.

Nobody Comes Running – Osho

I love the expression, “Take one step towards Allah, and he will come running a thousand steps towards you.” It seems to suggest that receptivity is not a totally inactive waiting but requires a certain participation. Even to receive a flower, doesn’t one need to hold out one’s hand? Or am I on the wrong track again?

Yes, Maneesha, you are on a wrong track again. That saying comes from Mohammedism, “Take one step towards Allah, and he will come running a thousand steps toward you.”

But in the world of Zen there is no Allah, and as far as your inside is concerned, just take one step and you are the Allah. Nobody comes running. On the contrary, you come to a standstill. Just one step, inside – that Mohammedan saying is still about the outside God – you take one step and God will come running towards you. But that kind of God does not exist, so don’t unnecessarily waste your step! Save it, you will need it to go in. And the moment you go one step in, you are the Allah. In the world of Zen that kind of statement is not applicable at all.

-Osho

From Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Discourse #2

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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