Be Thoroughgoing – Osho

The problem with every awakened soul has always been the same: before awakening it is the very fact of awakening that is his problem. After awakening, it is again the awakening that comes as a problem — how to express it?

To experience something is one thing, and to express it is totally another. It is possible to feel at ease with existence, in a deep suchness, but how to say it? It is possible to listen to this beautiful evening, the dance of the rain and the silent joy of the trees, but how to say it? Words are so poor, and life is so rich. Life is so vast and words are so small. Just feel this very moment, and you will be able to see its immensity, its tremendous beauty, its splendor, its silence, its song. The heart feels it. The being is showered with flowers. The whole universe is so poetic. It is always poetry; it is never prose. If you just have eyes and sensitivity, life is always a rejoicing. And the deepest source of life is within you.

The whole effort of a seeker is to be awake to the source of being within — which is eternal, immeasurable, immortal. But then the problem arises … a deep urge, an irresistible longing to share it. All the masters, all those who have become awakened, have struggled hard in different ways, rational, irrational. They have even taken recourse to absurdities, just to give you a hint.

Ta Hui is facing the same situation. He has arrived home, and now he wants to invite all those who are still wandering in the darkness. He wants to send the invitation, but where are the words? He is trying his hardest. This morning he gave you two words. One was the great affair of suchness — experiencing life as it is without bringing your mind in — and the second word was faith. Faith is a natural outcome of the experience of suchness. It certainly is a great affair.

Now he will be trying in these last sutras, for a few days more, from different angles, to approach this great affair again and again. One never knows what will penetrate to your heart. There is not much to say, but there is much to show. Every effort has been made, certainly, by different teachers in their uniqueness. Ta Hui will be describing other masters too.

This evening the sutra is, be thouroughgoing. Ordinarily people are never thoroughgoing. They are always lukewarm, just so-so, wishy-washy, half-hearted, always thinking with a divided being: To be or not to be? A person who is divided takes one step forward and immediately takes another step backward. He remains in almost the same place as he has always been, although he is making every effort to move.

I have heard about a small child … it must have been a rainy day like today. The child was always a latecomer to the school, and he was always ready with some excuse. That day the excuse was absolutely clear — it was raining hard.

The child said to the teacher, “Before you ask, I can answer the question today. At least today the excuse is absolutely clear. The muddy road to the school is so slippery that you will not believe me, teacher: I would take one step forward, and I would slip two steps back!”

The teacher said, “If this is true, then how did you manage to reach here?”

The boy said, “I started walking towards my home, then finally I managed to reach the school.”

Every man is in search. It may be better to say that every man is a search, a longing for something; he does not understand exactly what, but something is missing, something is incomplete, something is not entire. There is a gap, and that gap allows no one to remain at rest; it asks to be filled, and unless it is filled, you will never feel that you really are.

George Gurdjieff wrote a book, Meetings with Remarkable Men. One of his disciples asked him, “What is the definition of a remarkable man?”

He said, “An ordinary man is still trying to find where he is, whether he is or not; a remarkable man is one who has found.”

Everybody is a search, a hunger, an appetite, a thirst, a longing — a longing to know oneself and a longing to know through oneself the whole beautiful universe. Certainly one of the most important things should be, be thoroughgoing. Don’t run in all directions; remain one-pointed, remain crystallized.

Life is small and time is moving fast. If you go on only thinking and never taking a solid step towards transformation, towards awareness, towards crystallization, it is not going to happen on its own accord. It cannot happen in a confused mind. Even at the last moment when a person is dying, if you ask him, “Are you certain, can you tell us what you wanted to be in your life?”, ninety-nine point nine percent of people will not be able to answer it.

Gertrude Stein, a woman of tremendous genius, one of the greatest women in the whole of history was dying. Her very close, intimate friends were sitting in silence when suddenly she opened her eyes and said, “What is the answer?” The friends were shocked because the question had not been asked, so how can you say what is the answer? But to a dying woman they could not be hard. A great silence fell over them, but somebody managed to ask her, “You are asking what is the answer — Gertrude Stein laughed and said, “Okay then, tell me: What is the question?” And that was her last statement. She died.

In this small incident is contained the life of millions of people. They don’t know what is the question and they don’t know, of course, what is the answer. And still they are running all over the place in all directions.

Be thoroughgoing means, have a determination that you are going to discover yourself, whatsoever the cost. Having life without knowing it is almost equal to not having it. Living and not knowing what it is, is very humiliating. Loving and not knowing what it is, is unforgivable.

When Ta Hui says, be thoroughgoing, he means: put every iota of your energy, stake everything on a single arrow and then perhaps you may be able to come home. You may be able to discover that which is missing. In fact, the reality is that the moment you are absolutely thoroughgoing, one-pointed, single-minded, with an undivided heart, this very thoroughgoingness is the arrival. You don’t have to go anywhere. In this totality, in this intensity, the flower blossoms.

-Osho

From The Great Zen Master Ta-Hui, Discourse #30

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Only the Real Remains – Osho

If the ego is unreal, then does it not mean that the unconscious mind, the accumulation of memories in the brain cells, and the process of transformation that is the subject matter of spirituality, is also unreal, a dream process?

No. Ego is unreal; brain cells are not unreal. Ego is unreal; memories are not unreal. Ego is unreal; thought process is not unreal. Thought process is a reality. Memories are real, brain cells are real, your body is real. Your body is real, your soul is real. These are two realities. But when your soul gets identified with the body, the ego is formed – that is unreality.

It is just like this. I am standing before a mirror: I am real, the mirror is real, but the reflection in the mirror is not real. I am real, the mirror is also real, but the reflection in the mirror is a reflection, it is not a reality. Brain cells are real, consciousness is real, but when consciousness gets involved, attached, identified with the brain cells, the ego is formed. That ego is unreal.

So when you have awakened, when you have become enlightened, your memory is not going to disappear. The memory will be there. Really, it will be more crystal-clear. Then it will function more accurately because there will be no disturbance from the false ego. Your thought process will not disappear. Rather, for the first time you will be capable of thinking. Before that you were simply borrowing things. Then you will really be able to think. But then you, not the thought process, will be the master.

Before, the thought process was the master. You couldn’t do anything about it. It continued on its own; you were just a victim. You wanted to sleep and the mind continued thinking. You wanted to stop it, but it would not stop. Really, the more you tried to stop it, the more stubborn it became. It was your master. When you become enlightened it will be there, but then it will be instrumental. Whenever you need it, you will be able to use it. Whenever you don’t need it, it will not crowd your consciousness. Then it can be called and then it can also be stopped.

Mind cells will be there, the body will be there, memory will be there, thought process will be there. Only one thing will not be there – the feeling of I will not be there. This is difficult to understand.

Buddha walks, Buddha eats, Buddha sleeps, Buddha remembers. He has memory, his brain cells function beautifully. But Buddha has said, ‘I walk, but no one walks in me. I talk, but no one talks in me. I eat, but no one eats in me.’ The inner consciousness is no more the ego. So when Buddha feels hungry, he cannot feel like you. You feel, ‘I am hungry.’ When Buddha feels hungry, he feels, ‘The body is hungry. I am just the knower.’ And that knower is without any feeling of I.

The ego is the false entity, the only false entity – everything else is real. Two realities can meet, and in their meeting, a third epi-phenomenon can be created. When two realities meet, something false can happen. But the false can happen only if there is consciousness. If there is no consciousness, the false cannot happen. Oxygen and hydrogen meet: a false water cannot happen. The false can happen only when you are conscious, because only consciousness can err. Matter cannot err, matter cannot be false. Matter is always true. Matter cannot deceive and cannot be deceive – only consciousness can. With consciousness is the possibility to err.

But remember another thing: matter is always real, never false, but also never true. The matter cannot know what truth is. If you cannot err, you cannot know what truth is. Both the possibilities open simultaneously. Human consciousness can err and can know that it has erred and can move away from it. That is the beauty of it. The danger is there, but danger is bound to be there. With every growth new dangers come in. For matter, there is no danger.

Look at it in this way. Whenever a new thing grows in existence, a new thing evolves, now dangers come with it into existence. For a stone there is no danger. There are small bacteria. In those bacteria sex doesn’t exist in the way it exists in man or in animals. They simply divide their bodies. When one bacterium grows bigger and bigger, when it grows to a certain extent, its body automatically divides into two. The parent body divides into two. Now there are two bacteria. Those bacteria can live eternally – because there is no birth, so there is no death.

And the reverse process also happens. If food is not available, two bacteria will come nearer and nearer and they will become one, their bodies will become one. No birth, no death. With sex entered birth; with birth entered death; with birth entered individuality; with individuality entered ego.

Every growth has its own potential dangers, but they are beautiful. If you can understand, there is no need to fall into them, and you can transcend them. And when you transcend, you mature and you achieve a greater synthesis. If you fall a victim, the greater synthesis is not achieved.

Spirituality is the peak, the last, the ultimate synthesis of all growth. The false is transcended and the real absorbed. And only the real remains; all the false drops away. But don’t think that the body is unreal – it is real. Brain cells are real, the thought process is real. Only the relationship between the consciousness and the thought process is unreal. That is a tie. You can untie it. And the moment you untie it, you have opened the door.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #56, Q3

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

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This Witness is Our Truth – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

From The Golden Future, Discourse #3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Self-consciousness is Not Consciousness of the Self – Osho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Osho

Excerpt from Secrets of Yoga, Discourse #10, Q3 (Previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.8)

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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Eyes can Lead You to the Source – Osho

Tonight’s techniques are concerned with the practice of looking. Before we enter these techniques, something has to be understood about the eyes, because all these seven techniques depend on that. The first thing: eyes are the most non-bodily part in the human body, the least bodily. If matter can become non-matter, then such is the case with eyes. Eyes are material, but simultaneously they are also non-material. Eyes are a meeting point of you and your body. Nowhere else in the body is the meeting so deep.

The human body and you are much separated, a great distance is there. But at the point of the eyes you are nearest to your body and the body is nearest to you. That is why eyes can be used for the inner journey. A single jump from the eyes can lead you to the source. That is not possible from the hand, not possible from the heart, not possible from anywhere else in the body. From elsewhere you will have to travel long; the distance is great. But from the eyes a single step is enough to enter into yourself. That is why eyes have been used continuously in religious yogic and tantric practices.

The first reason is because you are nearest from there. That is why, if you know how to look into someone’s eyes, you can look into his depths. He is there. He is not so present anywhere else in the body, but if you can look into his eyes you will find him there. It is a difficult art to look into someone else’s eyes, and it comes to you only when you have taken a jump from your own eyes within; otherwise you cannot look. If you have not looked within beyond your own eyes, you cannot have a look into someone else’s eyes. But if you know how to look into the eyes, you can touch the depth of the person.

That is why only in love can you look straight and stare into another’s eyes. Otherwise, if you stare into someone’s eyes, he will feel offended. You are trespassing; this is a trespass. You can look at the body – there is no trespass. But the moment you stare into somebody’s eyes, you are trespassing his individuality, you are trespassing his individual freedom, you are entering him without any invitation.

That is why there is a limit, and now the limit can be measured. At the most you can be allowed to look for three seconds. You can be allowed just a casual look and then you have to move your eyes; otherwise the other will feel offended. This is violent, because you can have a glimpse of his inner secrets, and that cannot be allowed.

Only in deep love can you look into another’s eyes, because love means that now you do not want to maintain any secrets. You are now open to the other and the other is always welcome and invited to enter you. And when lovers look into each other’s eyes, there is a meeting which is non-bodily, there is a meeting which is not of the body. So the second thing to be remembered: your mind, your consciousness, your soul, whatsoever is within you, can be glimpsed through the eyes.

That is why a blind man has a dead face. It is not only that the eyes are lacking, but that the face is dead – not alive. Eyes are the light of the face: they enlighten your face; they give it an inner aliveness. When the eyes are not there, your face lacks aliveness. And a blind man is really closed. You cannot enter him so easily. That is why blind men are very secretive and you can rely upon a blind man. If you give him a secret, you can rely upon him. He will maintain it, and it will be difficult to judge whether he has a secret. But with a man who has alive eyes, it can be judged immediately that he has a secret.

For example, you are traveling without a ticket on a railway train. Your eyes will go on betraying you that you are without a ticket. It is a secret; no one knows, only you know. But your eyes will have a different look, and you will look at anyone who enters the train with a different quality. If the other could understand the quality, he would know immediately that you are without a ticket. The look will be different when you have a ticket. The look will be different!

So if you are hiding a secret, your eyes will reveal it. And to control the eyes is very difficult. The most difficult thing in the body to control is the eyes. So everyone cannot become a great detective because the basic training of the detective is the training of the eyes. His eyes should not reveal anything – or on the contrary they should reveal the opposite. When he is traveling without a ticket, his eyes should reveal that he has a ticket. It is very difficult because eyes are not voluntary: they are non-voluntary.

Now many experiments are being done on the eyes. Someone is a bramachari, a celibate, and he says he has no attraction toward women. But his eyes will reveal everything; he may be hiding his attraction. A beautiful woman enters the room. He may not look at her, but even his not looking at her will be revealing. There will be an effort, a subtle suppression, and the eyes will show it. Not only that, the surface of the eyes will expand. When a beautiful woman enters, the pupils of the eyes will expand immediately to allow the beautiful woman more space to go in. And you cannot do anything about it because those pupils and their expansion is non-voluntary. You cannot do anything! It is absolutely impossible to control them. So the second thing to remember is that your eyes are the doors to your secrets. If anyone wants to enter into your secret world, your privacy, your eyes are the doors.

If you know how to unlock them, you will become vulnerable, open. And if you want to enter into your own secret life, your inner life, then again you will have to use the same lock and unlocking system. You will have to work on your eyes, only then can you enter.

Thirdly, eyes are very liquid, moving, in constant movement, and that movement has its own rhythm, its own system, its own mechanism. Your eyes are not moving at random, anarchically. They have a rhythm of their own and that rhythm shows many things. If you have a sexual thought in the mind, your eyes move differently – with a different rhythm. Just by looking at your eyes and the movement, one can say what type of thought is moving inside. When you feel hungry and a thought of food is inside, eyes have a different movement.

So now even your dreams can be penetrated. Your eye movements can be recorded while you are asleep. And remember, even in dreams your eyes behave similarly. If you are seeing a naked woman in your dream, this can be judged from your eye movements. Now they are mechanical devices to record what are the movements of the eyes.

These eye movements are called R.E.M. – Rapid Eye Movements. They can be recorded on a graph, just like an electro-cardiogram. If you have been sleeping for the whole night, your eye movements can be continuously recorded. And then the graph can show when you were dreaming and when you were not, because when you are not dreaming the eyes stop and become static. When you are dreaming, they move, and the movement is like when you are seeing something on the screen. If you are seeing a film, the eyes have to move. In the same way, in your dream your eyes move: they are seeing something. They follow the movements of the film. For your eyes there is no difference between an actual film being shown on the screen or just a dream film.

So these R.E.M. recorders tell how much you dreamt in the night and for how many moments you were not dreaming, because the eyes stop their movement when you are not dreaming. There are many persons who say they never dream. They just have a very absent-minded memory – nothing else. They cannot remember, that is the only thing. They are actually dreaming, for the whole night they are dreaming, but they cannot remember. Their memory is not good, that is all. So in the morning when they say there was no dream, do not believe them.

Why do the eyes move when there is a dream, and why do the eyes stop when there is no dream? Each eye movement is joined to the thought process. If thinking is there, the eyes will move. If there is no thinking, the eyes will not move – there is no need.

So remember this third point also, that eye movements and thinking are joined together. That is why if you stop your eyes and their movements, your thought process will stop immediately. Or if your thought process stops your eyes will stop automatically.

And one point more, the fourth. The eyes move continuously from one object to another. From A to B, from B to C, they go on moving. Movement is their nature. It is just like a river flowing: movement is their nature! And because of that movement, they are so alive! Movement is also life.

You can try to stop your eyes at a particular point, at a particular object, and not allow them to move, but movement is their nature. You cannot stop movement, but you can stop your eyes: understand the distinction. You can stop your eyes at a particular fixed point – on a dot on the wall. You can stare at the dot; you can stop your eyes. But movement is their nature. So they may not move from object A to object B because you have forced them to remain at A, but then a very strange phenomenon happens. Movement is bound to be there; that is their nature. If you do not allow them movement from A to B, they will move from outwards to inwards. Either they can move from A to B, or if you do not allow this outward movement they will move inwards. Movement is their nature; they need movement. If you suddenly stop and do not allow them to move outwards, they will start moving inwards.

So there are two possibilities of movement. One is from object A to object But – this is an outward movement. This is how it is happening naturally. But there is another possibility which is of tantra and yoga – not allowing movement from one outside object to another and stopping this movement. Then the eyes jump from an outside object to the inner consciousness, they begin to move inwards. Remember these four points; then it will be easy to understand the techniques.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #21

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

See the First Technique See Your Inner Being in Detail (BOS #21-1).

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.

Oh Shiva, What is Your Reality? – Osho

First let us understand the questions, what Devi is asking.

Oh Shiva, what is your reality? Why this question? You can also ask this question, but it will not carry the same meaning. So try to understand why Devi asks, Oh Shiva, what is your reality?  Devi is in deep love. When you are in deep love, for the first time you encounter the inner reality. Then Shiva is not the form, then Shiva is not the body. When you are in love, the body of the beloved falls away, disappears. The form is no more and the formless is revealed. You are facing an abyss. That is why we are so afraid of love. We can face a body, we can face a face, we can face a form, but we are afraid of facing an abyss.

If you love someone, if you really love, his body is bound to disappear. In some moments of climax, of peak, the form will dissolve, and through the beloved you will enter the formless. That is why we are afraid – it is falling into a bottomless abyss. So this question is not just a simple curiosity: Oh Shiva, what is your reality?  

Devi must have fallen in love with the form. Things start that way. She must have loved this man as a man, and now when the love has come of age, when the love has flowered, this man has disappeared. He has become formless. Now he is to be found nowhere. Oh Shiva, what is your reality? It is a question asked in a very intense love moment. And when questions are raised, they become different according to the mind in which they are asked.

So create the situation, the milieu of the question in your mind. Devi must be at a loss – Shiva has disappeared. When love reaches its peak, the lover disappears. Why does this happen? This happens because really, everyone is formless. You are not a body. You move as a body, you live as a body, but you are not a body. When we see someone from the outside, he is a body. Love penetrates within. Then we are not seeing the person from the outside. Love can see a person as the person can see himself from within. Then the form disappears.

A Zen monk, Rinzai, attained his enlightenment, and the first thing he asked was, “Where is my body? Where has my body gone?” And he began to search. He called his disciples and said, “Go and find out where my body is. I have lost my body.”

He had entered the formless. You are also a formless existence, but you know yourself not directly, but from others’ eyes. You know through the mirror. Sometime, while looking in the mirror, close your eyes and then think, meditate: if there was no mirror, how could you have known your face? If there was no mirror, there would have been no face. You do not have a face; mirrors give you faces. Think of a world where there are no mirrors. You are alone – no mirror at all, not even others’ eyes working as mirrors. You are alone on a lonely island; nothing can mirror you. Then will you have any face? Or will you have any body? You cannot have one. You do not have one at all. We know ourselves only through others, and the others can only know the outer form. That is why we become identified with it. […]

Devi asks Shiva, Oh Shiva, what is your reality?  – who are you? The form has disappeared; hence the question. In love you enter the other as himself. It is not you answering. You become one, and for the first time you know an abyss – a formless presence.

That is why for centuries together, centuries and centuries, we were not making any sculptures, any pictures of Shiva. We were only making Shivalina – the symbol. The Shivalinga is just a formless form. When you love someone, when you enter someone, he becomes just a luminous presence. The Shivalinga is just a luminous presence, just an aura of light.

That is why Devi asks, what is your reality?

What is this wonder-filled universe? We know the universe, but we never know it as wonder-filled. Children know, lovers know. Sometimes poets and madmen know. We do not know that the world is wonder-filled. Everything is just repetitive – no wonder, no poetry, just flat prose. It doesn’t create a song in you; it doesn’t create a dance in you; it doesn’t give birth to the poetry inside. The whole universe looks mechanical. Children look at it with wonder-filled eyes. When the eyes are wonder-filled, the universe is wonder-filled.

When you are in love, you again become like children. Jesus says, “Only those who are like children will enter my kingdom of God.” Why? Because if the universe is not a wonder, you cannot be religious. The universe can be explained – then your approach is scientific. The universe is either known or unknown, but that which is unknown can be known any day; it is not unknowable. The universe becomes unknowable, a mystery, only when your eyes are wonder-filled.

Devi says, what is this wonder-filled universe? Suddenly there is the jump from a personal question to a very impersonal one. She was asking, what is your reality? and then suddenly, what is this wonder-filled universe?

When form disappears, your beloved becomes the universe, the formless, the infinite. Suddenly Devi becomes aware that she is not asking a question about Shiva; she is asking a question about the whole universe. Now Shiva has become the whole universe. Now all the stars are moving in him, and the whole firmament and the whole space is surrounded by him. Now he is the great engulfing factor – “the great encompassing.” Karl Jaspers has defined God as “the great encompassing.”

When you enter into love, into a deep, intimate world of love, the person disappears, the form disappears, and the lover becomes just a door to the universe. Your curiosity can be a scientific one – then you have to approach through logic. Then you must not think of the formless. Then beware of the formless; then remain content with the form. Science is always concerned with the form. If anything formless is proposed to a scientific mind, he will cut it into form – unless it takes a form it is meaningless. First give it a form, a definite form; only then does the inquiry start.

In love, if there is form then there is no end to it. Dissolve the form! When things become formless, dizzy, without boundaries, everything entering another, the whole universe becoming a oneness, then only is it a wonder-filled universe.

What constitutes seed? Then Devi goes on. From the universe she goes on to ask, what is this wonder-filled universe? This formless, wonder-filled universe, from where does it come? From where does it originate? Or does it not originate? What is the seed?

Who centers the universal wheel? asks Devi. This wheel goes on moving and moving – this great change, this constant flux. But who centers this wheel? Where is the axis, the center, the unmoving center?

She doesn’t stop for any answer. She goes on asking as if she is not asking anyone, as if talking to herself.

What is this life beyond form pervading forms?

How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and description?

Let my doubts be cleared. The emphasis is not on questions but on doubts: Let my doubts be cleared! This is very significant. If you are asking an intellectual question, you are asking for a definite answer so that your problem is solved. But Devi says, Let my doubts be cleared. She is not really asking about answers. She is asking for a transformation of her mind, because a doubting mind will remain a doubting mind whatsoever answers are given. Note it: a doubting mind will remain a doubting mind. Answers are irrelevant. If I give you one answer and you have a doubting mind, you will doubt it. If I give you another answer, you will doubt that also. You have a doubting mind. A doubting mind means you will put a question mark to anything.

So answers are useless. You ask me, “Who created the world?” and I tell you “A” created the world. Then you are bound to ask, “Who created ‘A’?” So, the real problem is not how to answer questions. The real problem is how to change the doubting mind, how to create a mind which is not doubting – or, which is trustful. So Devi says, let my doubts be cleared. […]

The doubting mind is the problem. Devi says, “Do not be concerned with my questions. I have asked so many things: What is your reality? What is this wonder-filled universe? What constitutes seed? Who centers the universal wheel? What is life beyond form? How can we enter it fully above time and space? But do not be concerned with my questions. Let my doubts be cleared. I ask these questions because they are in my mind. I ask them just to show you my mind, but do not pay much attention to them. Really, answers will not fulfill my need. My need is… let my doubts be cleared.”

But how can the doubts be cleared? Will any answer do? Is there any answer which will clear your doubts? Mind is the doubt. It is not that the mind doubts, mind is the doubt! Unless the mind dissolves, doubts cannot be cleared.

Shiva will answer. His answers are techniques – the oldest, most ancient techniques. But you can call them the latest also because nothing can be added to them. They are complete – one hundred and twelve techniques. They have taken in all the possibilities, all the ways of cleaning the mind, transcending the mind. Not a single method could be added to Shiva’s one hundred and twelve methods. And this book, Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, is five thousand years old. Nothing can be added; there is no possibility to add anything. It is exhaustive, complete. It is the most ancient and yet the latest, yet the newest. Old like old hills – the methods seem eternal – and they are new like a dewdrop before the sun, because they are so fresh.

These one hundred and twelve methods of meditation constitute the whole science of transforming mind. We will enter them one by one. We will try to comprehend first intellectually. But use your intellect only as an instrument, not as a master. Use it as an instrument to understand something, but do not go on creating barriers with it. When we will be talking about these techniques, just put aside your past knowledge, your knowing, whatsoever information you have collected. Put them aside – they are just dust gathered on the road.

Encounter these methods with a fresh mind – with alertness, of course, but not with argumentation.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #1

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.

Explore the Body-Mind – Jean Klein

When there is teaching, you must follow the line free from expectation and anticipation — as in the same way when you trace the route on the map it brings you to your destination. It is very deeply rooted in the body- mind that there is something to achieve, to become, to attain, and this brings us absolutely away from what we are. It takes us in the opposite direction. So we must first face our body- mind, accept it, explore it, get to know it. In this exploration there comes a moment when you are no longer interested in what you explore but live in the exploring itself. The explored is in the exploring, but the exploring is not in the explored. In other words, the known is in the knowing, but the knowing is not in the known. Otherwise, there could not be knowing.

By “explore the body-mind” I mean sense the body-mind. And by “sense” I mean have the sensation of it. Systematically go through all the parts and let each part become sensitive. In this way you become aware of your body. The body is only known through the five senses so let it come up to your five senses. The most obvious of all the sense faculties is sensation or feeling. We know our bodies mostly through sensation. In sensing the body you become free from the reactive body, free from mechanical functioning. So the moment you explore, sense, your body you no longer feed its conditioning. There’s no longer an accomplice to it, to its tension, expectation, aggression. There’s a letting-go, a deep relaxation. Then there’s a moment when there’s no more emphasis on the object, the body-mind, and there’s a switchover so that the observer-subject-explorer is emphasized. You find yourself objectless, no longer in relation of subject to object— abiding completely in stillness, in beingness. That is self-knowing.

Become free from undertaking, from doing. Not doing is also an undertaking. Doing and not doing are movements in the mind. And the mind, like all objects, has its roots in the self, in our highest principle. It is only in this higher principle that there is a conversion between doing and not doing. In this conversion there is no more left and right, yes and no, like and dislike, doing and not-doing; you are free from duality, there is really wholeness, completeness. It no longer has anything to do with the mind.

-Jean Klein

From The Book of Listening, pp. 177-178

Excerpts from Dialogue, Santa Barbara, California: February 16, 1992

 

Meditation is Not an Experience, it Is a Realization – Osho

How can one know that the spiritual search in which one is involved is not an ego-trip, but is an authentic religions search?

If you don’t know, if you are confused, then know well that this is an ego-trip. If you are not confused, if you know well that this is authentic, if there is no confusion at all, then it is authentic. And it is not a question of deceiving someone else. It is a question of deceiving or not deceiving oneself. If you are confused, in doubt, it is an ego-trip, because the moment the authentic search is there, there is no doubt. Faith happens.

Let me put it in some other way. Whenever you phrase such problems, the very confusion exactly shows that you are on the wrong path. Someone comes to me and he says, “Tell me. I don’t know whether my meditation is going deep or not.”

So I say, “If it is going deep, there is no need to come and ask me. The depth is such an experience, you will know it. And if you cannot know your depth, who is going to know about it? You have come to ask me only because you are not feeling the depth. Now you want someone else to certify you. If I say, ‘Yes, your meditation is going very deep’, you will feel very good – this is an ego-trip.”

When you are ill, you know that you are ill. It may sometimes happen that illness may be very, very hidden. You may not be aware of it. But the reverse never happens: when you are perfectly healthy, you know it. It is never hidden. When you are healthy, you know it. It may be that for your illness you may not be so aware, but for health – if health is there – you are aware of it, because the very phenomenon of health is a phenomenon of well-being. If you cannot feel your health, who is going to feel it? For your ill-health there may be experts to tell you what type of disease you have; there is no expert to tell you about your health. There is no need. But if you ask whether you are healthy or not, you are unhealthy; that much is certain. This very confusion shows it.

So when you are on a spiritual search, you can know whether it is an ego-trip or an authentic search. And the very confusion shows that this is not an authentic search; this is a sort of ego-trip. What is the ego-trip? You are less concerned with the real phenomenon; you are more concerned with possessing it.

People come to me and they say, “You know, and you can know about us. Tell us whether our kundalini has arisen or not.” They are not concerned with kundalini, not concerned really; they need a certificate. And sometimes I play and I say, ‘Yes, your kundalini has arisen,’ and immediately they are so happy. The person came very, very gloomy and sad, and when I say, “Yes, your kundalini is awakened,” he is happy like a child.

He goes away happy, and when he is just going out of my room, I call him back and I say, “I was just playing. It is not real. Nothing has happened to you.” He is again sad. He is not really concerned with any awakening; he is simply concerned with feeling good: now his kundalini has awakened, now he can feel superior to others.

And this is how many so-called gurus go on exploiting, because you are for your ego. They can give you certificates, they can tell you, “Yes, you are already awakened. You have become a Buddha.” And you are not going to deny. If I say this to ten persons, out of ten, nine are not going to deny it.

They will just feel happy. They were in search of such a guru who would say that they are awakened. False gurus exist because of your need, because no authentic guru is going to say this to you, or give you any certificate – because any certificate is a demand from the ego. No certificate is needed. If you are experiencing it, you are experiencing it. If the whole world denies it, let them deny. It makes no difference. If the real experience is there, what does it matter who says that you have achieved and who says you have not achieved? It is irrelevant. But it is not irrelevant, because your basic search is the ego. You want to believe that you have achieved all.

And this happens many times: when you become a failure in the world, when you are in misery in the world, when you cannot succeed there and when you feel that your ambition remains unfulfilled and life is passing, you turn to spirituality. The same ambition now asks to be fulfilled here. And it is easy to be fulfilled here – easy, because in spirituality you can deceive yourself easily. In the real world, in the world of the matter, you cannot deceive so easily.

If you are poor, how can you pretend that you are rich? And if you pretend, no one is deceived. And if you go on insisting that you are rich, then the whole society, the whole crowd around you, will think you have gone mad.

I once knew a man who started thinking that he was Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru. His family, his friends, everyone tried to persuade him, “Don’t talk such nonsense, otherwise you will be thought to be mad.”

But he said, “I am not talking nonsense. I am Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru.”

He started signing ‘Jawaharlal Nehru’. He would send telegrams to circuit houses, to officials, to collectors, to commissioners saying that, “I am coming – Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru.” He had to be caught and chained in his house. I went to meet him. He lived in my village. He said, ‘You are a man of understanding. You can understand. These fools, no one understands me – I am Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru.’

So I said, “Yes, that’s why I have come to meet you. And don’t be afraid of these fools, because great men like you have always suffered.”

He said, “Right.” He was so happy. He said, “You are the only man who can understand me. Great men have to suffer.”

In the outer world, if you try to deceive yourself you will be thought mad, but in spirituality it is very easy. You can say that your kundalini has arisen. Just because you have a certain pain in your back, your kundalini has arisen. Because your brain is feeling a little unbalanced, you think centers are opening. Because you have a headache constantly, you think the third eye is opening. You can deceive and no one can say anything, and no one is interested. But there are false teachers who will say, “Yes, this is the method.” And you will feel very happy.

An ego-trip means that you are not interested in really transforming yourself; you are only interested in claiming. And the claim is easy, you can purchase it cheaply. And it is a mutual thing. When a guru, a so-called guru, says that you are an awakened man, of course he has made you awakened, so you have to pay respect to this guru. This is a mutual thing. You pay respect to him. And now you cannot leave that guru, because the moment you leave that guru what will happen to your awakening, your kundalini? You cannot leave. That guru depends on you because you give respect and honor to him, and then you will depend on him because no one else is going to believe that you are awakened. You cannot leave. This is a mutual bluff.

If you are really in search it is not so easy. And you don’t need any witness. It is difficult and arduous; it may take even lives. And it is painful, it is a long suffering, because much has to be destroyed, much has to be transcended, long-established chains have to be broken. It is not easy. It is not a child’s play. It is arduous, and suffering is bound to be there because whenever you start changing your pattern, all that is old has to be dropped. And all your investments are in the old. You will have to suffer.

When you start looking inwards for your ego and you don’t find it, what will happen to your image that you have lived with? You have always thought you were a very good man, moral, this and that – what will happen to that? When you find that you are nowhere to be found, where is that good man? Your ego implies all that you have thought about yourself. Everything is implied in it. It is not something that you can throw easily. It is you, your whole past. When you drop it you become like a zero, as if you never existed before. For the first time you are born; no experience, no knowledge, no past – just like an innocent child. Daring is needed, courage is needed.

Authentic search is arduous. Ego-trip is very easy. And it can be fulfilled very easily, because nothing is really fulfilled. You start believing; you start believing that something has happened to you. You are simply wasting time and energy and life. So if you are really with a master, he will constantly pull you back from your trip. He will have to watch that you don’t become mad, that you don’t start thinking in dreams. He will have to pull you back.

And it is a very, very difficult thing, because whenever you are pulled back you take revenge on the master. “I was going so high, and was just on the verge of exploding, and he says, ‘Nothing is happening. You are just imagining.”’ You are pulled back to the earth.

With a real master it is difficult to be a disciple. And disciples almost always go against their masters, because they are on their ego-trips and the master is trying to bring them out of that. And these disciples create false masters. They have a need, such a great need, that anyone who fulfills their need will become their master. And it is easy to help your ego grow, because you are for it. It is very difficult to help your ego to disappear.

Remember well, and check every day and every moment that your search is not an ego-trip. Go on checking it. It is subtle, and the ways of the ego are very, very, very cunning. They are not on the surface. The ego manipulates you from within; deep down from the unconscious. But if you are alert, the ego cannot deceive you. If you are alert, you will come to know its language, you will come to know its feeling, because it is always going after experience. This is the key word.

The ego is always looking for the experience – sexual or spiritual, it makes no difference. The ego is greedy to experience this and to experience that: to experience kundalini and to experience the seventh body. The ego is always after experiences. The real search is not a greed for any experience, because any experience is going to frustrate you, is bound to frustrate you – because any experience is going to be repetitive. Then you will get fed up with it; then you will again demand some new experience.

The search for the new will remain with the ego. You will meditate, and if you are only meditating just to get a new thrill, because your life has become boring – you are fed up with your ordinary routine life, so you want to get some thrill…. You may get it, because man gets whatsoever he tries to find. That is the misery – whatsoever you desire, you will find. And then you will repent. You will get the thrill. Then what? Then you get fed up with it also. Then you want to take LSD or something else.

Then you go on moving from this master to that, from this ashram to that, just in search of a new thrill.

The ego is a greed for new experiences. And every new experience will become old, because whatsoever is new will become old – then again…. Spirituality is not a search for experience really.

Spirituality is a search for one’s being. Not for any experience – not even for bliss, not even for ecstasy – because experience is an outer thing; howsoever inner, it is outer.

Spirituality is the search for the real being that is inside you: I must know what my reality is. And with that knowing, all greed for experiencing ceases. And with that knowing, there is no urge – no urge to move for any new experience. With the knowing of the inner true reality, the authentic being, all search ceases.

So don’t move for an experience. All experiences are just tricks of the mind, all experiences are just escapes. Meditation is not an experience; rather, it is a stopping of all experience. Because of this, those who have really tried to express the inner happening – for example, Buddha – they say, “Don’t ask what happens there.” Of, if you insist, they will say, “Nothing happens there.”

If I say to you that nothing will happen in meditation, what will you do? You will stop meditating. If nothing is going to happen there, what is the use? – that shows you are on an ego-trip. If I say nothing happens there, and you will say, “Okay, I have known many happenings and I have known many experiences, and every experience proved to be frustrating….” You pass through it and then you know it was nothing. And then an urge to repeat, and then repetition also becomes a boredom. Then you move to something else…. This is how you have been moving for lives and lives; for thousands and thousands of lives you have been moving for experience. You say, “I have known experience. Now I don’t want any new experience. I want to know the experiencer.” The whole emphasis changes.

Experience is something outside you. The experiencer is your being. And this is the distinction between true spirituality and false: if you are for experiences, the spirituality is false; if you are for the experiencer, then it is true. But then you are not concerned about kundalini, not concerned about chakras, not concerned about all these things. They will happen, but you are not concerned, you are not interested, and you will not move on these by-paths. You will go on moving towards the inner center where nothing remains except you in your total aloneness. Only the consciousness remains, without content.

Content is the experience. Whatsoever you experience is the content. I experience misery – then the misery is the content of my consciousness. Then I experience pleasure – then pleasure is the content. Then I experience boredom – then boredom is the content. And then you can experience silence – then silence is the content. And then you can experience bliss – then bliss is the content.

So you go on changing the content. You can go on changing ad infinitum, but this is not the real thing.

The real is the one to whom these experiences happen – to whom boredom happens, to whom bliss happens. The spiritual search is not what happens, but to whom it happens. Then there is no possibility for the ego to arise.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #56, Q4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Four Types of Samadhis – Osho

In which body is that obtained which you refer to as samadhi?

Actually there are many types of samadhi. One samadhi will take place between the fourth and the fifth body. Remember, samadhi is not a happening of one plane; it always happens between two planes, it is the twilight period. One may just as well ask whether twilight belongs to the day or the night. Twilight belongs neither to the day nor the night, it is a happening between day and night. So is samadhi.

The first samadhi occurs between the fourth and the fifth planes. This samadhi leads to self-realization, atma gyan. One samadhi occurs between the fifth and the sixth planes; this in turn leads to brahma gyan – cosmic knowing. The samadhi that occurs between the sixth and the seventh planes is the samadhi that leads to nirvana. So generally speaking there are these three samadhis that occur between the last three shariras, the last three bodies.

There is one false samadhi that has to be recognized also. It occurs in the fourth body, but is not samadhi though it seems like it. In Japan the Zen Buddhist term for it is satori. It is false samadhi. It is that state which a painter or a sculptor or a musician reaches when he is completely immersed in his art; he experiences a great bliss. This is a happening on the fourth – the psychic plane. If when looking at the morning sun or listening to a melody or looking at a dance or looking at the opening of a flower the mind is completely drowned in the happening, a false samadhi takes place. Such a false samadhi can be brought about by hypnosis or false shaktipat. Such a false samadhi can be brought about by alcohol and drugs like marijuana, LSD, mescaline, hashish.

So there are four types of samadhi. Actually there are three authentic samadhis and they happen in a sequence. The fourth is an absolutely false experience that appears like samadhi. In this there is no actual experience – only a feeling of samadhi that is misleading. Many people are misled by satori. This false samadhi occurs in the fourth – the psychic plane. It is not the transitional process between the fourth and the fifth plane; it happens well within the fourth body. The three authentic samadhis occur outside the bodies in a transitional period when we pass on from one plane to another. One samadhi is a door, a passage.

Between the fourth and the fifth bodies happens the first authentic samadhi. One attains self-relaxation.

We can get stuck here. Usually people stop at the false samadhi in the fourth body because it is so easy. We have to spend very little energy, making no effort at all, and it is obtained just like that. The majority of meditators, therefore, stagnate here. The first real samadhi, which takes place on the journey from the fourth to the fifth body, is very difficult; and the third, from the sixth to the seventh, is the most difficult of all. The name chosen for the third samadhi is vajrabhed– piercing of the thunderbolt. It is the most difficult one because it is a transition from being into non-being; it is a jump from life into death; it is a plunge from existence into nonexistence.

So there are actually three samadhis. The first you may call atma samadhi, the second brahma samadhi, and the last nirvana samadhi. The very first and false samadhi you may call satori. This is the one you should guard against, because it is very easily attainable.

Another method to test the validity of the samadhi is that if it takes place within the plane it is false; it must take place between the planes. It is the door; it has no business to be inside the room. It must be outside the room, adjoining the next room.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Discourse #20, Q4

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

Your House is on Fire – Osho

I have heard one anecdote. In a conservative party rally, Lord Mancroft was invited to speak. He came right on time, reached the rostrum and said to the public – he was looking a little flustered – he said, ‘Forgive me for shortening my speech a little, but the fact is that my house is on fire.’ And that fact is everybody’s fact. Your house is also on fire, but you don’t even seem a little flustered. Everybody’s house is on fire, but you are not aware – not aware of death, not aware that your life is just passing through your hands. Every moment you are dying, every moment you are losing an opportunity which cannot be regained. The time that is lost, is lost: nothing can be done to regain it, and your life becomes shorter and shorter every moment.

This is what I mean when I say that your house is also on fire. But you don’t seem even a little flustered. You don’t even seem to be worried about it. You are not aware of the fact that the house is on fire. The fact is there, but your attention is not there. And everybody thinks that there is enough time to do something. There is not enough time, because whatsoever has to be done is so much that the time is never enough.

Once it happened that the Devil was waiting for years and years and nobody was coming to hell. He was waiting to welcome people, but the earth was running so well and people were so good that no one was coming to hell. Of course he became very worried. He called an emergency council. His greatest disciples gathered together to discuss the situation. Hell was passing through a great crisis and this could not be tolerated. Something had to be done. So he asked for advice: ‘What should we do?’

One disciple suggested, ‘I would go to the earth and I would talk to people and try to convince them that there is no God and religions are false, and whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is nonsense.’

The Devil said, ‘This won’t do, because we have been doing this since the very beginning and it has not influenced people very much. Through such teaching you can convince only those who are already convinced. So it is of no use; it is not of much use.’

Then the second disciple, subtler than the first, said, ‘I will go and teach people and try to convince people that whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is right. There is heaven, there is God, but there is no Devil and no hell, so don’t be afraid. And if we can make them less afraid, they will not bother about religion at all, because all religion is based on fear.’

The Devil said, ‘Your proposal is a little better. You may be able to, you may succeed in convincing a minority, but the majority will not listen to you. They are not as much afraid of hell as they are greedy of heaven. Even if you convince them that there is no hell, they will still want to enter into heaven, and they will try to be good for that. So this also won’t do much.’

Then the third disciple, the subtlest of them all, said, ‘I have an idea. Give me a chance to try it. I will go and say that whatsoever religion says is absolutely true – there is God and there is Devil and there is heaven and there is hell – but there is no hurry.’

And the Devil said, ‘Right? You have the right system. You go!’

And it is said that since then there has never been a crisis in hell. Rather, they are worried about the over-population.

This is how our minds are functioning: we always think there is no hurry. These techniques we are talking about will be of no use if your mind thinks there is no hurry. Then you can go on postponing and death will come first. That day will not come when you think there is a hurry, when you think that now the moment has come. You can go on postponing. This is what we have been doing with our lives.

You have to be decisive to do something. You are in a crisis – the house is on fire. Life is always on fire because death is always there hidden behind it; any moment and you may not be any more.

And you cannot argue with death. You cannot do anything. When death happens, it happens. Time is very short. Even if you live for seventy years or for a hundred years, it is very short. What you have to do with yourself to transform, to mutate, to become a new being, is such a great work. Don’t go on postponing.

Unless you feel it as an emergency, a deep crisis, you will not do anything. Unless religion becomes a very critical process for you, and you feel that unless something is done to transform you, your whole life is just wasted…. If you feel this very keenly and deeply and honestly, only then will these techniques be of any help. Because you can understand them – understanding is of no use unless you do something about it. Really, unless you do something about it, you have not understood them, because understanding must become action. If it is not becoming action then it is only  acquaintance, not understanding.

Try to understand this distinction. Acquaintance is not understanding. Acquaintance will not force you to actions. It will not force you to any change. It will not force you to do something about it. You will gather it in the mind; it will become information. You will become more knowledgeable. But at death everything stops. You go on collecting many things, never doing anything about them. They become just a burden on you.

Understanding means action. When you understand a thing, immediately you start working on it, because if it is right and you feel it is right, you have to do something about it. Otherwise everything remains borrowed, and borrowed knowledge cannot become understanding. You can forget that it is borrowed – you would like to forget that it is borrowed, because to feel that it is borrowed means that your ego is hurt. So you go on forgetting that it is borrowed. By and by you start feeling that it is your own. That is very dangerous.

I have heard an anecdote. The congregation of a church was very bored by the minister. A point came when the members of the church said directly to the minister, ‘Now you have to leave.’ The minister said, ‘Give me one more chance, only one chance, and if then you say so, I will leave.’ So next Sunday the whole town gathered in the church to see what that minister was going to do now that only one chance was given to him. They never suspected, they never imagined, that such a beautiful sermon was going to be delivered on that day. They had never heard such a thing. Surprised, delighted, they enjoyed it, and when the sermon was finished, they gathered around the minister and they said, ‘You need not leave. You remain here. We have never heard such a thing before – never in our lives. Be here and remain here, and of course, with an increase in your stipend.’

But then one man, a very prominent member of the congregation, asked, ‘Tell me one thing only. When you started your lecture, you raised your left hand with two fingers raised, and when you closed your lecture you raised your right hand, again with two fingers raised. So what is the meaning of this symbol? The minister said, ‘The meaning is easy. Those fingers are symbolic of quotation marks. That sermon was not mine – it was borrowed.’

Always remember those quotation marks. It is very good to forget them, you feel good, but all that you know is within quotation marks; it is not your own. And you can drop those quotation marks only when something has become your own experience.

These techniques are to change knowledge into experience. These techniques are to change acquaintance into understanding. That which belongs to a Buddha or to a Krishna or to a Christ, through these techniques can belong to you – that can become your own. And unless it becomes your own, no truth is true. It may be a grand lie, a beautiful lie, but no truth is true unless it becomes your experience – individually, authentically your own.

Three things. First: always remember that your house is on fire. Second: don’t listen to the Devil. He will constantly say to you that there is no hurry. And thirdly: remember, acquaintance is not understanding.

Whatsoever I am saying here will make you acquainted. It is needed, but it is not enough. It starts you on a journey, but it is not the end. Do something so that knowledge doesn’t remain knowledge, doesn’t remain as memory, but becomes your experience and your life.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #61

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.