Give Yourself a Little of God – Osho

I don’t understand – What does the word God mean? I really don’t understand. God, what is that? You say life is everything. Life is what is, what counts, here and now – no planning, no wishing, no wanting, no hoping, no searching. Live now, spontaneously. Just be. Yes. I understand that, but what is “God”? Is God the same word for life? For what is? But why do we use the word ‘God’ and not just life? They say “God” is the one who created the world. Is that what God is?

The question is of course from somebody who is very new here. Many things will have to be understood. First: there is no need to understand what “God” is, because whatsoever God is cannot be understood. Understanding is not the right direction towards God. Understanding means you are trying intellectually – through logic, reason, concepts – and that’s the sure way to miss God.

It is as if somebody is trying to see through the ears. He will not be able to see. Or somebody is trying to hear with the eyes. He will not be able to hear. The ears are to hear and the eyes are to see.

The intellect is utilitarian. It helps while you are moving outside of your being. It is helpful as a guide in the world of the without. The moment you turn inwards it becomes useless; it is no more a guide. Then it misguides. There is a limit to the intellect… and God can be felt only, not understood.

When you are moving inwards, you come closer to the source of your own being – and that is the source of all being. If I can come to my own self, I have come to the supreme self, because at the center I am no more I AM; I am the whole. But the movement has to be inwards, the movement has to be somewhere deep in the depth.

Intellect is superficial – so if you are trying to understand God, you will go on missing. The first thing to be understood is that understanding is not the right direction.  Feeling….

Once a Christian missionary asked a very primitive man, an aboriginal, “Who told you what you know of God?”

The primitive laughed and replied, “Told? Whoever is so stupid that they have got to be told about God? Never did any man know God by ‘tolds.’ You get God by ‘feels.’ All the told there is to it is his name. You call him God, I call him Gallah. I English Gallah’s name so you can understand me, but whoever has got anything by ‘tolds’?”

Whatsoever you know about “God” is through ‘tolds’ – the parents, the society, the culture. It is your conditioning. And now you have got a concept about God and you are trying to understand that word. “God” is not a word. The word God is not god. The word is simply a word; in itself empty and meaningless.

If you really want to know what God is, you will have to drop the word and move into feeling. You will have to drop the mind and move into no-mind. Love will bring you closer to it than thinking.

And when I say “Life is God,” I am saying that if you want, you can experience God but you cannot understand. Life cannot be understood. You can live it – that is the only understanding there is. But you are worried. You say that you understand that – but what is “God”? If you understand that, if you understand what life is, you will never ask what God is. In that very understanding, the problem of “God” is solved.

A man who has lived life in its totality has understood all that is there to understand. He will be full of God. He has given enough of God to himself and there will be no problem of understanding.

You have not given anything of life to yourself. Empty you live. Hiding in a cocoon you live. Blind, deaf, you live. Dead you live. You have not given any life at all to your being – and there is the flavor, there is the taste of what “God” is. You have to eat out of life. You have to drink out of life. You have to live, merge into it.

But the mind is cunning; it goes on thinking about “God.” Thinking is a very secure situation. You never go out of yourself. You go on playing with words. If you are too interested in the word, if you want to know what the word “God” means… it doesn’t mean “God”. If you are only interested in the linguistic symbol God, then you can ask the linguists; don’t come to me. They say that God is derived from a word ghu-to. That ghu-to means “the called one,” nothing else.

If you call life, it becomes God – the called one. If you provoke life, it becomes god.

“God” is a certain situation in life when you provoke it, when you pray to it, when you are in a deep dialogue with it. When you look at the sky and you say, “Father, who art in heaven…” you have called life. Now life is no more just life – it has become the called one, the provoked one. The word God simply means that.

In deep love, someday one cries, one starts uttering words… a dialogue arises. Life is no more “it”; it becomes a “thou”. That is the meaning of the word God. If life becomes your beloved, if life becomes a thou and you are in deep relationship with it, suddenly life has become God.

“God” is a deep communion with life.

If you are just trying to understand the word…. Yes, there is a need to use a different word – God – rather than just calling it “life” — life provoked, called life in deep relationship.

An ordinary woman passes by. She is a woman – but if love calls in your heart she is no more a woman; she is a beloved. We can say all beloveds are women. To become a beloved is a certain function in the being of a woman – when she is called, when she is no more just a “she”, she becomes “thou,” becomes related.

Have you watched this transfiguration? The woman may have passed you many times, you may have seen her many times, yet she was just a woman, as there are millions of women. Then suddenly one day something changes. The woman is no more an ordinary woman; she has become divine. She is a beloved. Now suddenly she has come close to you; your heart has called.

Or a man. You know him, as one of so many men – just a statistic, just a number in millions of men; he has no particular face for you, is unrelated to you… if that man disappears and is replaced by another, you will not even notice the difference; he is only a number, is not yet a person to you; unprovoked, uncalled, he remains anonymous, he has no name…. Then suddenly one day love arises. He is no more an ordinary man; he has become a God.

Provoked, called, related, you have become… a communion has happened. And not only that the man has changed; you are also changed simultaneously. Something of the beyond has entered.

Yes, there is a function of the word God – life provoked, life becomes a thou, life becomes a person. You are no more indifferent to it. You feel for it – a communion has happened. Then life becomes God. Then life is no more with a lower case “l”; now it is with a capital “L” – Life.

But there is no way to understand “God” through intellect, because there is no way to understand love through intellect. “God” is love provoked. And in that light of love, everything is transformed. It is alchemical, magical.

Give a little of “God” to you—that’s my whole effort. When I say “Life is God,” I am meaning to say don’t see “God” in the temples and the mosques and the churches. There you will find the “God” of the philosophers, theologians – which is a bogus God, a false coin, a counterfeit. Look in the trees, in the flowers, in the stars, in humanity, in animals, in birds. Wherever there is life, look deep down there. Provoke God there. Pray there. Pray before a tree. Pray before an animal. Pray before the stars. Provoke God there. There is the real temple.

When I say “Life is God”, I mean this – don’t be confined in temples and don’t be confined in churches and don’t be confined by Bibles and Gitas and Korans. Don’t be confined at all. Life is infinite. Meet life as it is. Meet the infinite. Don’t be afraid of the infinite.

Where is the fear of the infinite? The fear is that with the infinite you will disappear. In a church you cannot disappear. You can manage. A church is your construction. It is arbitrary. It is artificial. It is a plastic flower. You can control it, manipulate it. Behind the curtain are your hands. The God in the church is your creation.

The real God is totally different. If you come to the real God – the life – then you are God’s creation. Then God is behind everything. In the church you are behind everything. The church is a deception.

So when I say “Life is God,” I simply mean don’t create substitute Gods, don’t create substitute temples. This vast space is the temple and this infinitely moving life is the god. Give a little of God to you and then you will understand. And that understanding will not be of the intellect; that will be more of your total being. It will be more of the blood and the guts.

I was-reading an anecdote:

A man was brooding over his beer at the bar-room, and said to his friend, “I tell you, Mulligan, I don’t know what I am going to do about my wife.”

“What is it now?”

“The same old thing – money. She is always asking for money. Only last Thursday she wanted ten dollars, yesterday she was around asking for twenty, and this morning, if you please, she demanded fifty dollars!”

“What does she do with all the money, for heaven’s sake?” asked the friend.

“There is no way of finding out. I never give her any.”

Give a little of God to you, then you will stop asking what “God” is. You don’t give yourself a little of God and then you go on asking. Nobody else can give you God, remember. You will have to come to terms with God on your own. I cannot give God to you. God is not a commodity, it is not a thing. It is such an experience that only you can have it.

You will have to move alone. You will have to go totally alone, naked of all thoughts, totally naked, naked of all philosophies, naked of all scriptures. And once you have tasted a little, you will understand. Love life, and by and by a light will arise in your being. Through deep love of life one comes to understand what God is.

The last part of the question is: They say “God” is the one who created the world.

“God” is the world. The mind goes on creating dualisms. It says: “God is the one who created the world”—then “the world” is separate and “God” is separate. God is not separate. He cannot be separate from his world. If he is separate, the world cannot exist for a single moment without him. He is the very life of life.

So don’t imagine God as a painter who paints on a canvas and then the canvas is separate and god is separate. The painter can die but the painting can continue.

Because of this duality, Nietzsche could say, “God is dead.” What is the need of him? He created the world – finished! Why go on carrying the load? What is the need of God? Once he created the world then what is the need? The world is there, you are there. This God can only be a hindrance. He will come between you and your life – be finished with him!

And Nietzsche was right in a way: that is the logical conclusion of duality. The world is perfectly right without him. Why bring him in? In fact, the more you bring him in, the more trouble arises. Look at the religions. How many wars, murders, violence? What has not happened in the name of religion? The world has suffered tremendously.

“…Be finished with God! He created the world; give him a last thank you and be finished. Now he is no more needed. Already too old, almost a ruin….” Nietzsche said, “God is dead, and man is free now.” This is the logical conclusion of dualistic thinking.

In the East we have never thought of God as a painter. We have thought of God as a dancer. The dance cannot be separated from the dancer; the painting can be separated. That’s why dance is alive and painting is dead. Howsoever beautiful a painting, it is dead. It is separate from the creator. The moment it is separate it is dead. It may have lived a life in the mind of the painter; it may have been alive when it was not painted. The moment it is painted it is finished; it is already a dead product. But a dance….

In India we call God Nataraj – the god of dancers. You must have seen Shiva dancing. That is the eastern concept about God – a non-dual concept. When the dancer stops, the dancing stops. You cannot separate the dancing from the dancer. And dancing comes to a culmination, to a crescendo, when the dancer is completely lost in it – when there is neither a dancer nor a dancing; both are one… one movement of sheer energy and delight.

That’s why nothing can be compared with dancing – poetry, painting, sculpture; nothing comes close to it. Dancing remains the supreme art. And that is the first art that was born and that will remain the last art also, because dancing has some quality in it of life itself.

God is a dancer. He is not a creator in the sense of a painter; he is a creator in the sense of a dancer.

Then let me say it in another way. God is not a creator but creativity… a dynamic energy. The moment you say creator, he is dead. The very word creator has a full-stop in it. Creativity with an open end, tremendously moving and moving and reaching to higher and higher peaks….

The animals are a dance of God. The trees are also a dance of God. Humanity is also a dance of God, reaching higher and higher. God is moving faster and faster – more mad, more fast, getting dissolved into his dance.

A Buddha or a Jesus is the ultimate of his dance… where the dancer is so completely drunk and mad that he has become the dance.

That’s why I say that if you live life in its dynamism you will come closer to God – because he is still dancing. Don’t say that he created the world – he is still creating. Otherwise how do the trees go on growing? How do the flowers go on blooming? Every moment the world is being renewed. Every morning fresh life is released.

No, the Christian God is false – the God who created the world in six days and then rested on the seventh. It doesn’t seem true – a holiday for a God will be a death. Just think of it. A holiday for a God will be a death to his creation. The dancer cannot go for a holiday otherwise the dance will disappear. And the very idea that God got tired is stupid. He is still creating. He is nothing but creativity.

Think in terms of energy; don’t think in terms of things. Think in terms of energy. The wild ocean…. God is a wild ocean of energy – goes on and on, waves upon waves, unending. There has never been a beginning. The very idea of a beginning is of the mind. How can the world begin?

Before Darwin, Christians used to believe that God created the world on a particular date. One foolish theologian even decided the date and the day – four thousand and four years before Jesus, exactly on a Monday he started… it must have been the first of January.

Then the question arises – what was he doing before that? Don’t ask Christians; they will get angry. Even a man like Saint Augustine became very, very angry. One man asked – the question seems to be relevant and innocent – he asked, “I can understand that God created the world four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ was born, but what was he doing before that?”

Of course there is no answer to it in Christian theology. Saint Augustine became very angry and he said, “He was brooding and thinking about punishments for people like you who ask such questions.”

This is not very saintly. The question was very innocent; this anger is irrelevant. But the man raised a question which topples down the whole Christian theology. No, there has never been a beginning. There cannot be, because then the question will always arise:

What was there before the beginning? And there is never going to be any end, because the question will arise: Then what will be after the end? If you can conceive anything before the beginning, then that was not the beginning. If you can conceive anything after the end, then that is not the end.

The world is an ongoing process. “God” is creativity – creating and creating and creating. In fact the moment I say creating, I don’t feel very happy. Language is not exactly capable of expressing it. The moment I say “creating”, again it seems that he is separate.

No, “God” is the creator and he is the created. “God” is the same energy which becomes a rock, becomes a tree, becomes a man… the same energy which becomes a sinner and becomes a saint… the same energy which weeps and cries and laughs… the same energy which becomes the day and the night, life and death, summer and winter – non-dual.

Existence is God called through love, provoked through love. The moment you become capable of prayer, existence becomes God. The moment you become capable of deep love, life becomes God. It is a transfiguration of the same energy.

So, “God” is not something which exists there like an object. If I have experienced him, I cannot show him to you. Unless you provoke him, unless you come to terms with him, unless you kneel down in prayer, unless you call him, you cannot know him.

And the dilemma is that first you want to be perfectly certain whether he is, then you can pray. And only through prayer he is; only through trust he is. And you want first to be certain about the very hypothesis that God is, then you can trust. Now this is the dilemma. If you choose that first you need certainty, then you will never be able to know what “God” is.

It is only for gamblers to know God — who are not worried about certainty, who are ready to move in danger, who are ready to move in insecurity, who are ready to move into the unknown, who are ready to leave the comfortable past, the convenient past, who are like small children – always wondering and always wandering. God is only for those who are courageous. It is the greatest courage there is.

Because it is the most difficult thing – almost impossible for the mind to do. First comes trust and then arises god. You create god through your trust. Here you open the eyes of trust and suddenly life takes a change, is transformed – it becomes godly, it becomes divine.

“God” is your subjectivity, your innermost rest, coming home. “God” has nothing to do with theology; it has something to do with the way you live your life – whether you live through the mind or you live through the heart.

If you live through the heart, forget all about “God” —he will take care himself. He will come; he will knock at your heart. Sooner or later you will hear the sound of his footsteps coming closer and closer. Your very heartbeats will become the footsteps… the sound of his footsteps. Your very breathing will be his coming in and his going out.

-Osho

From Nirvana: The Last Nightmare, Chapter Four

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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God Is Existence Itself – Osho

Does God exist? How can there be so much evil and corruption in the world if God exists?

God is a mythical word, a mumbo-jumbo word that is the invention of the priesthood. Actually, to ask whether God exists is absurd. For those who know, God is existence, or existence is God.

Things exist, not God. A chair exists because a chair can go into nonexistence. To say that the chair exists is meaningful because its nonexistence is possible.

God is existence, the very isness. When we say God exists we create something out of the word God, then God becomes a thing. But God is not a thing, nor is God a person. That is why you cannot make him responsible for anything. Responsibility only comes when there is a personality, when there is someone who can be responsible.

God is not a person, he is pure existence. The word is misleading because the word personifies. It is better to use the word existence. The totality of existence is God.

So it cannot be asked whether God exists. That is like asking whether existence exists. Put this way – whether existence exists – the question becomes absurd. Obviously existence exists; there is no question about it. The question cannot even exist if there is no existence, nor can the questioner.

I would like to make it clear that when I say God, I mean existence as such. God is not a thing among other things, God is total thingness. To say that the table exists is the same as saying that the table is God. To say that you exist is the same as saying that you are God. God is the existence. God is isness, the quality of isness, the quality of existence.

First of all, God is not a thing. Secondly, God is not a person because the total cannot be a person. Personality is a relationship. Alone, totally alone, you will not be a person at all, you will be existence itself. That is why those who are seeking the divine tend to go into loneliness. In this way, they can cease to be persons and can become one with existence. Aloneness, absolute aloneness, is a step toward jumping into the abyss of existence.

God is not a person because there is nothing opposite to him, nothing distinct from him. God cannot say “I” because there is no other that exists as thou. He cannot be related to anyone. He is the whole, so all relationships exist in him and cannot exist beyond him.

So if God is not a person, there is no question of any responsibility. If evil exists, it exists. No one is responsible for it. The total cannot be responsible for it.

Responsibility implies that there is a person who can be responsible. A child of four cannot be taken to court because he is not yet a person and therefore cannot be held responsible for anything that he may have done. He is so innocent that even the sense of personality, the sense of ego, is not there. He is not responsible at all, because responsibility comes with ego. Existence has no ego at all – God has no ego at all – so you cannot make him responsible for any evil that exists.

But the human mind is very cunning. First we invent a personified God – we give God a personality – and then we make him responsible for what happens. We go on creating problems that are not problems at all but only linguistic fallacies. Ninety-nine percent of philosophy consists only of linguistic fallacies. If you call the totality, existence, you cannot make it responsible; but if you call it God, then you can make it responsible – only the word has changed.

Existence is non-personal, impersonal. But if God becomes a person, then you can ask, “Why is there evil?” The whole game is being played by you alone; God is not a party to it. When you give existence a name, a personal name, you create problems. These problems are not authentic problems; they are created problems, invented problems.

God means existence. I cannot say that God exists, because that would be a tautology. It would be just like saying: existence exists, or poetry is poetry. It means nothing, it defines nothing, it clarifies nothing, it explains nothing; it only repeats itself.

To me, God is existence, and existence is impersonal. It cannot be otherwise because the total cannot be a person. How can it be? In contrast to whom can it be an individual, a person? In contrast to whose ego can it create its own ego?

You become an ego because other egos exist. Psychologists say that the sense of ego develops in a child later than the sense of the other. First the child becomes aware of others, then he becomes aware of himself. The ego is a later addition.

You cannot become aware of yourself if there is no other. Without the other you cannot define yourself – your definition of yourself comes from the other. Others define you; they make you separate. By knowing others you come to feel your own boundaries. Then you know, “I am here, and I am not there.” Then you know, “This body is mine, and that body is not mine.” Then what is you is clearly defined – defined by other egos. If there were no other, you would never be aware of yourself as a person.

God cannot become an ego. He cannot say “I” because there is no thou: he cannot define himself. God is indefinable because a definition means a drawing of boundaries, and the total has no boundaries at all. The total means that which has no boundaries, the infinite.

We cannot conceive of the infinite – whatsoever is conceivable by the mind is finite. Even when we think about the infinite we conceive of it as a greater finiteness, never as the infinite. We cannot conceive of a boundaryless existence, but it is so nevertheless. Whether you can conceive of it or not makes no difference.

Mind cannot conceive of the indefinable, because mind requires definitions, clear-cut boundaries. That is why God, existence, cannot be understood by the mind.

God is the indefinable. Because we use the pronoun he for a person, we use he for God. But “he” is not correct, because by calling God he, he becomes a person. Still, there is no other way. If we call God it, it may seem better, but since we call things it, God also becomes a thing. Our language is not meant to express the indefinable, so the best we can do is use “he.” But he is not a person at all: he is a no-person, a non-ego. You cannot make him responsible.

If you say that something is bad – that there is evil or there is want – you are saying it to no one. No reply will be given to you from the universe, because as far as existence itself is concerned there is no evil. Evil depends on our attitudes; it depends on our moralistic definitions. For example, you may call someone ugly, but there is no ugliness in existence itself because there is no beauty. The distinction is human, it is not existential. You have made the definition: you have defined something as beauty and something else as ugliness. You have made the distinction and then you ask, “Why has God made ugliness?”

There is no way to decide what is good and what is bad. If there were no human beings on earth, would there be anything good or bad? There would be no good and no bad because goodness and badness are human distinctions, mental distinctions. If there were no human beings on earth would there be any flower that was ugly or any flower that was beautiful? There would only be flowers flowering; the distinction would not be there.

You say “this is evil” and “that is good.” But if, for example, Adolf Hitler’s mother had killed him during his childhood, would it have been good or bad? She would have been a criminal and they would have punished her for it. But now, looking back, we can say that it would have been a most moral act: by killing her child she could have saved the whole world.

No one can know the future. For us, every act is an incomplete act, every act is a fragment. We don’t know the whole so we cannot pronounce judgment on it.

It is just like a page torn from a novel – how can you make any judgment about the novel by reading just one page? You don’t know anything about the novel. This is just a fragment – it has no beginning or end. You will say, “I would like to read the whole story first. Nothing can be said about it otherwise. This page is not enough.”

Words such as good and bad are just expedient, utilitarian; they are not existential. We cannot exist without classifying things as either good or bad because otherwise society would be impossible.

This must be clearly understood. Definitions are not ultimate truths, they are relative. There is not a single act that cannot be considered good in some context. A good deed can be bad in one context and a bad deed may be good in another. If you are to make any final judgment you will have to know everything from the very beginning to the very end – everything in the whole of existence. But of course, this is impossible.

All our statements about good and bad, beauty and ugliness are nothing more than traffic regulations. We have to make them, but they are not ultimate truths. “Keep left” or “keep right” – it makes no difference. But no society can do both: either you have to keep right or you have to keep left. The rule is utilitarian; it is neither natural nor ultimate.

The road is absolutely unconcerned with whether you keep to the right or to the left, but traffic does require certain rules. When there is less traffic you do not have to make any rules; but the more confusing the traffic, the more rules will be needed. In a village there is no need for traffic rules, but in a big city rules are needed.

As society develops in a more complex way, a more clearly defined morality is needed; otherwise you will not be able to live. But these moralities, these conceptions of good and bad, are human expediencies.

When you ask how there can be corruption if God exists, remember: God is not involved at all. There are reasons for corruption, but God is not responsible, the total is not responsible. If responsibility is to be put anywhere, it is to be put on us. We have created a society in which corruption has become necessary because its very base is corrupt. Unless you change the very foundation of society there is bound to be corruption; there has always been corruption. Forms have changed, but the corruption has remained because we have not yet created a society in which corruption is impossible.

This situation is our creation; God is not involved in it at all. It is as much a human creation as this table, this sofa, this house. You cannot hold God responsible for this house or for this room’s being small and not large, or for this window’s facing west and not east. You never ask God, “Why did you build this window onto the east wall and not the west?” That would be nonsense – you know that it is some person who built the window into the east wall. God has never been asked about it, he is not a party to it.

In the same way you can ask why there is corruption, but you cannot make any reference to God. To ask why there is corruption is a pertinent question. But to talk about God in reference to corruption is impertinent. Our society has been made by us – we are the architects of it. And because the foundation of it is wrong, because the base upon which we have built all of society’s structures is not scientific, it is bound to be corrupt. It is a human problem. We can change it or we can prolong it – it depends on us.

For example, our whole education is ambition-oriented. Our whole society is ambitious and an ambitious society can never be anything but corrupt. If you create ambition in everyone, not everyone will be able to fulfill it. You may say that anyone can be president, but only one person can be president at any one time. When you teach that everyone can be president, ambition is created: if everyone can be president then why shouldn’t you be? But since only one person can be president, a mad rush begins. Every means will be used – even evil means will be used.

Ambition corrupts; the ambitious mind is bound to be corrupt. Ambition is the seed of insanity. Yet our whole education is ambition-oriented. Your father says, “Become someone!” and the fever is created – you become diseased. Only one person can be president, and thousands of people who will be unsuccessful are aflame with the same ambition. Then you cannot be sane – you become insane. Because so much tension is created you become corrupt: you will use any means to achieve your goal.

It is infectious. If you see that someone else is using corrupt means you know that if you don’t use them you will be left behind. So you have to use equally corrupt means. Then someone else sees you being unscrupulous, so he has to be unscrupulous. It becomes a question of survival. Nothing else is possible within this framework, this structure. If you look to the very roots of society you will see that corruption is a natural outgrowth of our conditioning, our education, our cultivation.

The complexity of our social structure is such that those who succeed can hide their corruption.

Corruption is seen only when someone fails. If you succeed no one will know that you have been corrupt; success will hide everything. You have only to succeed and you will become a pinnacle of goodness – you will become everything that is good, pure, innocent. That means you can succeed in any way you like, but you must succeed. Once you succeed, once you are successful, nothing that you may have done is wrong.

This has been true throughout history. A person is only a thief if he is a small thief. If he is a great thief, then he becomes an Alexander the Great, a hero. No one ever sees that there is no qualitative difference between the two, that it is only a quantitative difference. No one will call Alexander the Great a great thief because the measure of your goodness is success: the more successful you are, the more good. Means are only questioned if you are a failure; then you will be called both corrupt and a fool.

If this is the attitude, how is it possible to create an uncorrupt society? To ask a person to be moral in this immoral situation is to ask something absurd. An individual cannot be moral in an immoral society. If he tries to be moral, his morality will only make him egoistic and ego is as immoral and corrupt as anything else.

This situation is a human creation. We have created a society with a mad rush for wealth, power, politics; we go on supporting it, and then we ask why there is corruption. Where there is ambition, corruption will be the logical consequence. You cannot check corruption unless the whole basic structure that encourages ambition is destroyed.

Ambition even becomes manifest around a so-called saint. He will incite you to ambition in terms of comparison; he will say, “Become better than others. Be good so that you will go to heaven and be the beloved of the divine while others will be tortured in the fires of hell.” The poison of ambition can easily be used in order to make a person good.

But that is not really possible. A person may be ambitious and bad – that is natural, logical – but he cannot be ambitious and good. It is impossible. If a person wants to be good, he cannot think in terms of comparison, because the flowering of real goodness only comes when there is no comparison.

Comparison is the barrier because comparison creates ego, it creates violence. The moment you say, “I am more humble than you,” you have become violent. You have used a subtle, cunning method that thrusts a knife into the other; you have killed him. The weapon is lethal – and much more subtle than political or capitalist weapons. If you say, “I am better than others, I am more saintly than others,” then the object may be different, but you will be on the same ambitious track. Criminals and sinners are not the only ones who are corrupt; the so-called good people, the “saints,” are also corrupt – in a more subtle way.

Our whole society is corrupt. It creates sinners with ambition and saints with ambition. And they are interdependent, because both exist on the same axis: the axis of ambition. A person who understands this will drop out of society completely. He will be neither a sinner nor a saint – he will not fit himself into any category – and you will be at a loss to measure who he is, what kind of a person he is. We need a society that is non-ambitious.

God is not involved in it at all, but if you are ambitious, even God will become part of your ambition. You will pursue him, you will try to attain to God.

A person who is ambitious is never able to attain to God. He is never relaxed; he is never loving – because ambition is violence. And a person who is not at ease, who is not loving, who is not silent or peaceful, can never know what God is. God is not something that can be known intellectually, he is something that can only be felt.

When you are at ease, totally relaxed, going nowhere – when the mind is still and at peace with itself – then you know what existence is. Then you know the beauty and the bliss of existence. It is not beauty in contrast to ugliness; there is no contrast and there is no comparison. Rather, everything becomes beautiful – the very existence is beautiful. Then a cactus is as beautiful as a rose. Then individuality is beautiful; it is incomparable.

Then for the first time you begin to love. It is not a love that exists in contrast to hate because that kind of love can never really be love; it is bound to be a diluted form of hate, a non-intense form of hate. It is the opposite pole: love exists at one pole and hate exists at the other pole, and you go on wavering between the two. Your hate means less love. Your love means less hate.

You may ask how one can be beyond hate and love. You can only be beyond the duality of love and hate if you are no longer ambitious, if you are no longer tense, if you are relaxed – going nowhere, seeking nothing at all, just being. Then you know God and, simultaneously, you know love. Love is a byproduct of being in tune with the infinite; it follows just like a shadow, it is a consequence.

Buddha never searched for love; love just came to him. Jesus never thought about love; he lived love. The search for love cannot be direct – it is such a subtle perfume that you cannot search for it directly. It comes as a byproduct of the realization that everything is one, a byproduct of comprehending that God exists in your enemy and in your friend.

The moment you become aware that you are not separate from existence, from all that is, that you are a part of it – and not a mechanical part but an organic part, just as a whale is organically joined to the ocean and is one with it all the time, just as my hand is organically one with me – then you can know love.

You can become aware of it only when you are non-ambitious. Only a non-ambitious mind is religious. It makes no difference what your ambition is – whether it is wealth, power or fame, or even liberation or God – if you are ambitious, that means your mind is moving somewhere else, running after something else. It is always busy achieving; it is never just being that which it already is.

Ambition is tension, and tension is the barrier to encountering the divine. Once you encounter it, you are no more – the encounter cleanses you completely, the encounter devours you completely. Only then is there love. The death of your ego is the birth of love.

Ordinarily, we think of love in contrast to hate. But those who know always think of love in contrast to ego. The real enemy of love is not hatred – the real enemy of love is ego. In fact, hatred and love as we know them are two aspects of the same coin.

Love comes when you are not, when the ego is not there. And the ego is not there, you are not, when you are not ambitious. A non-ambitious moment is a moment of meditation. In a non-ambitious moment, when you are seeking nothing, asking for nothing, praying for nothing; when you are totally satisfied with what you are, not comparing yourself with anybody else – in that moment you touch the deep reservoir of the divine. You are not just in contact with it, you are deeply in it: you are one with it.

Then love flows. Then you cannot do otherwise; you can only be loving. Then love is not the opposite of hate. There is neither love as we have known it nor hate as we have known it; both have ceased. Now quite a different quality of love, in a very new dimension, grows in you.

This love is a state of mind, not a relationship. It is not related to anybody; it is not that you love someone; rather, it is that you are loving. The other is not, the loved one is not, you are just loving to whatsoever comes in contact with you. You are love; you live in love. It has become your perfume.

Love is there, the perfume is there, even when you are alone – like a flower on a lonely path. No one passes, but the flower is there with its perfume. No one is there to know, to enjoy, but the perfume goes on silently spreading because it is not addressed to anyone. The perfume is there because that is the manifestation of the innermost nature of the flower. The flower is blissful, and the perfume is part of its nature. There is no effort to spread it – it is effortless.

When ego is not, love comes as a perfume – as a flowering of your heart. Then it goes on spreading. It is addressed to no one, it is absolutely unaddressed. When love is not addressed, it becomes prayer. When it is addressed, it degenerates into sex; when it is unaddressed, it rises to prayer.

God or love or death are not problems to be solved – they are experiences to be passed through.  They are not questions that can be answered; they are quests that can either be realized or not. God cannot be made a question at all. Whenever you ask questions about God they are bound to be superficial. And the answers are even more superficial, because a question that is superficial can only be answered with an even more superficial answer.

God is an existential quest; an inquiry, not a question. So there is no readymade answer to the question: Does God exist? Those who give readymade answers to the question do not know anything at all. It cannot be said that God exists and it cannot be said that God does not exist.

Both answers are irrelevant, because no answer can touch the real problem.

The theologies of every religion have become superficial because they have simply become expert in supplying readymade answers: you ask, and the answer is supplied. But this has done a very subtle harm to the religious spirit. These things cannot be answered like that. You cannot ask someone, “What is love?” You cannot ask it! And if he answers, then he is in the same boat as you – neither of you knows.

We want answers because we are trying to escape from the suffering entailed in the process of love, in the process that is life, existence, God. We are riding safe vessels: we want to know so that we will not suffer. But suffering is birth; through suffering there is ecstasy. You have to pass through the dark night of the soul to come to the dawn. You cannot ask what dawn is. You have to pass through the dark night to know it.

God is a search, not a question, and a search cannot be answered. It has to be lived; you have to go into it deeply. You will have to be committed to it; you will have to throw yourself into it. That is what the fear is: throwing oneself into the unknown, the uncharted.

You are afraid, so you sit on the bank and ask questions. And, of course, there are always people who get pleasure out of answering you. To answer someone is ego-fulfilling: you know and the other does not, the other is ignorant and you are a knower. Then this mutual nonsense goes on: someone asks and someone will answer. Both are in ignorance because the problem cannot be solved on the bank. One has to go into unknown waters, and you cannot go into the unknown with readymade answers.

Readymade answers are a barrier to the unknown. One has to go into the unknown in total insecurity, not knowing anything. That is what is necessary – and nothing can be done about it. To jump into the unknown is to come upon the truth, the ecstasy. When you come upon the divine yourself, it is not simply an answer, it is a transformation: you become one with it.

You can never become one with any answer; an answer always remains separate in the memory. You can go on collecting answers and piling them up in the mind; then you know so many answers and yet the question remains the same – it is still not answered.

The question cannot be answered like that. It can only be answered through a mutation. When you encounter the divine directly, immediately – when the divine is before you and you are before the divine with no barrier in between – then you encounter the fire and you are transformed. Then you become one with the divine flame: you and the flame are not separate. Then you never ask, “What is God?” because you are not separate. Then you never answer the question, “What is God?” because you are not separate.

Those who have known have remained silent. They have talked, but they have not given any answer to the question; they have made no statement at all. They have pointed in a certain direction, but to point is not to make a statement, it is just a gesture. Because of the limitation of words, of language – because of the limitations of the human mind, questioning and answering – one can only indicate, one can only point in a particular direction.

God is a living encounter, not a question. And through God, love comes. But one can only come to know God when one is not ambitious. Be non-ambitious and you will know.

Do not define yourself by those who are behind, because no one is behind; or by those who are ahead, because no one is ahead. Do not compare yourself with anybody. You are alone. Only you are like you; no one else is like you. Just be what you are.

That doesn’t mean not to be active. Be active, but only because of yourself, not in comparison to others. Flower by yourself, not in comparison to others. With this attitude, when the mind is completely unmoving, something of the divine will lure you; you will have glimpses.

Once you know the bliss of such glimpses, you will know the nonsense, the absurdity, and the absolutely unnecessary misery of ambition. Then the mind stops by itself. It becomes completely still, silent, non-achieving. In this still moment, the jump comes. And after the jump, there is God. After the jump, there is love – love follows like a shadow.

-Osho

From The Great Challenge, Chapter Eight

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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.

No-Mind is Not Against Mind – Osho

I have been thinking all day of a way to ask the question: How to stop thinking?

Thinking cannot be stopped—not that it does not stop, but it cannot be stopped. It stops of its own accord. This distinction has to be understood; otherwise you can go mad chasing your mind.

No-mind does not arise by stopping thinking. When the thinking is no more, no-mind is.

The very effort to stop will create more anxiety, it will create conflict, it will make you split. You will be in a constant turmoil within. This is not going to help.

And even if you succeed in stopping it forcibly for a few moments, it is not an achievement at all—because those few moments will be almost dead, they will not be alive. You may feel a sort of stillness, but not silence, because a forced stillness is not silence. Underneath it, deep in the unconscious, the repressed mind goes on working.

So, there is no way to stop the mind. But the mind stops—that is certain. It stops of its own accord.

So what to do?—the question is relevant. Watch. Don’t try to stop. There is no need to do any action against the mind. In the first place, who will do it? It will be mind fighting mind itself; you will divide your mind into two: one that is trying to be the boss, the top dog, trying to kill the other part of itself—which is absurd. It is a foolish game. It can drive you crazy. Don’t try to stop the mind or the thinking—just watch it, allow it. Allow it total freedom. Let it run as fast as it wants. You don’t try in any way to control it. You just be a witness.

It is beautiful! Mind is one of the most beautiful mechanisms. Science has not yet been able to create anything parallel to mind. Mind still remains the masterpiece, so complicated, so tremendously powerful, with so many potentialities. Watch it! Enjoy it!

And don’t watch like an enemy, because if you look at the mind like an enemy, you cannot watch. You are already prejudiced; you are already against. You have already decided that something is wrong with the mind—you have already concluded. And whenever you look at somebody as an enemy you never look deep, you never look into the eyes; you avoid!

Watching the mind means look at it with deep love, with deep respect, reverence—it is God’s gift to you! Nothing is wrong in mind itself. Nothing is wrong in thinking itself. It is a beautiful process as other processes are. Clouds moving in the sky are beautiful—why not thoughts moving into the inner sky? Flowers coming to the trees are beautiful—why not thoughts flowering into your being. The river running to the ocean is beautiful—why not this stream of thoughts running somewhere to an unknown destiny? Is it not beautiful? Look with deep reverence. Don’t be a fighter — be a lover.

Watch  the subtle nuances of the mind, the sudden turns, the beautiful turns, the sudden jumps and leaps; the games that mind goes on playing; the dreams that it weaves—the imagination, the memory; the thousand and one projections that it creates. Watch! Standing there, aloof, distant, not involved, by and by you will start feeling… The deeper your watchfulness becomes, the deeper your awareness becomes, and gaps start arising, intervals. One thought goes and another has not come, and there is a gap. One cloud has passed, another is coming and there is a gap.

In those gaps, for the first time you will have glimpses of no-mind, you will have the taste of no-mind—call it the taste of Zen, or Tao, or Yoga. In those small intervals, suddenly the sky is clear and the sun is shining. Suddenly the world is full of mystery, because all barriers are dropped; the screen on your eyes is no more there. You see clearly, you see penetratingly. The whole existence becomes transparent.

In the beginning, these will be just rare moments, few and far in between. But they will give you glimpses of what samadhi is. Small pools of silence—they will come and they will disappear. But now you know that you are on the right track. You start watching again. When a thought passes, you watch it; when an interval passes, you watch it. Clouds are also beautiful; sunshine also is beautiful. Now you are not a chooser. Now you don’t have a fixed mind: you don’t say, “I would like only the intervals.” That is stupid – because once you become attached to wanting only the intervals, you have decided again against thinking. And then those intervals will disappear. They happen only when you are very distant, aloof. They happen, they cannot be brought. They happen; you cannot force them to happen. They are spontaneous happenings.

Go on watching. Let thoughts come and go—wherever they want to go. Nothing is wrong! Don’t try to manipulate and don’t try to direct. Let thoughts move in total freedom. And then bigger intervals will be coming. You will be blessed with small satoris. Sometimes minutes will pass and no thought will be there; there will be no traffic—a total silence, undisturbed.

When the bigger gaps come, you will not only have clarity to see into the world – with the bigger gaps you will have a new clarity arising—you will be able to see into the inner world. With the first gaps you will see into the world—trees will be more green than they look right now. You will be surrounded by an infinite music — the music of the spheres. You will suddenly be in the presence of godliness—ineffable, mysterious. Touching you, although you cannot grasp it. Within your reach and yet beyond. With the bigger gaps, the same will happen inside. God will not only be outside, you will be suddenly surprised—he is inside also. He is not only in the seen; he is in the seer also—within and without. By and by…

But don’t get attached to that either. Attachment is the food for the mind to continue. Non-attached witnessing is the way to stop it without any effort to stop it. And when you start enjoying those blissful moments, your capacity to retain them for longer periods arises. Finally, eventually, one day, you become master. Then when you want to think, you think; if thought is needed, you use it; if thought is not needed, you allow it to rest. Not that mind is simply no longer there—mind is there, but you can use it or not use it. Now it is your decision. Just like legs: if you want to run you use them; if you don’t want to run you simply rest. The legs are there. In the same way, mind is always there.

When I am talking to you I am using the mind—there is no other way to talk. When I am answering your question I am using the mind—there is no other way. I have to respond and relate, and mind is a beautiful mechanism. When I am not talking to you and I am alone, there is no mind—because it is a medium to relate through. Sitting alone it is not needed.

You have not given it a rest; hence, the mind becomes mediocre. Continuously used, tired, it goes on and on and on. Day it works; night it works—in the day you think; in the night you dream. Day in, day out, it goes on working. If you live for seventy or eighty years it will be continuously working.

Look at the delicacy and the endurability of the mind — so delicate! In a small head all the libraries of the world can be contained; all that has ever been written can be contained in one single mind. Tremendous is the capacity of the mind—and in such a small space! And not making much noise. If scientists someday become capable of creating a parallel computer to mind… computers are there, but they are not yet minds. They are still mechanisms, they have no organic unity; they don’t have any center yet. If some day it becomes possible—and it is possible that scientists may someday be able to create minds—then you will know how much space that computer will take, and how much noise it will make.

Mind is making almost no noise; goes on working silently, and such a servant!—for seventy, eighty years. And then, too, when you are dying your body may be old but your mind remains young. Its capacity remains yet the same. Sometimes, if you have used it rightly, it even increases with your age—because the more you know, the more you understand, the more you have experienced and lived, the more capable your mind becomes. When you die, everything in your body is ready to die—except the mind.

That’s why in the East we say mind leaves the body and enters another womb, because it is not yet ready to die. The rebirth is of the mind. Once you have attained the state of samadhi, no-mind, then there will be no rebirth. Then you will simply die. And with your dying, everything will be dissolved—your body, your mind—only your witnessing soul will remain. That is beyond time and space. Then you become one with existence; then you are no more separate from it. The separation comes from the mind. But there is no way to stop it forcibly—don’t be violent. Move lovingly, with a deep reverence, and it will start happening of its own accord. You just watch, and don’t be in a hurry.

The modern mind is in much hurry. It wants instant methods for stopping the mind.

Hence, drugs have appeal. You can force the mind to stop by using chemicals, drugs, but again you are being violent with the mechanism. It is not good. It is destructive. In this way you are not going to become a master. You may be able to stop the mind through the drugs, but then drugs will become your master—you are not going to become the master. You have simply changed your bosses, and you have changed for the worse. Now the drugs will hold power over you, they will possess you; without them you will be nowhere.

Meditation is not an effort against the mind. It is a way of understanding the mind. It is a very loving way of witnessing the mind—but, of course, one has to be very patient. This mind that you are carrying in your head has arisen over centuries, millennia. Your small mind carries the whole experience of humanity—and not only of humanity: of animals, of birds, of plants, of rocks. You have passed through all those experiences. All that has happened up to now has happened in you also.

In a very small nutshell, you carry the whole experience of existence. That’s what your mind is. In fact, to say it is yours is not right: it is collective; it belongs to us all. Modern psychology has been approaching it, particularly Jungian analysis has been approaching it, and they have started feeling something like a collective unconscious. Your mind is not yours — it belongs to us all. Our bodies are very separate; our minds are not so separate. Our bodies are clearly separate; our minds overlap—and our souls are one.

Bodies separate, minds overlapping, and souls are one. I don’t have a different soul and you don’t have a different soul. At the very center of existence we meet and are one. That’s what God is: the meeting-point of all. Between the God and the world—the “world’ means the bodies—is mind.

Mind is a bridge: a bridge between the body and the soul, between the world and God. Don’t try to destroy it!

Many have tried to destroy it through Yoga. That is a misuse of Yoga. Many have tried to destroy it through body postures, breathing—that too brings subtle chemical changes inside. For example, if you stand on your head in shirshasan, in the headstand, you can destroy the mind very easily. Because when the blood rushes too much, like a flood, into the head—when you stand on your head that’s what you are trying to do. The brain mechanism is very delicate. You are flooding it with blood, the delicate tissues will die. That’s why you never come across a very intelligent yogi. No—yogis are, more or less, stupid. Their bodies are healthy, that’s true, strong—but their minds are just dead. You will not see the glimmer of intelligence. You will see a very robust body, animal-like, but somehow the human has disappeared.

Standing on your head, you are forcing your blood into the head through gravitation. The head needs blood, but in a very, very small quantity; and slowly, not floodlike. Against gravitation, very little blood reaches to the head, and that, too, in a very silent way. If too much blood is reaching into the head it is destructive.

Yoga has been used to kill the mind. Breathing can be used to kill the mind—there are rhythms of breath, subtle vibrations of breath, that can be very, very drastic to the delicate mind. The mind can be destroyed through them. These are old tricks. Now the latest tricks are supplied by science: LSD, marijuana, and others; more and more sophisticated drugs will be available sooner or later.

I am not in favor of stopping the mind. I am in favor of watching it. It stops of its own accord—and then it is beautiful when something happens without any violence it has a beauty of its own, it has a natural growth. You can force a flower and open it by force; you can pull the petals of a bud and open it by force, but you have destroyed the beauty of the flower. Now it is almost dead. It cannot stand your violence. The petals will be hanging loose, limp, dying. When the bud opens by its own energy, when it opens of its own accord, then those petals are alive.

The mind is your flowering—don’t force it in any way. I am against all force and against all violence, and particularly violence that is directed towards yourself.

Just watch—in deep prayer, love, reverence—and see what happens! Miracles happen of their own accord. There is no need to pull and push.

You ask: How to stop thinking? I say: Just watch, be alert. And drop this idea of stopping; otherwise it will stop the natural transformation of the mind. Drop this idea of stopping! Who are you to stop?

At the most, enjoy. And nothing is wrong—even if immoral thoughts, so-called immoral thoughts, pass through your mind, let them pass. Nothing is wrong. You remain detached, no harm is being done. It is just fiction; you are seeing an inner movie. Allow it its own way and it will lead you, by and by, to the state of no-mind. Watching ultimately culminates in no-mind.

No-mind is not against mind: no-mind is beyond mind. No-mind does not come by killing and destroying the mind: no-mind comes when you have understood the mind so totally that thinking is no longer needed—your understanding has replaced it.

-Osho

From A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt No-mind is Not Against Mind.

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.

God Has to Be Freed from Personality – Osho

What is God?

Prem Sukavi, God is not a person. That is one of the greatest misunderstandings, and it has prevailed so long that it has become almost a fact. Even if a lie is repeated continuously for centuries it is bound to appear as if it is a truth.

God is a presence, not a person. Hence all worshipping is sheer stupidity. Prayerfulness is needed, not prayer. There is nobody to pray to; there is no possibility of any dialogue between you and God. Dialogue is possible only between two persons, and God is not a person but a presence – like beauty, like joy.

God simply means godliness. It is because of this fact that Buddha denied the existence of God.

He wanted to emphasize that God is a quality, an experience – like love. You cannot talk to love, you can live it. You need not create temples of love, you need not make statues of love, and bowing down to those statues will be just nonsense. And that’s what has been happening in the churches, in the temples, in the mosques.

Man has lived under this impression of God as a person, and then two calamities have happened through it. One is the so-called religious man, who thinks God is somewhere above the sky and you have to praise him to persuade him to confer favors on you, to help you to fulfill your desires, to make your ambitions succeed, to give you the wealth of this world and of the other world. And this is sheer wastage of time and energy.

And on the opposite pole the people who saw the stupidity of it all became atheists; they started denying the existence of God. They were right in a sense, but they were also wrong. They started denying not only the personality of God, they started to deny even the experience of God.

The theist is wrong, the atheist is wrong, and man needs a new vision so that he can be freed from both the prisons.

God is the ultimate experience of silence, of beauty, of bliss, a state of inner celebration. Once you start looking at God as godliness there will be a radical change in your approach. Then prayer is no more valid; meditation becomes valid.

Martin Buber says prayer is a dialogue; then between you and God there is an “I-thou” relationship – the duality persists. Buddha is far closer to the truth: you simply drop all chattering of the mind, you slip out of the mind like a snake slipping out of the old skin. You become profoundly silent. There is no question of any dialogue, no question of any monologue either. Words have disappeared from your consciousness. There is no desire for which favors have to be asked, no ambition to be fulfilled. One is now and here. In that tranquility, in that calmness, you become aware of a luminous quality to existence. Then the trees and the mountains and the rivers and the people are all surrounded with a subtle aura. They are all radiating life, and it is one life in different forms, the flowering of one existence in millions of forms, in millions of flowers.

THIS experience is God. And it is everybody’s birthright, because whether you know it or not you are already part of it. The only possibility is you may not recognize it or you may recognize it.

The difference between the enlightened person and the unenlightened person is not of quality – they both are absolutely alike. There is only one small difference: that the enlightened person is aware; he recognizes the ultimate pervading the whole, permeating the whole, vibrating, pulsating. He recognizes the heartbeat of the universe. He recognizes that the universe is not dead, it is alive.

This aliveness is God!

The unenlightened person is asleep, asleep and full of dreams. Those dreams function as a barrier; they don’t allow him to see the truth of his own reality. And, of course, when you are not even aware of your own reality, how can you be aware of the reality of others? The first experience has to happen within you. Once you have seen the light within you will be able to see it everywhere.

God has to be freed from all concepts of personality. Personality is a prison. God has to be freed from any particular form; only then he can have all the forms. He has to be freed from any particular name so that all the names become his.

Then a person LIVES in prayer – he does not pray, he does not go to the temple, to the church.

Wherever he sits he is prayerful, whatsoever he is doing is prayerful, and in that prayerfulness he creates his temple. He is always moving with his temple surrounding him. Wherever he sits the place becomes sacred, whatsoever he touches becomes gold. If he is silent then his silence is golden; if he speaks then his song is golden. If he is alone his aloneness is divine; if he relates then his relating is divine.

The basic, the most fundamental thing is to be aware of your own innermost core, because that is the secret of the whole existence. That’s where the Upanishads are tremendously important.

They don’t talk about a God, they talk about godliness. They don’t bother about prayer. Their whole emphasis is on meditation.

Meditation has two parts: the beginning and the end. The beginning is called dhyana and the end is called samadhi. Dhyana is the seed, samadhi is the flowering. Dhyana means becoming aware of all workings of your mind, all the layers of your mind – your memories, your desires, your thoughts, dreams – becoming aware of all that goes on inside you.

Dhyana is awareness, and samadhi is when the awareness has become so deep, so profound, so total that it is like a fire and it consumes the whole mind and all its functionings. It consumes thoughts, desires, ambitions, hopes, dreams. It consumes the whole stuff the mind is full of.

Samadhi is the state when awareness is there, but there is nothing to be aware inside you; the witness is there, but there is nothing to be witnessed.

Begin with dhyana, with meditation, and end in samadhi, in ecstasy, and you will know what God is. It is not a hypothesis, it is an experience. You have to LIVE it – that is the only way to know it.

-Osho

From I Am That, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

A PDF file of this book can be downloaded from Osho World.

 

God is the Guest – Osho

Does one attain to meditation through God’s grace?

It will be useful to understand this thing, because it has led to lots of misunderstandings and mistakes. A good number of people have thought that if meditation is attained through God’s grace then there is no need to do anything, and they did not do a thing. You are grievously mistaken if you mean by God’s grace that you don’t have to do anything.

Another misunderstanding that flows from it is that God’s grace is not equally available to everybody, that some persons receive more of it and others less. But in fact, no one is God’s chosen one; no one is his favorite. And if even God has his favorites then there is no hope for justice in the world.

If you mean by God’s grace that God is kind to some and unkind to others then you are wholly mistaken.

But the statement that one attains to meditation through God’s grace is quite correct in another sense. Really it is not the statement of those who have yet to attain to meditation. It is the statement of the enlightened ones – those who have attained to it. It is so because when it happens, when one comes to it, the efforts he had made seem to be utterly irrelevant. In the context of the attainment, which is so immense, the efforts look so petty that one simply can’t say that he came to it through them. When one comes to it he feels so overwhelmed with its immensity that he says, “How could it have happened through my efforts? What had I done to find it? What price had I paid? What had I staked on it? Did I have a thing that I could have offered? Nothing.” When God’s infinitely infinite bliss showers on anyone he just exclaims, “It is through thy compassion, O Lord, it is through thy grace, that I come to thee! Otherwise it was beyond me, impossibly beyond me.”

But remember that this is the statement of the blessed ones, the enlightened ones. If the unenlightened, the initiates cling to it they will be misled forever. Efforts are essential; one must make efforts.

The happening of meditation or enlightenment or whatsoever you call it is like opening the doors of a house in darkness to let in the sun. Although the sun has risen in the east, if we keep the doors of our house shut we will be always in the dark. And if we open the doors and wait, the sun will come in on his own. No other effort is needed to bring the sun in; we cannot put him or his light in a container and take it to our house. He comes on his own accord. The irony is that while our efforts cannot bring him, they can certainly keep him out, prevent him from coming. If we shut the doors or close our eyes, even the sun will be powerless to do anything. We can keep the sun out of our houses, we are capable of stopping the sun; but we are not capable of ushering him in. Only let the door open, and he will come in. And when the sun is in, we cannot say that we brought him in, we cannot take that credit. We can only say that it was his kindness that he came into our house. And we can only say that we were merciful to ourselves that we did not shut our doors.

Man can only be an opening, a door for God to come in. Our efforts only open the door; his coming depends on him, on his compassion. And his compassion is infinite; it is forever present at every doorstep. But what can he do if he finds many doors closed to him? God knocks at every door and goes back when he finds the doors shut. And we have closed our doors so firmly. So whenever he comes and knocks, we rationalize it, we explain it away in so many ways, and we remain content with it.

I would like to tell you a story that I love to tell. There is a great temple with a hundred priests to look after it. One night the chief priest went to bed and dreamed that God has sent word that he will visit their temple the next day. He did not believe it, because it is difficult to come across people who are more disbelieving than the priests. He did not believe his dream for another reason, too. People who trade in religion never come to believe in religion. They only exploit religion, which never becomes their faith, their truth. No one in the world is more faithless than one who turns faith into a means of exploitation. So the chief priest could not believe that God would really this temple.

The priest had never believed in such things, although he had been a priest for long years. He had worshipped God for long and he knew that God had never visited his temple even once. Each day he had offered food to God, and he knew that he had in reality offered it to himself. He had also prayed to God every day, but he knew well that his prayers were lost in the empty sky, because there was no one to hear them. So he thought that the message was not true, it was just a dream, and a dream rarely turns into a reality.

But then he was afraid, too, lest the dream should come true. At times what we call a dream turns into a reality and a reality as we know it proves to be a dream. Sometimes what we think to be a dream really becomes a reality. So the chief priest ultimately decided to inform his close colleagues about his last night’s dream. He said to the other priests, “Although it seems to be a joke, yet I should tell you about it. Last night I dreamed that God said that he would visit us today.” The other priests laughed and they said, “Are you mad that you believe in dreams? However, don’t tell others about it; otherwise they will take you to be crazy.” But the head priest said, “In case he should come, we should be prepared for it. There is no harm if he does not turn up, but if at all he comes, we will not be found wanting.”

So the whole temple and its premises were scrubbed, washed and cleaned thoroughly. It was decorated with flowers and flags and festoons. Lamps were lit and incense burned. Perfumes were sprayed and every kind of preparation made. The priests tired themselves out in the course of the day, but God did not turn up. Every now and then they looked up the road, they were disappointed, and they said, “Dream is a dream after all; God is not going to come. We were fools to believe so. It was good that we did not inform the people of the town; otherwise they would have simply laughed at us.”

By evening the priests gave up all hope, and they said, “Let us now eat the sumptuous food cooked for God. It has ever been so: what we offer to God is consumed by us in the end. No one is going to turn up. We were crazy enough to believe in a dream. The irony is that we knowingly made fools of ourselves. If others go mad, they can be excused, because they don’t know. But we know God never comes. Where is God? There is this idol in the temple; it is all there is to it. And it is our business, our profession to worship him.” And then they ate well and went to bed early as they were tired.

When it was midnight a chariot pulled up at the gate of the temple, and its sound was heard. One of the sleeping priests heard it and thought that it was God’s chariot. He shouted to others, “Listen friends and wake up. It seems he, whom we expected all day, has arrived at long last. The noise of the chariot is heard.” The other priests snubbed him saying, “Shut up, you crazy one. We have had enough of madness all through the day, now that it is night let us sleep well. It is not the sound of a chariot, but the rumblings of the clouds in the skies.” So they explained the thing away and returned to their beds.

Then the chariot halted at the gate, and someone climbed the steps of the temple and knocked at its door. And again one of the priests woke up from sleep and shouted to his associates, “It seems the guest has arrived whom we awaited the whole day long. He is knocking at the door.” The other priests berated him as they had done with the first. They said, “Are you not crazy? Won’t you allow us to sleep? It is just the dash of winds against the door and not a knock of a caller.” So they again rationalized and went back to their beds.

The next morning they woke up and walked to the gates of the temple. And they were astounded to see a few footprints on the steps of the temple. Surely enough someone had climbed them during the night. And then they noticed some marks of a chariot’s wheels on the road, and there was now no doubt at all that a chariot had arrived at the gate in the night. And strangely enough the footprints on the steps were absolutely uncommon and unknown. Now the priests burst into tears and fell down and began to roll on the ground where the chariot had halted. And soon the whole village was at the temple’s gates. Everybody in the crowd asked with bewilderment, “What is the matter?” The priests said, “Don’t ask what the matter is. God knocked at the door of our temple last night, but we rationalized everything. We are now damned. He knocked at the door and we thought that it was the flapping sound of the winds. His chariot came, and we thought that it was the rumble of thunder in the sky. The truth is that we did not understand anything. We only explained them away, because we wanted to enjoy our sleep.”

God knocks at every door. His grace visits every home. But our doors are shut. And even when we hear a knock we immediately rationalize it and explain it away.

In the old days they said that “A guest is God”. There is a slight mistake in this maxim. The truth is that God is the guest. God is waiting as a guest at our doorsteps, but the door is closed. His grace is equally available to all. Therefore don’t ask whether one attains through his grace; one attains through his grace alone. And as far as our efforts are concerned, they are a help in opening the door, in removing the hurdles from the way.

When he comes, he comes on his own accord.

-Osho

From In Search of the Miraculous, Chapter Six 

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Never Ask What God Is: Just Ask ‘Who Am I?’

God is just knocking on your door. God is always close by. The idea that God is far away in the heavens is just stupidity. He is in your very breath . . .  he is your breath! We just have to understand who we are, and in that very understanding we come to know what God is. And except for that there is no other way to know God.

Understanding oneself becomes the knowledge of God. So the only religious question is ‘Who am l?’ Never ask what God is; just ask ‘Who am I?’ Search for the answer, and never believe in the answers that are given by others. No borrowed answer can be of any help; each person has to come to his own answer. Each person is carrying the answer within him; one just has to dig.

-Osho

From The Open Secret, Chapter Fourteen

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Religion Takes a Quantum Leap – Osho

Religion takes a Quantum Leap

With Gautam Buddha religion took a quantum leap. God became meaningless and only meditation was important. Now, twenty-five centuries after Buddha, again religion is taking the quantum leap in your presence becoming religiousness. Please talk about this phenomenon.

The credit of bringing a quantum leap in religion goes back twenty-five centuries before Gautam Buddha to Adinatha, who for the first time preached a religion without God. It was a tremendous revolution because nowhere in the whole world had it ever been conceived that religion could exist without God.

God has been an essential part–the center–of all the religions: Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism. But to make God the center of religion makes man just the periphery. To conceive of God as the creator of the world makes man only a puppet.

That’s why in Hebrew, which is the language of Judaism, man is called Adam. ‘Adam’ means mud. In Arabic man is called ‘admi’; it is from Adam, again it means mud. In English, which has become the language of Christianity by and large, the word human comes from ‘humus’ and humus means mud.

Naturally if God is the creator he has to create from something. He has to make man like a statue, so first he makes man with mud and then breathes life into him. But if this is so man loses all dignity, and if God is the creator of man and everything else, the whole idea is whimsical because what has he been doing for eternity before he created man and the universe?

According to Christianity he created man only four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ. So what was he doing all along through eternity? So it seems whimsical. There cannot be any cause, because to have a cause for which God had to create existence means there are powers higher than God, there are causes which can make him create. Or there is a possibility that suddenly desire arose in him. That too is not very philosophically sound, because for eternity he was desireless. And to be desireless is so blissful that it is impossible to conceive that out of an experience of eternal blissfulness a desire arises in him to create the world. Desire is desire, whether you want to make a house or become the prime minister or create the world. And God cannot be conceived as having desires. So the only thing that remains is that he is whimsical, eccentric. Then there is no need for cause and no need for desire — just a whim.

But if this whole existence is just out of a whim it loses all meaning, all significance. And tomorrow another whim may arise in him to destroy, to dissolve the whole universe. So we are simply puppets in the hands of a dictatorial god who has all the powers but who has not a sane mind, who is whimsical.

To conceive this five thousand years ago Adinatha must have been a very deep meditator, contemplative, and he must have come to the conclusion that with God there is no meaning in the world. If we want meaning in the world then God has to be disposed of. He must have been a man of tremendous courage.

People are still worshipping in the churches, in the synagogues, in the temples; yet that man Adinatha five thousand years before us came to a very clear-cut scientific conclusion that there is nothing higher than man and any evolution that is going to happen is within man and in his consciousness.

This was the first quantum leap–God was disposed of.

Adinatha is the first master of Jainism. The credit does not go to Buddha because Buddha comes twenty-five centuries later than Adinatha. But another credit goes to Buddha. Adinatha disposed of God but could not manage to put meditation in its place. On the contrary, he created asceticism, austerities, torturing the body, fasting, remaining naked, eating only once a day, not drinking in the night, not eating in the night, eating only certain foods. He had come to a beautiful philosophical conclusion but it seems the conclusion was only philosophical, it was not meditational.

When you depose God you cannot have any ritual, you cannot have worship, you cannot have prayer; something has to be substituted. He substituted austerities, because man became the center of his religion and man has to purify himself. Purity in his conception was that man has to detach himself from the world, has to detach himself from his own body. This distorted the whole thing. He had come to a very significant conclusion, but it remained only a philosophical concept.

Adinatha disposed of God but left a vacuum, and Buddha filled it with meditation. Adinatha made a godless religion, Buddha made a meditative religion.

Meditation is Buddha’s contribution. The question is not to torture the body; the question is to become more silent, to become more relaxed, to become more peaceful. It is an inward journey to reach to one’s own center of consciousness, and the center of one’s own consciousness is the center of the whole existence.

Twenty-five centuries have again passed. Just as Adinatha’s revolutionary concept of godless religion got lost in a desert of austerities and self-torture, Buddha’s idea of meditation—something inner, that nobody else can see ; only you know where you are, only you know whether you are progressing or not—got lost into another desert, and that was organized religion.

Religion says that single individuals cannot be trusted, whether they are meditating or not. They need communities, masters, monasteries where they can live together. Those who are on a higher level of consciousness can watch over others and help them. It became essential that religions should not be left in the hands of individuals, they should be organized and should be in the hands of those who have arrived at a high point of meditation.

In the beginning it was good; while Buddha was alive there were many people who reached self-realization, enlightenment. But as Buddha died and these people died, the very organization that was supposed to help people to meditate fell in the hands of a priesthood, and rather than helping you to meditate they started creating rituals around the image of Buddha. Buddha became another God. Adinatha disposed of God, Buddha never accepted that God exists, but this priesthood cannot exist without a God. So there may not be a God who is a creator, but Buddha has reached godhood.

For others the only thing is to worship Buddha, to have faith in Buddha, to follow the principles of Buddha, to live life according to his doctrine; and Buddha got lost in the organization, the imitation. But they all forgot the basic thing which was meditation. My whole effort is to create a religionless religion.

We have seen what happened to religions which have God as the center. We have seen what happened to Adinatha’s revolutionary concept, godless religion. We have seen what happened to Buddha — organized religion without God.

Now my effort is: just as they dissolved God, dissolve religion also. Leave only meditation so it cannot be forgotten in any way. There is nothing else to replace it. There is no God and there is no religion. By religion I mean an organized doctrine, creed, ritual, priesthood. And for the first time I want religion to be absolutely individual, because all organized religions, whether with God or without God, have misled humanity. And the sole cause has been organization, because organization has its own ways which go against meditativeness. Organization is really a political phenomenon, it is not religious. It is another way of power and will to power.

Now every Christian priest hopes someday to become a bishop at least, to become a cardinal, to become a pope. This is a new hierarchy, a new bureaucracy, and because it is spiritual nobody objects. You may be a bishop, you may be a pope, you may be anything. It is not objectionable because you are not going to obstruct anybody’s life. It is just an abstract idea.

My effort is to destroy the priesthood completely. It remained with God, it remained with godless religion, now the only way is that we should dispose of God and religion both so that there is no possibility of any priesthood. Then man is absolutely free, totally responsible for his own growth. My feeling is that the more a man is responsible for his own growth, the more difficult it is for him to postpone it for long. Because it means if you are miserable, you are responsible. If you are tense, you are responsible. If you are not relaxed, you are responsible. If you are in suffering, you are the cause of it. There is no God, there is no priesthood that you can go to and ask for some ritual. You are left alone with your misery, and nobody wants to be miserable.

The priests go on giving you opium, they go on giving you hope, “Don’t be worried, it is just a test of your faith, of your trust; and if you can pass through this misery and suffering silently and patiently, in the other world beyond death you will be immensely rewarded.” If there is no priesthood you have to understand that whatever you are, you are responsible for it, nobody else.

And the feeling that “I am responsible for my misery,” opens the door. Then you start looking for methods and means to get out of this miserable state, and that’s what meditation is. It is simply the opposite state of misery, suffering, anguish, anxiety. It is a state of a peaceful, blissful flowering of being, so silent and so timeless that you cannot conceive that anything better is possible. And there is nothing which is better than the state of a meditative mind.

So you can say these are the three quantum leaps: Adinatha drops God because he finds God is becoming too heavy on man; rather than helping him in his growth he has become a burden—but he forgets to replace him with something. Man will need something in his miserable moments, in his suffering. He used to pray to God. You have taken God away, you have taken his prayer away and now when he will be miserable, what will he do? In Jainism meditation has no place.

It is Buddha’s insight to see that God has been dropped; now the gap should be filled, otherwise the gap will destroy man. He puts in meditation—something really authentic which can change the whole being. But he was not aware—perhaps he could not be aware because there are things you cannot be aware of unless they happen—that there should be no organization, that there should be no priesthood, that as God is gone religion should also be gone. But he can be forgiven because he had not thought about it and there was no past to help him to see it, it came after him.

The real problem is the priest, and God is the invention of the priest. Unless you drop the priest, you can drop God, but the priest will always find new rituals, he will create new gods.

My effort is to leave you alone with meditation, with no mediator between you and existence. When you are not in meditation you are separated from existence and that is your suffering. It’s the same as when you take a fish out of the ocean and throw it on the bank — the misery and the suffering and the tortures he goes through, the hankering and the effort to reach back to the ocean because it is where he belongs, he is part of the ocean and he cannot remain apart. Any suffering is simply indicative that you are not in communion with existence, that the fish is not in the ocean.

Meditation is nothing but withdrawing all the barriers, thoughts, emotions, sentiments, which create a wall between you and existence. The moment they drop you suddenly find yourself in tune with the whole; not only in tune, you really find you are the whole.

When a dewdrop slips from a lotus leaf into the ocean it does not find that it is part of the ocean, it finds it is the ocean. And to find it is the ultimate goal, the ultimate realization, there is nothing beyond it.

So Adinatha dropped God but did not drop organization. And because there was no God, the organization created rituals.

Buddha, seeing what had happened to Jainism, that it had become a ritualism, dropped God. He dropped all rituals and single-pointedly insisted on meditation, but he forgot that the priests who had made rituals in Jainism are going to do the same with meditation. And they did it, they made Buddha himself a God. They talk about meditation but basically Buddhists are worshipers of Buddha—they go to the temple and instead of Krishna or Christ there is Buddha’s statue. There was no statue of Buddha for five hundred years after Buddha. In Buddhist temples they had just the tree under which Buddha became enlightened, engraved on marble, just a symbol. Buddha was not there, only the tree.

You will be surprised that the statue of Buddha that we see today has no resemblance at all to Buddha’s personality, it resembles the personality of Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great came to India three hundred years after Buddha. Till then there was no statue of Buddha. The priests were in search because there was no photograph, there was no painting, so how to make a statue of Buddha? And Alexander’s face looked really superhuman, he had a beautiful personality, the Greek face and physiology; they picked up the idea of Buddha’s face and body from Alexander. So all the statues that are being worshipped in Buddhist temples are statues of Alexander the Great, they have nothing to do with Buddha. But the priests had to create the statue—God was not there, ritual was difficult, around meditation ritual was difficult. They created a statue and they started saying — in the same way all religions have been doing — have faith in Buddha, have trust in Buddha, and you will be saved. Both the revolutions were lost. I would like that what I am doing is not lost. So I am trying in every possible way to drop all those things which in the past have been barriers for the revolution to continue and grow. I don’t want anybody to stand between the individual and existence. No prayer, no priest, you alone are enough to face the sunrise, you don’t need somebody to interpret for you what a beautiful sunrise it is.

It is said that every morning Lao Tzu used to go for a walk in the hills. One friend asked him, “Can I come with you one day? I would particularly like to come tomorrow, because I have a guest who is very much interested in you, and he will be immensely glad to have the opportunity to be with you for two hours in the mountains.”

Lao Tzu said, “I have no objection, just one simple thing has to be remembered. I don’t want anything to be said because I have my eyes, you have your eyes, he has his eyes, we can see. There is no need to say anything.”

The friend agreed, but on the way when the sun started rising the guest forgot. It was so beautiful by the side of the lake, the reflection of all the colors, the birds singing and the lotuses blossoming, opening, he could not resist, he forgot. He said, “What a beautiful sunrise.”

His host was shocked because he has broken the condition. Lao Tzu did not say anything, nothing was said there. Back home he called his friend and told him, “Don’t bring your guest again. He is too talkative. The sunrise was there, I was there, he was there, you were there — what is the need to say anything, any comment, any interpretation?”

And this is my attitude: you are here, every individual is here, the whole existence is available. All that you need is just to be silent and listen to existence. There is no need of any religion, there is no need of any God, there is no need of any priesthood, there is no need of any organization.

I trust in the individual categorically. Nobody up to now has trusted in the individual in such a way. So all things can be removed. Now all that has been left to you is a state of meditation which simply means a state of utter silence. The word meditation makes it look heavier. It is better to call it just a simple, innocent silence and existence opens all its beauties to you.

And as it goes on growing you go on growing, and there comes a moment when you have reached the very peak of your potentiality—you can call it Buddhahood, enlightenment, bhagwatta, godliness, whatever, it has no name, so any name will do.

-Osho

From The Last Testament, Volume Five

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