Total Listening – Osho

So before we enter this mystery, some points have to be understood; otherwise, there will be no entrance.

One is how to listen, because there are different dimensions of listening. You can listen with your intellect, with your reason. Mm? – that is one way of listening to a thing: the most common, the most ordinary and the most shallow – because with reason you are always either in defense or in attack. With reason you are always fighting, so whenever someone tries to understand something through reason he is fighting with the thing. At the most, a very rudimentary understanding is possible, just an acquaintance is possible. The deeper meaning is bound to be missed because the deeper meaning requires a very sympathetic listening.

Reason can never listen with sympathy. It listens with a very argumentative background. It can never listen with love; that is impossible. So listening with reason is good if you are trying to understand mathematics, if you are trying to understand logic, if you are trying to understand any system which is totally rational.

If you listen to poetry with reason, then you will be blind. It is as if one is trying to see with one’s ears or hear with one’s eyes. You cannot understand poetry through reason. So there is a deeper understanding, the second type of understanding, which is not through reason but through love, through feeling, through emotion, through heart.

Reason is always in conflict; reason will not allow anything to pass in easily. Reason must be defeated; only then can something penetrate. It is an armor around the mind; it is a defense method, a defense measure. It is alert every moment that nothing should pass without it being aware, and that nothing should be allowed – unless reason is defeated. And even when reason is defeated the thing is not going to your heart, because in defeat you cannot feel sympathetic.

The second dimension of listening is through heart, through feeling. Someone is listening to music; then no analysis is needed. Of course, if you are a critic, then you will not be able to understand music. You may be able to understand the mathematics, the meter, the language, everything about music – but never music itself; because music cannot be analyzed. It is a whole. It is a totality. If you wait for a single second to analyze it, you have missed much. It is a flowing totality. Of course, paper music can be analyzed, but never real music when it is there, playing. So you cannot stand aloof, you cannot be an observer. You have to be a participant. If you participate, only then do you understand.

So with feeling, the way of understanding is through participation. You cannot be an observer; you cannot stand outside. You cannot make music an object. You have to flow with it, you have to be deeply in love with it. There will be moments when you will not be and only music will be there. Those will be the peaks; those moments will be the moments of music. Then something penetrates to your deeper being. This is a deeper way of listening, but it is still not the deepest.

The first way is through reason – rational; the second is through feeling – emotional; and the third is through being – existential. When you listen through your reason, you are listening through one part of your being. Again, when you listen through your feeling, you are listening through one part of your being. The third, the deepest, the most authentic dimension of listening, is through your totality – body, mind, spirit – as a whole, as a oneness. If you understand this third way of listening, only then will you be able to penetrate the mystery of the Upanishad.

The traditional term for this third listening is “faith”. So we can divide: through reason the method is doubt; through feeling the method is love, sympathy; through being the method is faith, trust – because if we are going into the unknown, how can you doubt? You can doubt the known, but that which is not known at all – how can you doubt it?

Doubt becomes valid if it is concerned with the known. With the unknown, doubt is just impossible. How can you love the unknown? You can love the known. You cannot love the unknown; you cannot create a relationship with the unknown. Relationship is impossible. You cannot relate with it. You can dissolve into it – that is another thing – but you cannot relate with it. You can surrender to the unknown, but you cannot relate to it. And surrender is not a relationship. It is not a relationship at all! It is just dissolving the duality.

So with reason the duality remains: you are in conflict with the other. With love the duality remains: you are in sympathy with the other. But with being the duality dissolves: you are neither in conflict nor in love; you are not related at all. This third is known traditionally as faith, trust – shraddha. As far as the unknown is concerned, faith is the key.

If someone says, “How can I believe” then he misunderstands, then he misses the very point. Faith is not belief. Belief is, again, a rational thing. You can believe; you can disbelieve. You can believe because you have arguments for believing; you can disbelieve because you have arguments for disbelieving. Belief is never deeper than reason. So theists, atheists, believers, nonbelievers, they all belong to the most shallow realm. Faith is not belief, because for the unknown there is no reason for or against. You can neither believe nor disbelieve.

So what remains to be done? You can either be open to it or you can be closed to it. It is not a question of believing or not believing. It is a question of being open or being closed to it. If you trust, then you open. If you distrust, then you remain closed. This is just a key. If you want to open to the unknown, then you will have to be in trust, in faith. If you do not want to be open to it, you can remain closed – but no one is missing except you; no one is at a loss except you. You will remain closed like a seed. When I say it, I mean it.

A seed has to break, has to die; only then is the tree born. But the seed has never known the tree. The dying of the seed can happen only in faith. The tree is unknown, and the seed will never meet the tree. The seed can remain closed in fear – in fear of death. Then the seed will remain a seed and will die ultimately, without being reborn. But if the seed can die in faith that the unknown may be born out of its death. only then does it open. In a way it dies, in a way it is reborn – reborn into greater mysteries, reborn into a richer life. The same is the phenomenon with faith. So it is not belief: never misunderstand it as belief. It is not feeling. It is deeper than both: it is your totality.

So how to listen with one’s totality? With neither reason functioning in antagonism nor feeling functioning in sympathy, but with the totality of one’s being. How can the totality function? Because we know only functions of the parts, we do not know how the totality functions. We know only parts – this part functioning, that part functioning, intellect working, the heart functioning, the legs moving, the eyes seeing. We know only parts functioning. How does the totality function? The totality functions only in a deep passivity. Nothing is active; everything is silent. You are not doing anything. You are just here – just presence – and the doors open. Only then will you be able to understand what the Upanishad’s message is. So your simple presence is needed – no doing on your part, no functioning. That is what is meant by total functioning – just your presence. […]

This is what I mean when I say that if you can listen not with your past, not with your future, but with such a totality that in the present moment only your presence remains; if you can listen silently, passively; if you can just be present here and now; if this very moment is enough – then a different dimension will open. And the Upanishadic message can penetrate only in that dimension.

-Osho

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

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

For a related post see Become the Listening.

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

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

 

In the Cave of the Heart – Osho

Neither by work nor by progeny nor by wealth, but by renunciation alone immortality is attained.

Higher than heaven the ultimate truth abides in the cave of the heart, shining, and the sincere seeker attains.

Kaivalya Upanishad

For religion, death is the basic problem – not life, because life is. Life is not a problem; you have it, you are it. But death is a problem. Death is not here and yet is here. Death has not occurred to you, yet it has occurred all around; it will occur to you. Life is the present; death is the future. The present is never the problem – the future is the problem, because future has to be tackled, because future has to be encountered, because future has to be transcended. So man is always face to face with death, not with life.

That’s why animals have no religion, because they cannot imagine death; they cannot conceive of death. They live, they die, but death is never a problem for them. It is never comprehended, it is never conceived, it is never encountered as a problem in their consciousness. They don’t know death – they are alive or they are dead, but they don’t know death. When is death known? How is death known? Death is known – you are alive, you are not dead, but there is death somewhere in the future.

A dead man has no problem with death, he is already dead. Then death is not a problem. Alive, death faces us somewhere, just around the corner, waits for us. This waiting death – this constant awaiting, somewhere near, just any moment it can happen – is the problem. So man goes on fighting it, and the whole of life becomes just a fight with death. The whole of life is just wasted – just wasted in arranging, in making securities – in defense against death.

We cannot be alive, because there is death. We cannot live, we cannot live authentically because death will not allow us to live. How can you live when there is death? When you are going to die, how can you live peacefully? How can you live blissfully? Then every step in life is just a step towards death. Then any movement is a movement towards death, or any movement is a movement of your death coming towards you.

Religion has death as the problem – what to do about it? We are doing many things – through wealth, through science, through health, through protection, through medicine, through philosophy, through theology – we are creating many different measures for how to be deathless. We are creating many things, but everything proves futile, meaningless, absurd. Death comes, and every arrangement is just proved futile. It has always been so and it will always be so, because death is not really just in the future, it is also in the past.

The moment one is born, death is born within him. Death is not only in the future – if it were only in the future then it could be avoided, but it is part of the past. It is just a process of the same thing which we call birth. Birth is the beginning of death – or, death can be said to be just an ending of the process of birth. So your birth day is also your death day. The beginning is the end, because every beginning implies its end. Every beginning has its end as a seed. If death is just in the future, then it can be avoided. It is not; it is part of you, it is here and now – just in you, progressing, growing.

Death is not a fixed point somewhere; it is a growth within you; it is growing constantly. When you are fighting it, it is growing. When you are feeding it, it is growing. When you are escaping from it, it is growing. So whatsoever you do, one thing is constantly going on – that is, you are dying. Whatsoever you do – you are asleep, you are relaxing, you are working, you are thinking, you are meditating – whatsoever you do, one thing is certain: death is growing constantly, continuously. It doesn’t need your help; it doesn’t need you cooperation. It doesn’t care about your defenses; it goes on growing. Why? – because it has come into being with your birth; it is part of birth. So death cannot be escaped in the ways man and the human mind have always tried.

This Upanishad says that death can be escaped, but you can become deathless. You can know something which is immortal, which will never die. So how to know it? Where to search for it, and how to discover it? Because every effort that we know is just meaningless, irrelevant.

The Upanishad says: Don’t fight with death; rather, know that which is life. Don’t try to escape from death; rather, try to enter that which is life. The very flame of life must be entered. Don’t create the sort of life which is negative; don’t go on trying to avoid death – this is negativity. Be positive and try to know what is life. Really, death is not against life. In the dictionary it is; in existence it is not. Death is not against life; death is against birth.

Life is something else. Life is before birth, life is born. Birth is a phenomenon which happens in life.

Birth is not the beginning of life – if birth is the beginning of life, that means you were born dead. Birth is not the beginning of life – life precedes birth. Life is presupposed, it is before birth – because life is there, birth happens.

Life comes first, then there is birth.

You are, even when you are not born.

You are born because you were there before.

And the same is the case with death. If you are before birth, then you will be after death, because that which is before birth is bound to be after death. Life is something which happens in between birth and death, and beyond birth and death.

We must think of life as a river: in this river one point is known as birth, another point is known as death, but the river continues. The river continues beyond death. The river was continuing before birth. This riverlike life must be penetrated – only then we can know that which is deathless. Of course that which is deathless is bound to be birthless . . . but our whole focus is just misguided. Our whole focus is on how to escape death, now how to know life. It is against death, not for life.

This is the only flaw, and because of this we can never know the deathless. We will go on, continue, constantly searching, discovering new methods, new techniques, new ways of how to escape death. And then death will be coming – and death will come.

Know life.

Jesus has said, “Search for life, for more life. Don’t be satisfied with that which is with you as life. Search more, find out more, find in more – go for more life. We are for less death; we are not for more life; the whole focus is turned towards death.

It is like this: If there is darkness, you can do two things – either you can begin to fight with darkness to destroy it, or you can begin to search for light, which is quite a different search. You can fight darkness directly, but then you will be defeated. And darkness will be victorious – not because it is stronger than you, not because you are powerless against it. No, darkness is not powerful, you are not powerless – but darkness is just an absence, and you cannot fight any absence.

Darkness is simply not. You cannot fight it, and if you fight it you will be defeated – not because it is powerful, but because it is not. How can you fight something which is not? A darkness means nothing; it means simply absence of light. So if you fight darkness, then you continue for millennia; you will never win. And the more you are defeated, the more you will search for new methods to fight it. The more you are defeated, the more you will feel impotent, and darkness will feel like something very potent. You will think that you have to find something which can be more powerful than darkness. The whole of logic is fallacious; you can continue it and you will move in a vicious circle. The more you will be defeated, the more you will be frustrated, the more you will fight with new means – and again you will be defeated.

The defeat is not concerned with your power or powerlessness at all.

The defeat is because you are fighting something which is not.

The same is the case with death. Death is not something positive, it is just absence of life. When life goes somewhere else, death occurs. Death is just the going of something; it is not something which comes to you. Death is not something which comes to you; rather, it is only that life goes somewhere else. The river of life begins to flow somewhere else, and death occurs – death is just an absence.

The light is not, darkness happens; the light comes, darkness is not there. So find the light, find life; don’t fight with death, don’t fight with darkness. Don’t be negative; be positive. And by positive, I mean always search for something which is present; never go on any search for something which is absent – you will never find it.

Death happens daily, but no one has encountered it, no one has known it. No one can know it, because how can you know it? You are life – how can you know it? Darkness is there, but the sun has never known it – how can he know it? The moment the sun is there, darkness is not; so they have never encountered each other – they cannot, that is impossible.

If you bring light into a dark room, do you think your light will encounter darkness? The moment light is there, darkness is not. So only one can be; both cannot be together – either darkness can be there or light can be there. Light has not known darkness, darkness has not known light, because darkness is simply the absence. So how can light know its own absence? If it is to know, then it must be present. And if it is not present, only then is the absence there – but then light cannot know it.

You cannot encounter your own absence – how can you encounter it? Death is your absence. When you are absent, death occurs. So allow me to tell you this way, that death is a social phenomenon, not individual. No individual dies – individual rivers continue somewhere else. But when from this crowd the individual river moves somewhere else, then for this crowd someone has died; for this crowd, someone has become absent.

If my friend dies, it means he dies for me; not for himself. Death is a phenomenon which happens to me, not to him. How can it happen to him?

Life cannot face death; life is a movement which has moved somewhere else, so WE face it. Death is a social phenomenon; it is not an individual phenomenon. No one has died ever – but everyone dies, we know everyone dies, because someone becomes suddenly absent.

We are here. If I become suddenly absent, I will die – not for me, but for you. For you I will be absent. How I can be absent from myself? – it is impossible.

The Upanishads say, don’t fight death, it is fighting absence; rather, search for the presence which is in you. Who is present in you? – find out. What is present in you which you call life? What is there which you call life? From where does it come in you? What is the center, the source of it? Go deep into yourself and find the source. The Upanishad says, this source is hidden in the heart.

This source of life is hidden in the heart.

Go in your heart and find the original source.

Once you have known that source then there will be no death for you. Then there will be no fear, then there will be no problem. Once you have known life itself, you have become immortal. You are unconsciously, unknowingly, unaware. Everyone is immortal. Nothing dies, nothing can die – but everyone feels the fear. This fear also comes because of the society, because we see – now today “A” has died and tomorrow “B” will die, and yesterday “C” has died. Then we become aware: “I am going to die.” I am going to die – this fear grips the mind because death occurs in a society.

Think of it in this way: If you are alone and you have never known any death, will death be a problem for you? If you are alone on an island, have never known any death, never heard about it – will you be aware of death at all? Will you be able to conceive that you are going to die? How can you conceive? – it is a social thing; the society teaches you death. The society shows you that death happens. Alone, you will never be able to know it; alone, you cannot even imagine it. Alone, the very word “death” will be meaningless. And in a certain, subtle way, everyone is deeply aware of this. That’s why, howsoever you become aware of death in others, somewhere deep down you continue to think that you are not going to die. Deep down everyone thinks, “Death may occur to anyone else but it is not going to occur to me.” That’s why so many deaths are occurring yet we continue; we continue to live; otherwise, we would be paralyzed, totally paralyzed. A single death occurring and we would be paralyzed. But somewhere deep down one knows: “It may have occurred to him, but it is not going to occur to me.” Everyone goes on deep down believing in something in himself as immortal . . . it is very unconscious; otherwise, there would be no fear.

The Upanishads say, make it conscious. Go deep down and know it very consciously: something that is life in you, that flame, will continue; that flame is not going to die.

How to go into the heart? How to penetrate it? – the Upanishad say, by renunciation. Renounce every outward-going effort, all that leads you outward. All that becomes a vehicle for your consciousness to move outward – renounce it. In the deep inactivity of renunciation, you will come to the center.

For example, how does the mind move outward? It moves for wealth, it moves for prestige, it moves for power. Any movement means a deep desire for something outside, a deep desire for something which doesn’t belong to you inside, but belongs to the objective world. Any desire for any object in the world is a movement outward. Renounce this movement. Even for a single moment, if you can renounce all outward-going movements, you will be in. This means that this in-coming doesn’t need anything to be done directly. It needs something to be done indirectly.

Don’t move outward and you will find yourself in the heart, in the cave of the heart.

Mind moves with desires, outwards. Then it can continue, continue, and go on and on – to the very end of the world it can go. Don’t move with any desires. Desirelessness is the method to come in, and desirelessness is meditation. Do not desire anything. Even for a single moment, if you are in a desireless moment, you will find yourself in. And then you can encounter the flame of life which is immortality, which is non-dying, which has never been born and will not die. Once known, there will be no fear of death. And when there is no fear of death, only then you can live authentically. Then your life will have a different quality altogether. It will be aware, it will be alive, it will be fresh. It will be blissful, it will be a deep ecstasy, a continuous ecstasy.

With no fear, with no longing, with no desire, there will be no pain. There will be no suffering there will be no anguish. With no desire you fall into a deep abyss of ecstasy. This is what is known in the Upanishads as the brahmalok, the world of the divine.

We live in a world of material things, mm? This is outward-going movement. When consciousness comes in, we penetrate a different world, the world of the divine. With outward movement there is suffering; with inward movement there is peace and bliss. It doesn’t mean that one who moves inward will not be able to move outward; he will be more able, more capable. But now he will move with his whole “in-ness,” now he will move in the outward world but untouched by it. Now he will move, but constantly rooted in himself. He will not be uprooted from himself. Now he can go anywhere, but he will be rooted in himself.

This rootedness in oneself is the source of all bliss that is possible.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #20

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Seeing Without Eyes – Jean Klein

The starting point of all activities is more or less localized in our heads. But the moment we are invited by our original stillness to be the stillness, then we should go away from this localization. Otherwise, we remain enclosed in the battlefield. When you are invited to be still, consciously relax your optic nerves.

In our sense activities the eyes play a big role and the optic nerves are generally in tension. All the energy employed in seeing is more or less in intention. So, when you feel tension in the eyes you should, with the help of the optic nerves, let the localization go through the left and right brain away from the eye area so that it feels as if the eyes are localized at the base of the brain.

Then you are out of the battlefield. You will feel that all the energy which comes up is more or less localized in the cervical region, very precisely at the seventh vertebra. You should enjoy for a certain moment this localization. Then you may be invited by your deep relaxation to go to the heart. Perhaps the heart is the last door, for there, there is no more outgoing or ingoing.

– Jean Klein

From Living Truth, p. 29

You can read more from Jean Klein here.

Start the Journey from the Heart – Osho

I used to listen to you without understanding and feel perfectly blissful – And I’ve heard you say that this is right listening. Lately I’ve had an intense desire to understand what you say. At first I was sad; it seemed I had taken a wrong turn. But it feels good: my head tingles and feels intensely alive. Is there anything I can do other than enjoy it?

There is no need to do anything else. If you are enjoying it, you have heard me from the heart. It is an overflowing with love, an understanding beyond words. You have not tried to understand; you have never used the mind. It is good, perfectly good – that’s how the journey should begin.

When the heart is completely full of joy, it starts overflowing in all directions; the mind is not kept apart. That’s what is happening: you suddenly started listening with an effort to understand, and you feel your head is full of a strange tingling. That means something is overflowing from the heart, because that tingle cannot be possible by understanding only words. And if you are feeling joyful, enjoying it, then there is no problem: it is simply the heart and mind are getting into tune; their conflict is dissolving, their antagonism is disappearing. Soon they will be one thing.

Then the very hearing is both – it reaches to your heart as a vibe, a thrill, and to the mind as an understanding – and both are connected with you. The problem is only when the head starts the journey. It is a miser. In the first place it cannot understand many things but it pretends to understand them, so it creates a falsity. And it cannot give anything to the heart; it is not even aware of the heart. It does not know giving, it knows only getting; it is greedy.

You will be surprised to know that the English word ‘greed’ comes from a Sanskrit word. In Sanskrit the vulture is called gridha. Gridha and greed come from the same root. The mind is a vulture. It is significant to understand because the vulture is always present if there is a corpse, if somebody is dead.

If you go to Bombay, the Parsee cemetery is something to see. It is one of the most beautiful places, exactly in the middle of Bombay. Parsees exist only in Bombay. Originally they were Persians and from Persian has come the Hindi word parsee. Because they were not willing to be converted to Mohammedanism, they escaped and landed in Bombay. Since then their whole existence in the world has been within the boundaries of Bombay, because the whole of Persia became Mohammedan – forcibly.

When they had first come, the place they chose for their cemetery was outside Bombay. But all Bombay has been growing tremendously and now it is exactly in the middle – a thick forest. The Parsee cemetery has something strange: it has a very big well, and on the top of the well there are iron rods. They put the corpse on the rods so that it cannot fall into the well. Then the vultures eat the corpse, and only the bones fall into the well. The well is full of bones – it is a very big well. And on all the trees you will find thousands of vultures sitting, waiting for somebody to die. They live only on the dead.

Strange it is that the mind also lives on something dead, not on anything living. When the mind starts the journey it thinks it is trying to understand the meaning, but it really kills the meaning. All that was alive in those words is left out; only the dead part is absorbed. That’s what I mean when I say someone is intellectual. That means he has collected many dead bones, but he has not tasted life at all. He is full of words, but he himself gives meaning to them; he does not take meaning from them, so the whole journey goes wrong.

If one starts from the mind, one remains confined to the mind. He collects words, becomes a scholar, an intellectual, but it is not intelligence. His first step, to begin with the mind, is unintelligent.

I have never come up against any intelligent intellectual. That looks absurd because ordinarily we think intellectuals are intelligent people, but that is not true. Intellectuals live only on dead words. Intelligence cannot do that. Intelligence drops the word – that is the corpse – and just takes the living vibe in it.

So it is good to start the journey from the heart. The intelligent man’s way is the way of the heart, because the heart is not interested in words; it is interested only in the juice that comes in the containers of the words. It does not collect containers; it simply drinks the juice and throws away the container. The mind does just the opposite: it throws away the juice and collects the containers. Containers look beautiful, and a great collection of containers makes a man a great intellectual giant.

If you start the journey from the head you will go on round and round and round inside the head. Your head will become swollen; you will become more egoistic.

Hasya was asking me, “Why don’t we invite intellectuals, authors, writers, professors to understand you?” This is the problem: they cannot understand. It is good if they read my books; they may be able to collect some words, some containers, but to be in my presence they will feel awkward, because my whole emphasis is on the juice, not on the containers. I am trying hard so that you throw away the container and you simply take the juice.

The heart knows how to become drunk, and the heart knows how to give, how to share. It is willing to share even with the mind. And when the heart shares with the mind then there is a difference because the heart has no containers; it can share only the juice. If the mind is willing to take, it will have to take the juice. That’s why you are feeling the tingling sensation. Soon the heart will also fill the mind with the same juice. It will fill your whole body with the same tingling sensation. It is a dance of each cell in your being.

So what is happening is perfectly good – and it is happening; you are not doing. Doing is always suspicious; happening is never suspicious. So whenever something is happening, go with it – go with it totally, with no reservations at all, and you will always be getting into deeper benediction, into deeper blessings.

-Osho

Taken from The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #2

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

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