Freedom and Interdependence – Osho

For forty-five years I lived in prison, mostly made by myself. Now I know it is possible to become more and more free. But what to do, when you feel you need a safe place, a good climate to grow? Another prison? How to be free anywhere, any time? I feel sorrow and rebellion in me about that.

Yvonne, freedom has nothing to do with the outside; one can be free even in an actual prison. Freedom is something inner; it is of the consciousness. You can be free anywhere—chained, in a jail, you can be free—and you can be unfree outside the jail, in your own home, visibly absolutely free, but you will be a prisoner if your consciousness is not free.

You are confusing outer freedom with inner freedom. As far as the outside is concerned you can never be absolutely free—let it be clear once and forever. As far as outside is concerned you are not alone, so how can you be absolutely free? There are millions of people around you. On the outside, life has to be a compromise. If you were alone on the earth you would have been absolutely free, but you are not alone.

On the road you have to keep to the left. And Yvonne will feel this is a great bondage: “Why? Why should I be forced to be on the left? I am a free man. If I want to walk on the right I will walk on the right. If I want to walk in the middle of the road I will walk in the middle of the road.” In India you can do it—India is a free country, remember! It is the greatest democracy in the world, so right, left, middle, anywhere you can walk!

But one man’s freedom becomes so many people’s problem. You are free to be yourself, but you should not be an interference in other people’s lives.

A man of understanding will respect his freedom as much as he will respect others’ freedom, because if nobody respects your freedom, your freedom will be destroyed. It is a mutual understanding: “I respect your freedom, you respect my freedom, then we both can be free.” But it is a compromise. I have not to interfere with your being, I am not free to trespass on you.

You want to sing loudly in the middle of the night. Of course you are a free person, and if you cannot sing loudly in your own house, what kind of freedom is this? But the neighbors have to sleep too; then there has to be a compromise.

On the outside we are interdependent. Nobody can be absolutely independent. Life is an interdependence. Not only with people are you interdependent, you are interdependent with everything. If you cut all the trees you will die because they are constantly supplying you with oxygen. You are dependent on them—and they are dependent on you because you are constantly giving them carbon dioxide. We take oxygen in and exhale carbon dioxide; the trees do just the opposite, they exhale oxygen and inhale carbon dioxide.

So when people like Mahendra are smoking, trees must be feeling tremendously happy because more carbon dioxide is being created for them! Listening to me these trees will be feeling very sad that I am telling you to go to the root cause of it and then smoking will disappear. That means trees won’t get as much carbon dioxide as they were getting before!

We are interdependent, not only with the trees—with the sun, with the moon, with the stars. Everything is an interdependence.

Just tomorrow there is going to be a solar eclipse, a total eclipse. It will have tremendous effects on the life on earth. If you look at the sun directly you can go blind forever. Avoid looking at the sun—in fact, don’t come out. There will be every temptation to come out because in the middle of the day, near about four-thirty in the afternoon, you can see stars in the sky; just as in the night you have always seen them, in the middle of the day you can see stars. There will be great temptation to come out and see, but avoid it, don’t come out. It is dangerous to the eyes, it is dangerous to your nervous system, it is dangerous to your mind mechanism. Many people will go berserk, many people will go blind. Women who are pregnant should avoid coming out absolutely because the child in the womb is very very vulnerable. He has no safeguards yet; he is soft, so soft he can be affected by anything. And in the solar eclipse, when it is total, dangerous rays enter into the atmosphere.

So when the eclipse happens I would like all my sannyasins to go inside their rooms, close the doors, sit in deep meditation. It will last only a few minutes. Avoid the temptation of coming out, and don’t try to find out devices through which you can see it without being harmed. No device is absolutely foolproof; it is better to avoid it.

Now life is so interdependent… the sun is so far away. It takes ten minutes for the rays of the sun to reach to the earth, and rays move with tremendous speed—one hundred eighty-six thousand miles per second. But we are related to other suns and other solar systems too. Everything in existence is interdependent, so you cannot be absolutely free on the outside—and there is no need either.

Enjoy this interdependence. Don’t call it bondage. It is not dependence, it is INTER-dependence. You are dependent on others, others are dependent on you. It is a brotherhood, it is relatedness. Even the smallest grass leaf is related to the greatest star.

But in the inner world, in the inner kingdom, you can be absolutely free. So the whole question is of the inner. And then, Yvonne, you will not feel sad and rebellious; there is no need. Understand that the outer interdependence is a must, it is inevitable; nothing can be done about it. It is part of how things are. Accept it. When nothing can be done about it, acceptance is the only way. And accept it JOYOUSLY, not as a resignation. Accept it! This is our universe; we are part of it. We are not islands, we are part of the whole continent. We are not egos.

Yvonne, your idea of freedom is rooted somewhere in the idea of the ego. We are not egos. The ego is a false entity—because we are not separate, how can we have egos? It is good as far as language is concerned; it is utilitarian to use the word ‘I’, but it has no substance in it. It is pure shadow, utterly empty. A useful word, utilitarian, but not real.

But inner freedom IS possible. It happens as you go deeper and deeper into awareness. Watch your body, watch your thought processes.

Just the other day Buddha was saying: Watch, witness the whole process of your thoughts. And slowly, slowly, you will see you are neither anger nor greed, neither Hindu nor Mohammedan nor Christian, neither Catholic nor communist. Slowly, slowly, you will be aware that you are not any thought—you are not mind at all. You are a pure witness. The experience of pure witnessing is the experience of total freedom, but it is an inward phenomenon. And a man who is inwardly totally free has no hankering to be outwardly free. He is capable of accepting nature as it is.

Yvonne, create inner freedom through witnessing. Sannyas is only for the inner freedom. And live out of inner freedom and then you will be able to see the interdependence on the outside. It is beautiful and it is a blessing. There is no need to rebel against it. Relax into it, surrender to it. And remember: only a person who is really free can surrender.

-OSHO

From The Dhammapada, the Way of the Buddha, V.9, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Discovering Who You Are – Douglas Harding

[Text from a handout designed by Douglas Harding in the mid-1970s and distributed in workshops organized by Werner Erhart.]

1. Cut a head-sized hole in a card and hold it out in front of you.

2. See how empty that hole is – and how full of the scene. Now slowly put it on until your face fits in the hole. Or is it still empty? What’s happened to its boundaries?

3. Try putting it on again to make sure that, right where you are now, there is this boundless emptiness you can fill with anything you like. This is WHAT and WHO you are!

But (you may say) I can feel my face.

Right! Try fingering your face and head all over and see whether you can fill your space with a coloured, opaque, complicated, limited thing for living in. Is it dark, sticky, small in there? Aren’t you as faceless, transparent, open and vast as ever – with a lot of touch sensations in the nearer regions of your vastness?

But (you may go on) I can’t rely on vision only. How could you show this to a blind man?

Shut your eyes, drop memory and imagination, and notice whether you have any limits now, are in any kind of box. Aren’t you more like room – silence for these sounds to happen in, space for these passing sensations of warmth, pressure, etc., this flow of feelings and thoughts? Just room or capacity – but aware of itself now as that!

Peeling The Onion

But (you may say) everyone else can see there’s a human being here.

It all depends on how far off they are. Seen from a distance of 1,000,000 light years you appear as a galaxy (the Milky Way), from a distance of 1 light year as a star (the Solar System), of 100,000 miles as a planet (the Earth), of 10 feet as a human, of 1/1000 inch as a cell. Nearer still you read as molecules, atoms, particles… Only you can complete their outside story and view yourself from 0 inches, as No-thing – and Here is the central Reality, of which all those regional views are your appearances.

But (you may go on) I feel like a human being.

Sometimes. But aren’t you capable of so identifying with your family, your organisation, country, species, or planet (in case of threat from outer space) that you’d die (as man or woman) for them? And in your best moments don’t you embrace the universe? Other times, don’t you narrow down to (say) an aching tooth? You take responsibility for – you become – as much of the world as you choose – because already you are it all. So your feelings about yourself are as elastic and changeable as your appearances. What they are appearances of never changes.

All the same (you insist) I belong, physically, to the human layer of the onion.

As a mere human body you don’t exist. What is that body without its substructure of cells, molecules, atoms, particles? You could spare a kidney, a lung and all four limbs, but what if your Earth and Sun were cut off? The whole of your body is the Whole. As for your mind, don’t your thoughts and feelings cover all layers of the onion – from its empty core?

But what happens to personal relationships, to love, to all communication, if I disappear?

Look at a friend’s face. Dropping memory and imagination, is there anything where you are to shut out that face with? Or are you empty for him or her? Aren’t you built open, built for welcoming, for loving?

Growing Up – Or Down?

There are four stages of your growing up:

1. As an INFANT you were for yourself No-thing.

Like any animal, you were faceless, immense and at large, unseparate from your world – without being aware of all of this.

2. As a CHILD you were for yourself No-thing and something.

You learned to look at yourself from a few feet away “through others’ eyes” and see yourself as a human being – a special one at that. You came to identify with that face in your mirror, and answer to its name. Yet you remained, for yourself, at large, space for your world to happen in. You may occasionally have become fully aware of your space, of yourself-as-you-see-yourself (a child is apt to ask why others have heads and she hasn’t, to protest that she isn’t a girl – she’s not like that at all! – or declare that she is nothing, not present, invisible). Both views of yourself – from outside as a small thing and from inside as this vast No-thing – were true and needful.

3. As a GROWN-DOWN (so-called adult) you are now for yourself that small thing.

Your learned view of yourself from outside has come to overshadow and practically blot out your original view of yourself from inside. You have grown down, not up. Instead of containing your world, it contains you – what’s left of you. Shrunk from being the whole into being this tiny part, you grow greedy, resentful, frightened, unsuccessful, tired, stiff, out of touch with your Source, plain crazy:

Greedy – as you try to regain as much as possible of your lost empire,

Resentful or aggressive – as you seek revenge on a system that has cruelly cut you down to size,

Frightened and lonely – as you see yourself a mere thing, at the mercy of and up against all other things,

Unsuccessful – because working for, and taking responsibility for, yourself as a mere individual human is making sure of failure: the end of all your personal enterprises is death,

Tired – because it takes so much energy building and rebuilding this imaginary box for living in, right where you are,

Stiff, unnatural, phoney – because you act to impress, not express,

Uncreative – because you have cut yourself off from your Source and Centre and see yourself as a mere regional effect,

Crazy – because you “see” something that isn’t there and imagine (contrary to all the evidence) that you are at 0 feet what you look like at 6 feet – a solid, opaque, coloured, outlined lump of stuff. How can your world remain sane if its very Centre has gone insane?

Insofar as you don’t suffer from these handicaps you remain “a child at heart,” more or less unconsciously in touch with the truth of who you are.

4. As a GROWN-UP (truly adult) you are for yourself No-thing and all things.

Stuck at Stage 3 you are a case of arrested development. The experiments show how simple and natural it is to go on to the next stage and truly grow up. In fact, carrying out the experiments and taking their point you have already made it to Stage 4. Congratulations!

Stage 4 isn’t, like the infant, losing yourself in your world. Nor, like some meditators, finding yourself within and letting the world go by. It is simultaneously looking in at your Space and out at what fills it – two-way attention. This means you have nothing left of your very own to shut the world out with – and so it’s all yours!

And this means you go on to take responsibility for those “others” out there, for suffering mankind, the living Earth, all the way to the Whole – because you lie at the empty Source of it all. But you don’t lie back. You find yourself loving and serving your neighbour (Who isn’t your neighbour?) as yourself, because he or she is yourself.

And, sooner or later, you may discover that your overall aim is assisting him or her, and all mankind, and ultimately all beings, to come to this 4th Stage and really grow up. This is a big job – the toughest adventure of them all. (Paradoxically it’s also the easiest, already in the bag, seeing that no being ever strayed from Home or left its Source, anyway.) Meantime your own entry into Stage 4 is natural and obvious. All you have to do is look at the spot you occupy right now, at what’s 12 inches your side of these words, taking in these marks on the screen. And what presently will take in the people around you, houses, animals, stars, the lot – at your pleasure.

You are a Grown-up, no longer a Grown-down.

Again, congratulations!

In Practice

Okay, I’ve got it. But seeing What/Who I am comes in flashes. How to maintain and strengthen this seeing?

The answer comes in 3 parts:

1. Make full use of techniques which re-direct your attention to this neglected spot at the Centre of your Universe. Some simple reminders are given below. Eventually everything you experience takes you back to yourself, its Source, and life becomes one big “workshop exercise.”

2. Spend as much time as possible with friends who share this seeing. The condition is infectious.

3. Above all, work with such friends – performing the humblest or grandest of tasks – at clear-cut goals whose ultimate aim is not “your own” achievement of Stage 4, but the world’s. The marvellous thing is that what’s best for the world is best for you – the best therapy, discipline, work, fun – because you are the world! And this includes all the world’s resources of modern science, communication, organisational know-how. If you are serious about this great enterprise you will neglect no means to its success.

It may well be that the survival of the Species – let alone its progress – depends on its growing up to Stage 4 within a relatively short time, so that this stage is regarded as the norm, the standard against which maturity is reckoned. This doesn’t mean that everyone, or even the great majority, will get there so quickly. (After all, though Stage 3 – the Grown-down – is now regarded as normal, huge numbers of people are still more or less at Stage 2, and not yet capable of clearly seeing themselves from out there, as things in the world.)

REMINDERS

Face-to-No-face – So much of your time is spent with people – either imagining you are confronting them face-to-face, or seeing it’s never been like that at all. The most available of all pointers to what you are is also the best recipe for good “personal relationships.”

Single Eye – How many eyes are you looking out of, in your own experience, right now? Check up by slowly putting on your glasses and seeing what happens to those two “windows.” If you don’t wear glasses, make up a pair with your thumbs and forefingers. Outline with your hands the extent of this huge window – frameless, spotless, with nobody looking out of it.

Pointing – Point at your feet, legs, torso… noting how you’re pointing at something, and this something is distant from your finger. Now point at your “face”. What are you pointing at now, dropping memory and imagination? How far is it – are you – from that finger?

Neck-line – Look up at our heavenly bodies, out at your earthly body, down at your human body. Outline with your finger the boundary of that body, on present evidence – the place where it meets your Space.

Travelling – Spinning, driving your car, walking, see whether you are moving in the world, or the world in you.

Other Senses – Observe what happens to the food that goes into holes in people’s head, and what happens to the food that actually has taste. Listen to the Silence-you-are, into which sounds are now popping.

Thoughts and Feelings – Can you discover any thoughts and feelings which aren’t fleeting and don’t belong to the world of objects (ranging from your human to your cosmic body)? Is anything central and permanent except this Awareness, this sense of Being, or I AM? YOU ARE THAT!

-Douglas Harding

As seen at The Headless Way

No Self, No Other – Osho

Osho, say something more about self-knowledge. That’s my whole interest and inquiry. 

Self-knowledge is a contradiction in terms. When it really happens, there is no self and there is no knowledge. If the self is there, it can’t happen. If knowledge is there, it has not happened. So a few preliminary things to be understood.

First: for self-knowledge to happen, the self has to go. You have to forget all about your ego. You have to be in a state of egolessness.

And the second thing: you have to forget all about knowledge too. If you are continuously hankering to know, that very hankering will prevent you. God reveals himself only to those who are not hankering for anything, who are not desiring anything – not even to know God. Mysteries are revealed only to those who simply wait, who make no demand on God. They wait with open eyes, they wait with open heart, but with no demand.

Your demand is basically ego-oriented. Why do you want to know? Because knowledge gives power. Try to understand it. Knowledge is power. The more you know, the more powerful you become. Ego is always interested in becoming knowledgeable. If you know about nature, you become powerful over nature. If you know about people, you become powerful over people. If you know about your own mind, you become powerful over your own mind. If you know about God, you will become powerful over God.

The search for knowledge, deep down, is really the search for power. And how can you be powerful over reality? The very idea is ridiculous. Allow the reality to be powerful over you… relax. And allow the reality to take possession of you, rather than you trying to take possession of reality.

To be really in a state of self-knowledge, one has to forget self and forget all inquiry into knowledge. Then it happens! And only then it happens.

There have been three efforts in the whole history of human consciousness concerning self-knowledge. The first effort is of the realist. The realist denies the self; he says there is no self inside, no subject; only the object exists, the thing, the matter, the world. That is his way to avoid the inner journey.

The inner journey is dangerous. You will have to lose all! Self-knowledge and all, root and all – you will have to lose all. The realist cannot take that risk. He finds an explanation. He says, “There is no soul. There is no self. All that exists in the world is objects.” So he becomes concerned with knowing the objects. He forgets the subjectivity and becomes occupied with the objectivity. That’s what science has been doing for three hundred years. It is a way of escaping from oneself.

The second way is that of the idealist who says there is no object: the world is maya – illusion. There is nothing to know outside, so just close your eyes and go in. Only the knower is true – the known is false. The realist says only the known is true and the knower is false; the idealist says only the knower is true and the known is false. And just see the absurdity of it – because how can there be a knower if there is no known? And how can there be a known if there is no knower?

So the idealist and the realist are only choosing half of the reality. About the other half they are afraid.

The realist is afraid to go in, because to go in means to go into emptiness, into utter emptiness. It is to fall in a bottomless pit, in an abyss… unpredictable. Where one will land nobody knows, or whether there is any landing at all.

The realist is afraid of the knower, so he denies it. Out of fear he says it is not: “My whole concern is with the known, the object.” And the idealist is afraid of the object, of the world, of the enchantments of the world, of the magic of the world. He is afraid of getting lost into the desires and passions. He is afraid of getting entangled into things – money, power, prestige. He is so afraid that he says, “All is dream. The world that is outside is not real. The real world is inside.”

But both are being half true. And remember: a half-truth is far worse than a total lie. At least the total lie has one quality about it: it is total – the quality of totality. And one thing is beautiful about a total lie: it cannot deceive you long – because it is such a lie, even the stupid person will be able to see sooner or later that it is a lie. But the half-truth is dangerous – even an intelligent person can get lost into it.

And then there is the third way: the way of the mystic. He accepts both, and rejects both. That is my way. He accepts both because he says, “On one plane both exist – the knower and the known, the subject and the object, the inner and the outer. But on another plane, both disappear and only one remains – which is neither the known nor the knower.”

The mystic’s approach is total. And I would like you to understand the mystic’s approach as deeply as possible. On one level both are right. When you are dreaming, the dream IS true, and the dreamer is true. When you are awake in the morning, it is no more true. Now the dreamer is gone, the dreaming is gone – both have gone. Now you are awake. Now you are existing on a totally different level of consciousness.

The world is true, the ego is true, when man is ignorant, unconscious, unaware. When man becomes aware, when Buddhahood happens, then the world is not there, neither is there any ego – both have disappeared. “Both have disappeared” does not mean that nothing is left: both have disappeared into each other. Only one is left now, two are not left. The knower and the known have become one.

That oneness is what is really meant by self-knowledge. But the word is not right. No word can be right. About such great experiences which go beyond duality, no word can be right.

Man tries in two ways to overcome the epistemological dichotomy which is inherent in self-knowing.

One way is to confine his knowing to objects of the world of the non-self. This way is to escape from self-knowledge. The people who want to escape from self-knowledge condemn it as introverted, unsocial, abnormal, even perverted. They call it a kind of intellectual masturbation, navel gazing: they call these people lotus-eaters, dreamers, poets, mystics, somehow gone astray from reality.

How much of the pursuit of research in the natural sciences is motivated by the effort to keep our attention off ourselves? This question has to be asked.

People become interested in scientific research – why? Are they really interested in some scientific project? Or are they simply trying to avoid going in? The greater possibility is that they are avoiding going in.

Albert Einstein said before he died that if God were going to give him another chance to be born, he would not like to become a scientist again. A friend who was by the side of the bed asked, “Then who would you like to become?”

And he said, “Anybody, but not a scientist. I would like to become a plumber even, but not a scientist.”

Why? Albert Einstein was a man of great sensitivity, of great intelligence; a man who could have easily become a Buddha. Had all the potential, and missed – because he poured all his intelligence into the objective world. He became too much concerned about the stars and time and space, etcetera, and he forgot completely about himself. He became so much engaged with other things and other problems that he forgot completely who he was, or that some time has to be given to oneself too.

One of the socialist leaders of India, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, went to see him. He was telling me that when he went to see Albert Einstein he had to wait six hours. The time had been fixed by Albert Einstein himself, and again and again the wife would come and bring tea and other things and would say, “We are sorry but he is taking his bath.” So long?

Dr. Lohia asked, “How long is he going to take his bath?”

The wife said, “Nobody knows, because when he sits in his tub he starts thinking of great things. And he forgets completely where he is. And we are not allowed to disturb him, because he may be chasing some subtle train of thought, and if we disturb him it may be a loss to humanity.”

Dr. Lohia became more interested. He said, “But what does he go on doing sitting there?”

The wife said, “Please don’t ask… he plays with soap-bubbles. He keeps himself engaged with soap-bubbles, and goes on thinking. All the great problems that he has solved, they have been solved in his tub.”

You must have heard of great scientists becoming absent-minded. Those are not just jokes – there is a truth in it. They lost track of their own being. It is said of Immanuel Kant: one night he came back home, he knocked on the door, it was getting dark, and the servant looked from the window, from the top floor, and said, “The master is not at home.”

It is Emmanuel Kant’s house, he is the master, but the servant thought somebody had come to see the master. So he said, “The master is not at home. He has gone for a walk.”

And Immanuel Kant said, “Okay, then I will come later on.”

And he went! After walking for one hour, then he suddenly realized, “What nonsense has this servant been playing with me? I am the master!”

If you become too much engaged in outer things, there is a possibility your whole consciousness will start moving into extroversion. Nothing points to yourself.

Another night, Immanuel Kant came back home. He used to carry a walking-stick. He went in the room and forgot what is what, so he put the walking-stick on the bed, and he himself stood in the comer. Only in the middle of the night, suddenly he recognized the fact that something was wrong.

This IS possible. One can become really so much obsessed with the objective… one can lose all track of oneself. One can fall in a shadow. Scientists live in that kind of shadow. Philosophers live in that kind of shadow.

Subjectivity is eliminated when objects and objective interests take over. The ontological imperialism of scientific methodology is a pressing danger. It is one matter to hold that if something cannot be known by scientific methods, it cannot be known, but it is quite another matter to hold that if something cannot be known by scientific methods it does not exist.

And once you become too much obsessed with the objective, then naturally you become obsessed with the methodology of science too – then that is the only valid method to know. If something is not available to that method, then not only do you say it cannot be known, you start saying, slowly, slowly, unconsciously, unawares, that if it cannot be known through scientific method it cannot exist.

That’s why scientists go on saying God does not exist. Not that God does not exist – it is just their methodology. Their methodology is for the object and God is your subjectivity. Their methods are meant to catch hold of that which is separate from you. And God is not separate from you: God is your innermost being, your inferiority.

Through scientific methods, love cannot be proved. That does not mean love does not exist. For it, a different methodology is needed, a different approach, a different vision, a different way of seeing. The scientist avoids the problem of self-knowing by getting more and more interested in the objective world. By getting more and more into things, he goes farther and farther away from himself.

And there is a third effort also to overcome the subject/object dichotomy, and that is the way of the mystic. One way to avoid this problem of subject and object is that of the scientist: only object exists. The other way to avoid the dichotomy – because it is insoluble – is that of the idealist: to say that the world is illusory, it doesn’t exist, it is maya, close your eyes. Both are wrong. The third is the method of the mystic: he transcends. He does not deny reality to the object, he does not deny the reality to the subject – he accepts the reality of both. He bridges them.

That is the meaning of the famous Upanishadic statement: Tat-Tvam-Asi – That art thou. This is a bridging. In this bridging, self-knowledge happens. Self disappears, knowledge disappears – knowing remains; a clarity, a transparency. All is clear. There is nobody to whom it is clear, and there is nothing which is clear – but ALL IS clear. It is only clarity and clarity…. This is called by the Buddhists: The Lotus-Land of Buddha. All is clear and fragrant, and beautiful, and graceful. Then the splendor opens its doors.

The mystic transcends the problem by attempting a form of knowing in which the knower and the known are merged into one unit. Now nothing is left in the concept of ‘knowledge’.

Knowledge cannot be divided into direct and indirect. All knowledge is indirect. Knowledge is a salute, not an embrace. It is a representation, a symbolization, a universalization, an analysis. In a sense, knowledge is a form of falsifying; for reality is concrete, particular, specific, unanalyzed. Knowledge is a dry and dead fact – it is not wet experience. And experience is not knowledge but knowing.

That’s why Krishnamurti always uses the word ‘experiencing’ rather than ‘experience’. He is right. He turns the noun into a verb: he calls it experiencing. Remember that always: transform nouns into verbs and you will be Dover to reality. Don’t call it knowledge: call it knowing. Don’t call it life: call it living. Don’t call it love: call it loving. Don’t call it death: call it dying. If you can understand that the whole life is a verb, not a noun, there will be great understanding following it like a shadow.

There is no self and there is no other.

The great Jewish mystic and philosopher, Martin Buber, says that prayer is the experience of I and thou, a dialogical experience a dialogue. Yes, in the beginning prayer is so, but not in the end. For the beginners, prayer is a dialogue between I and thou. But for those who have arrived, prayer is not a dialogue because there is neither I nor thou – only one. Dialogue cannot exist. It is not communication: it is communion. It is not even union, but unity.

Self-knowledge is of great importance. Nothing else is of more importance than that. But remember these two pitfalls: one is denying subjectivity and becoming a realist; another is denying reality and becoming an idealist. Avoid these two pitfalls. Walk exactly in the middle.

And then you will be surprised – the self has disappeared, the knowledge has disappeared. But then descends knowing. Great light descends, and a light that not only transforms you but transforms your whole world.

Buddha is reported to have said: The moment I became enlightened, the whole existence became enlightened for me. This is true. I am a witness to it. Exactly that’s how it happens. When you become enlightened, the whole existence becomes full of light and remains full of light. Even darkness becomes luminous, even death becomes a new way of living.

-OSHO

From The Perfect Master, V.2, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

Without Ripples – Osho

Anything I see happening in myself is false, illusory, and a mind trip, right? And my recognition of the mind trip is a mind trip too?

RIGHT. As far as thoughts go, everything is a mind trip. When thoughts cease and you see without any thoughts crowding in your mind, when you see clearly with no smoke of the thoughts surrounding you, when your look is simple, innocent, uncorrupted by thoughts, then it is not a mind trip. Only meditation is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. Or, love is not a mind trip; everything else is a mind trip. If love or meditation has happened to you, you will know what I am indicating towards. In a deep moment of love, thinking stops. The moment is so intriguing, the moment is so tremendously powerful, the moment is so intensely alive, that thinking stops. You are simply in awe, a great wonder surrounds you. Or in deep meditation, when the moment of silence has come and you are absolutely silent, still—no flickering, no wavering, no trembling, the flame of your consciousness is straight—then thinking stops. Then you are outside the grip of the mind. Otherwise, everything is a mind trip.

Remember it: one has to go beyond the mind because the mind is samsar, the mind is the world. It is because of your thinking that you are missing the truth. Once thinking is stopped you are face to face with the reality. It is the continuous screen of thinking that is distorting reality. It is as if you are looking in a lake full of ripples. It is a full moon night, and the lake is reflecting the beautiful moon—but it is full of ripples. You cannot gather it together; the moon goes on splitting into a thousand fragments. The whole lake seems to be spread over by the moon, silvery, many fragments of the moon all around. Then the wind stops, the ripples disappear: those fragments start falling into one moon. The silver that was spread all over the lake becomes more concentrated in one place. When the lake is completely without ripples, the moon is reflected perfectly.

When the mind is with thoughts, the lake is with ripples; when the mind is without thoughts, the lake is without ripples. God is reflected perfectly when there is no ripple in you. Forget all about God—the only thing to be done is how to become ripple-less, how to become thoughtless, how to drop this constant obsession with thinking. It can be dropped—it is because of your cooperation that it continues. It is your energy that you go on giving to it that keeps it alive. It is just like a man on a bicycle: he goes on pedaling—it is his energy that keeps the cycle going on. Once he stops pedaling, the cycle may go a little further because of the past momentum, but then it has to stop.

Don’t give energy to your thoughts. Become a witness—indifferent, aloof, distant. Just see the thoughts, and don’t be in any way involved in them. Note the fact: the thoughts are there; but don’t choose this way or that, don’t be for or against, don’t be pro or con. Just be a watcher. Let the mind-traffic move, just stand by the side and look at it, unaffected by it, as if it has nothing to do with you.

Sometimes try it: go on the busiest street where the traffic rush is too much. Stand by the side of the road and see the traffic—so many people going hither and thither, and cars and bicycles and trucks and buses. You just stand by the side and look, and do the same inside: close your eyes and see—the mind is a traffic of thoughts, thoughts rushing here and there. You watch, you just be a watcher. By and by, you will see that the traffic is becoming less and less. By and by, you will see that the road is empty, nobody is passing. In those rare moments, first glimpses of samadhi will enter in you.

There are three stages of samadhi. First, when you achieve glimpses through gaps—one thought comes, then it has gone and another has not come for the time being. There may even be a gap for a few seconds; in that interval reality penetrates you—the moon becomes one. The reflection is there only for a single moment, but you will see the first glimpse.

This is what in Zen they call satori. By and by, the gaps will become bigger, and when the gaps become bigger and you can see reality more clearly, that vision of reality changes you. Then you cannot be the same because your vision becomes your reality also. Whatsoever you are seeing affects your being. Your vision, by and by, is absorbed, digested. That is the second stage of samadhi.

And then comes the last stage: when suddenly the whole traffic disappears, as if you were fast asleep and dreaming and somebody has shaken you and awakened you, and the whole traffic of dreaming has stopped. In that third stage you become one with reality, because there is nothing to divide. The fence that was dividing you has disappeared. The wall is no more there. The wall is made of the bricks of thoughts, desires, feelings, emotions; once it disappears—it is a China wall, very ancient, and every strong—but once it disappears, there is no fence between you and God. When for the first time the third stage happens, that is where the Upanishads announced, “Aham Brahamasi“—I am God, I am the Brahma. It is where the Sufi mystic, Mansur, declares, “Ana’l Haq“—I am the truth. It is there when Jesus declares, “I and my God are one, I and my Father are one.”

-OSHO

From The Beloved, Chapter Ten

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.

 

The Individual and Society – J. Krishnamurti

We were walking along a crowded street. The sidewalks were heavy with people, and the smell of exhaust from the cars and buses filled our nostrils. The shops displayed many costly and shoddy things. The sky was pale silver, and it was pleasant in the park as we came out of the noisy thoroughfare. We went deeper into the park and sat down. He was saying that the State, with its militarization and legislation, was absorbing the individual almost everywhere, and that worship of the State was now taking the place of the worship of God.

In most countries the State was penetrating into the very intimate lives of its people; they were being told what to read and what to think. The State was spying upon its citizens, keeping a divine eye on them, taking over the function of the Church. It was the new religion. Man used to be a slave to the Church, but was now a slave of the State. Before it was the Church, and now it was the State that controlled his education; and neither was concerned with the liberation of man.

What is the relationship of the individual to society? Obviously, society exists for the individual, and not the other way round. Society exists for the fruition of man; it exists to give freedom to the individual so that he may have the opportunity to awaken the highest intelligence. This intelligence is not the mere cultivation of a technique or of knowledge; it is to be in touch with that creative reality which is not of the superficial mind. Intelligence is not a cumulative result, but freedom from progressive achievement and success. Intelligence is never static; it cannot be copied and standardized, and hence cannot be taught. Intelligence is to be discovered in freedom.

The collective will and its action, which is society, does not offer this freedom to the individual; for society, not being organic, is ever static. Society is made up, put together for the convenience of man; it has no independent mechanism of its own. Men may capture society, guide it, shape it, tyrannize over it, depending upon their psychological states; but society is not the master of man. It may influence him, but man always breaks it down. There is conflict between man and society because man is in conflict within himself; and the conflict is between that which is static and that which is living. Society is the outward expression of man. The conflict between himself and society is the conflict within himself. This conflict, within and without, will ever exist until the highest intelligence is awakened.

We are social entities as well as individuals; we are citizens as well as men, separate becomers in sorrow and pleasure. If there is to be peace, we have to understand the right relationship between the man and the citizen. Of course, the State would prefer us to be entirely citizens; but that is the stupidity of government. We ourselves would like to hand over the man to the citizen; for to be a citizen is easier than to be a man. To be a good citizen is to function efficiently within the pattern of a given society. Efficiency and conformity are demanded of the citizen, as they toughen him, make him ruthless; and then he is capable of sacrificing the man to the citizen.

A good citizen is not necessarily a good man; but a good man is bound to be a right citizen, not of any particular society or country. Because he is primarily a good man, his actions will not be antisocial, he will not be against another man. He will live in co-operation with other good men; he will not seek authority, for he has no authority; he will be capable of efficiency without its ruthlessness. The citizen attempts to sacrifice the man; but the man who is searching out the highest intelligence will naturally shun the stupidities of the citizen. So the State will be against the good man, the man of intelligence; but such a man is free from all governments and countries.

The intelligent man will bring about a good society; but a good citizen will not give birth to a society in which man can be of the highest intelligence. The conflict between the citizen and the man is inevitable if the citizen predominates; and any society which deliberately disregards the man is doomed. There is reconciliation between the citizen and the man only when the psychological process of man is understood. The State, the present society, is not concerned with the inner man, but only with the outer man, the citizen. It may deny the inner man, but he always overcomes the outer, destroying the plans cunningly devised for the citizen.

The State sacrifices the present for the future, ever safeguarding itself for the future; it regards the future as all-important, and not the present. But to the intelligent man, the present is of the highest importance, the now and not the tomorrow. What is can be understood only with the fading of tomorrow. The understanding of what is brings about transformation in the immediate present. It is this transformation that is of supreme importance, and not how to reconcile the citizen with the man. When this transformation takes place, the conflict between the man and the citizen ceases.

-J. Krishnamurti

From Commentaries on Living, V.1, Chapter 20

Learn the Art of Listening – Osho

Sometimes in discourse, I suddenly come to consciousness and realize that I don’t know where I’ve been, and yet the discourse is coming to a close. Your words were coming through, but I’m not sure if I was awake. If I’m not conscious, am I asleep? Are these the only two possibilities? Is there some stage in between? How to tell the difference?

Mary Catherine, the question you have asked is the question everybody needs the answer for. Man is asleep, but it is no ordinary sleep; he is asleep with open eyes. His sleep is spiritual, not physical.

Just as in physical sleep your consciousness is filled with dreams, in spiritual sleep your consciousness is filled with thoughts, desires, feelings—a thousand and one things. It is not that you are unconscious in the sense of being in a coma; you are unconscious in the sense that your consciousness is covered with too much dust. It is exactly like a mirror: if covered with many layers of dust, it will lose the quality of reflecting, will lose the quality of being a mirror. But the mirror is there; all that is needed is to remove the dust. Your consciousness is there—even while you are physically asleep your consciousness is there, but now more covered than when you are awake.

You are asking, “If I’m not conscious, am I asleep? Are these the only two possibilities? Is there some stage in between? How to tell the difference?”

You are not unconscious in the sense a person falls into a coma; you are not conscious in the sense a Gautam Buddha is conscious. You are in between. A thick layer of thoughts does not allow you to be in the present. That’s why, while you are listening to me, you are listening and yet the listening is very superficial because deep down there are so many thoughts going on. You are listening but it is not reaching you, and as I stop speaking, suddenly you realize that you have been listening, certainly, but you have not understood it. It has not penetrated you; it has not become part of your being. Something has prevented it, like a China Wall. Those thoughts are transparent, but they are thicker than any China Wall can be.

You are neither asleep nor awake, you are in between—awake as far as your day to day mechanical activities are concerned, and asleep as far as a clear consciousness is concerned. A pure consciousness, a deep innocence like an unclouded sky, is absent.

The pope was sitting with his cardinals signing papers and proclamations. The phone rang and his secretary answered. “Your holiness,” she said. “It is about the abortion bill. A reporter wants to talk to you.”

“Don’t bother me,” the pope interrupted.

“But he wants to know what you are going to do about the bill.”

“Just pay it,” the pope replied. “Pay it quick!”

In what position will you put the pope? Asleep or awake? He is in between; he has heard the word bill, but he has interpreted it in his own way. He has forgotten completely that the bill is about abortion, and certainly he has not been aborted, and he has not to pay any bill.

But this is the situation of us all. We hear what we want to hear; we hear only that which adjusts with our preconceived notions, prejudices.

You will be surprised to know… the scientific research is almost unbelievable: it says ninety-eight percent of what you hear is prevented from reaching to you—ninety-eight percent! Only two percent reaches you. It has to pass through so many thoughts, conceptions, beliefs, conditionings, and they go on cutting it according to themselves. By the time it reaches you, it is something totally different than was said, than was heard. It is a long process of screening, and we are all screening. If something falls in tune with our mind, that means with our past, we hear it. But if it goes against it, we certainly hear the sound but we miss the meaning.

To listen is a great art.

People only hear; very few people are able to listen.

One man had reached Gautam Buddha. He was a well-known philosopher of the day and he had defeated many philosophers in discussions about the ultimate, the truth, God. He had come to defeat Gautam Buddha too—that would be the crowning victory. He had brought with him five hundred chosen disciples to see Gautam Buddha defeated. But Gautam Buddha asked a very strange question. He asked, “Do you understand the meaning and the difference between hearing and listening?”

The man was at a loss. He had come to discuss great things, and this was a small matter. And there was no difference… as far as language is concerned, dictionaries are concerned, hearing is listening. The man said, “There is no difference at all, and I had hoped you would not ask such an ordinary question.”

Gautam Buddha said, “There is a great difference. And unless you understand the difference, there is no possibility of any dialogue. I will say something; you will hear something else. So if you really want to have a dialogue with me, sit by my side for two years. Don’t speak a single word, just listen. Whatever I’m telling others, be unconcerned; I’m not telling you. So you need not be worried about whether it is true or untrue, whether you have to accept it or not. You are just a witness; your opinion is not required.

“After two years, you can have the dialogue, the discussion you have come for. And I would love to be defeated, so this is not to postpone defeat; it is just to make the dialogue possible.”

At that very moment, Mahakashyap, a great disciple of Gautam Buddha; perhaps the greatest, laughed. He was sitting under a tree far away, and the philosopher thought, “That man seems to be mad. Why is he laughing?”

Buddha said, “Mahakashyap, this is not mannerly; even for an enlightened man this is not right.”

Mahakashyap said, “I don’t care about right and wrong; I’m just feeling sorry for the poor philosopher.”

And he turned to the philosopher and said to him, “If you want to have a discussion, have it right now; after two years, there will be just silence and no dialogue. This man is not trustworthy. He deceived me; I also came with the same idea as you, to defeat him, and he cheated me. He said, `Sit down for two years by my side, and listen. Learn first the art of listening. And because you are not concerned at all, your mind need not function.'”

And two years is a long time; the mind starts forgetting how to think, how to function. The very presence of Gautam Buddha is so peaceful, so silent, that one starts rejoicing in the silence. And to listen to his words… which are not addressed to you, so you are not worried whether they agree with your prejudices, your philosophy, your religion—with you, or not. You are indifferent. You listen to him as if you are listening to the birds singing in the morning when the sun rises.

“And two years… the mind disappears. And although those words are not addressed to you, they start reaching to your heart. Because the mind is silent, the passage is open—the door is open, the heart welcomes them. So if you want to ask anything, if you want to challenge this man, challenge now. I don’t want to see another man cheated again.”

Gautam Buddha said, “It is up to you; if you want to defeat me now, I declare my defeat. There is no need to talk. Why waste time? You are victorious. But if you really want to have a dialogue with me, then I’m not asking much, just two years to learn the art of listening.”

The man remained for two years, and even forgot completely that after two years he had to challenge Gautam Buddha for a debate. He forgot the whole calendar. Days passed, months passed, seasons came and went away, and after two years he was enjoying the silence so much that he had no idea that two years had passed.

It has to be remembered that time is a very elastic thing. When you are in suffering, time becomes longer; suddenly all the watches and clocks of the world start moving slowly—a great conspiracy against a poor man who is in suffering. Time moves so slowly that sometimes one feels as if it has stopped.

You are sitting by the side of someone you love who is dying, in the middle of the night; it seems time has stopped, that this night is not going to end, that your idea that all nights end was a fallacy… this night is not going to have a dawn, because time is not moving. And when you are joyful, when you meet a friend after many years, when you meet a beloved, a lover for whom you have waited long—suddenly, again the conspiracy. All the clocks, all the watches, start moving faster; hours go like minutes, days go like hours, months go like weeks. Time is elastic: time is relative to your inner condition.

The man had enjoyed those two years of silence so deeply that he could not conceive that two years had passed. Suddenly, Buddha himself asked him, “Have you forgotten completely? Two years have passed; this is the day you had come two years ago. Now if you want to challenge me to a debate, I’m ready.”

The man fell to the feet of Gautam Buddha.

And Mahakashyap laughed again, and said, “I had told you, but nobody listens to me. I have been sitting under this tree for almost twenty years, preventing people from falling into the trap of this man; but nobody listens to me. They fall into the trap, and each person gives me two occasions to laugh.”

The man went, after touching Gautam Buddha’s feet, to touch the feet of Mahakashyap too, saying, “I am grateful to you. I have learned the distinction between hearing and listening. Hearing had made me a great knowledgeable man, and listening has made me innocent, silent— a peace that passeth understanding. I don’t have any questions, and I don’t have any answers; I am utterly silent. All questions have disappeared, all answers have disappeared. Can I also sit by your side under the tree?” he asked Mahakashyap.

Mahakashyap said, “No, I don’t accept disciples; that is the business of Gautam Buddha—you just go there. Don’t crowd around my tree, because even here there is nothing to listen to, only once in a while a laughter when somebody comes and I see that he’s falling into the trap. You have fallen into the trap; now be initiated, become a sannyasin.” Not only did the man become a sannyasin, his five hundred followers who were also sitting and listening for two years, had also become silent.

Mary Catherine, you are well-educated; perhaps too much—well-read; perhaps too much. Your mind is so full of thoughts. Those thoughts are creating a state which is neither consciousness nor unconsciousness. Everything seems to be so full of noise in you that if I shout, perhaps my words may reach you, but what about my whispers? And truth cannot be shouted, it can only be whispered. In fact, it can be said only in silence; even whispering is too much verbiage.

Put your educated mind aside. Here you have to be innocent, like small children playing on the beach making castles of sand, running after butterflies, collecting seashells, looking at everything with so much wonder that each and every thing in existence becomes a mystery.

Listening to me is only a beginning; then you have to listen to the trees, to the mountains, to the moon, to the faraway stars—they all have messages for you. To the sunrises, to the sunsets… they all have been waiting for so long. Once you start listening, the whole existence starts speaking to you. Right now you only speak to yourself, and nobody listens.

Three Soviet citizens; a Pole, a Czech, and a Jew were accused of spying and sentenced to death. Each was granted a last wish.

“I want my ashes scattered over the grave of Karl Marx,” said the Pole.

“I want my ashes scattered over the grave of Lenin,” said the Czech.

“And I,” said the Jew, “want my ashes scattered over the grave of Comrade Gorbachev.”

“But that is impossible!” he was told. “Gorbachev is not dead yet.”

“Fine,” said the Jew, “I can wait.”

You should not wait. Start from this moment to listen, to be silent, because the next moment is not certain. Gorbachev may die, may not die. Tomorrow it may not be so easy as it is today, because in twenty-four hours you will have gathered more garbage in your head; so the sooner the better, because you cannot sit silently. If you don’t start now, you will be doing something or other….

Don’t postpone it. Every postponement is suicidal—particularly of those experiences which belong to the beyond.

-OSHO

From The Golden Future, Chapter 16

Golden Future

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

The Power of Consciousness – Osho

How is it that going into something consciously has such a power to reveal all the threads which make up the tangle?

Devageet, the reality is just the opposite. All our tangles in life are created by our unconsciousness, so the moment you become conscious those tangles disappear. It is not the power of consciousness that makes them disappear. It is the power of unconsciousness that creates them.

All the tangles of life, of love, of relationship are created by our unconsciousness. We don’t know what we are doing, and by the time we become aware it is too late. What has been done cannot be undone. Our unconsciousness is very supportive to the ego — they have a co-existence. Coming of consciousness will not only disperse all the tangles, it will also disperse you as an ego. […]

Devageet, it is true consciousness has tremendous power, but it is not used in revealing and dispersing the tangles of your life; they simply disappear as you become conscious.

Gautam Buddha used to say that when the lights are on and from the windows people can see that the master is awake, thieves don’t come close. When the lights are put off, only then do thieves come close to the house to see whether the master has gone to sleep and it is the right time to enter. He was saying this about consciousness. He used to call sex, greed, lust for power, position, respectability all thieves. They come to you only when they see that there is no light in the man; inside it is all dark.

Once you are radiating consciousness and light, those thieves don’t come close to you. But consciousness has its own power. It is simply in the presence of consciousness that tangles disappear. The power is not used for dispersing the tangles and problems; the power is to bring blissfulness. The power is to bring peace, silence, at homeness, at easeness and a tremendous ecstasy, a divine drunkenness. Life becomes for the first time self-oriented; you don’t have to beg from others for anything. Nobody can give you blissfulness; nobody can give you ecstasy. Nobody can give you the sense of immortality and the dance that comes with it. Nobody can give you the silence, which becomes a song in your heart.

What can people give to you? In fact, the power of consciousness gives you so much that you become capable of sharing with people. For the first time, you can give to people. They are living in darkness; they haven’t seen any light. They don’t have any idea what a conscious being is. They don’t have any conception, comprehension of the power of consciousness, how many flowers shower, how much fragrance becomes natural to you.

You CAN give, and you can give them a taste and you can give them a direction, so they can also find the same power which is dormant in them.

A conscious man awakened can help millions of people to move towards the source of joy, real and authentic life, to pure love which knows nothing of hate, which knows nothing of jealousy, which has nothing to do with body and biology — which is just a spiritual communion, a feeling of deep compassion for your innermost being.

Yes, the power of consciousness gives you many things. The treasure is inexhaustible, but your problems and tangles have been created by unconsciousness — for them no power is needed, just the presence of consciousness is enough.

-OSHO

From The Invitation, Chapter 24

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.