True Observation – Richard Rose

True observation must be carried on from a superior dimension. The mind cannot be studied with the mind. It must be observed from some point, outside of, and yet superior to the mind. This process might be likened to the triangulation made in surveying, when the height of a mountain needs to be known without dragging chain every step of the way to the top. Two sightings can be made from a common base line to the top of the mountain, giving two different angles as the inside angles of the triangle. With this the two sighting-distances will be known, from which a perpendicular line,—from the apex of the mountain to its center within the mountain along the same base line, or plane,—will give the height.

That base line is the point of reference, and point from which all validity emanates. It begins as a short line, entirely separate from the mountain. It is outside the mountain. From it an imaginary string is drawn or dropped to the center of the mountain on the same level as the plain. The only other way to measure the height of the mountain with the same accuracy would be the drilling and measuring of a hole from the top, meeting a similar horizontal hole drilled on the level of the plain.

In chemistry, our point of reference is an agreement on certain bases of valence, bonding and element-nature. However, our triangulation really began with a concept of valence. We could not describe or predict without the idea-agreement or concept and its terminology.

Even the systems of triangulation or speculation in scientific pursuits are not infallible. At one time the basis for the whole concept of oxidation rested upon an erroneous concept or agreement called the phlogiston theory.

So the new theory as a basis from which to work should not be rejected merely because we cannot relate to it easily, or because (in psychology) we need to triangulate to find the conciliatory point, before we can work from that point of reference to properly evaluate the then inferior dimension, which we call the mind.

Actually the above described system of mind-evaluation is not a concept, except to those who have not been beyond the mind. And those who do not wish to go to the bother to try advised procedures to find such a point of reference, prefer to simply claim that it does not exist.

We need to explore at this point that which is meant by “triangulation to find that superior point of reference.” Triangulation is the geometric pattern of all human thinking. We know that we function from a relative way of observing. Our eyes triangulate or we could not be aware of differences in distance. The position of our ears picks up the direction of sounds coming in. Our understanding of gray is arrived at by our consideration of two opposites, black and white. Benoit (The Supreme Doctrine) speaks of a triangle of understanding in which the polarity of opposites form the two ends of the base-line, with the apex being the “superior conciliatory principle.”

We can see by these observations, that not only does a thing need to be known in relation to its opposite, but it must be known from a third, impartially detached viewpoint.

If we take good and bad as the two polar extremes, by observing those two factors alone, we will never get beyond the knowledge that good is not bad, and bad is not good. However, when viewed from a superior, detached viewpoint, we can get the new definition that good and bad constitute a spectrum of consideration, which when viewed as a whole give us an entirely new concept of the processes of life and their relation to justice, to a space-time consideration,—or in regard to meanings of some evolutionary blueprint.

To find the superior point of observation we must admit that we must find a conciliatory apex-point whose nature and location is unknown to us. We know the two points at the base. They are consciousness and unconsciousness, seeming existence and seeming non-existence.

As the surveyor sighting for an unknown measurement, we must try to find that apex. If another surveyor has found the method of getting it, it would be a good idea to consult him. If there is no one to consult, we must educate ourselves as to ways and means. We must indulge in tentative concepts perhaps, and make some unnecessary sightings.

The process outlined as the “psychology of the Observer” shows the beginning processes of early triangulations. In examining our consciousness, or thought processes we find the Umpire aptly called a conciliating principle. However, upon scrutiny we find that it is in turn being observed, and when it is properly scrutinized, it will be found to be a somatic monitor, being concerned with body-consciousness. We strike another line behind the Umpire and find ourselves observing the processes of the Umpire, and then the processes of the mind itself. And by this seemingly accidental discovery of mental processes we have placed ourselves automatically in a point of awareness that watches (occupies the conciliatory apex) the polar point of the Umpire and the polar point of the Higher Intuition. These two points are the dual functioning of the mind, which are the somatic Umpire and the extremely subjective mind, which are somewhat parallel in expression to the rational mind (and its lobe) and the dream mind (and its lobe) as discussed by Ornstein.

We do not become aware of the Higher Intuition at the same time that we discover the Umpire. Many people revel in the discovery of the Umpire. This exultation is described elsewhere as the Eureka experience. The mathematician discovers the harmony in a set of symbols. Suddenly the universe becomes a tightly wrapped sphere of laws, encompassing all action.

The Umpire is mundane, and the Eureka-man reacts in truly mundane style when he discovers it. He belabors himself with the study of symbols and laws, hoping to master the whole plan and subordinate the universe to his button-pushing intentions. If you even suggest a higher-intuitive method of looking at things, he will turn his back in derision.

But the Umpire is only one point on a plane of reference. There is another voice in us which hints that the Umpire may indeed be a charlatan that pretends to have everything under control for the individual. This Higher Intuition is less vocal than the Umpire, but it challenges the mind of man by pointing out such things which the Umpire cannot explain with its pretence of logic. The mirage and the miraculous defy the objectivity of the Umpire. The sixth sense causes uncertainty in the previous five.

And so the Higher Intuition becomes the other point of reference, or point D on the ladder of Jacob. And when we become aware of the existence of both Higher Intuition and the Umpire, and their opposition, we become possibly aware of the Process Observer.

As has been said before these mental workings are similar to intense meditation, or the result of intense meditation. I am continually running across references in Buddhistic and Brahmanistic writings which indicate that the sages of the Himalayas and the Ganges knew about these mental stages, for perhaps a thousand years.

-Richard Rose

Excerpted from The Psychology of the Observer

The Satori Event – Osho

Before we enter the sutras there are a few things to be noted. Hubert Benoit calls Zen ‘the doctrine abrupt’ as opposed to all others which he names ‘progressive doctrines’. For the first, for Zen, he uses the singular, and for the others the plural – because the doctrine abrupt can only be one. But
there can be as many progressive doctrines as there are people; each one has to progress in his own way. So there can be millions of progressive doctrines – he is right in using the plural – and the abrupt doctrine can only be one. It can’t be different for different people, because it is abrupt.
It doesn’t depend on you, who you are, it depends only on one thing: that you disappear. And the disappearance is abrupt, sudden. This point has to be understood because it is very fundamental to Zen.

Yoga is a progressive doctrine; Zen, the doctrine abrupt. That is its fundamental vision – of great beauty and grandeur. It simply means one thing: that Buddhahood is not something to be attained. In Yoga the samadhi has to be attained: you have to improve upon yourself, you have to go on and on working on yourself. It is a great program of improvement, of achievement, of accomplishment. In Zen all that you have to find is that you are already a Buddha, that there is no accomplishment, that there is no growth, that there is no attainment, that Buddhahood is everybody’s inner nature.

Everybody is a Buddha; whether you know it or not makes no difference. A few Buddhas are fast asleep and snoring, a few Buddhas have become awakened, but both are Buddhas.

In Zen there is no method. Not that Zen Masters don’t give methods to their disciples, they do give – they give methods only to prove to you, to your heart’s desire and contentment, that all methods are useless. They give methods so that you work on the method, and slowly slowly you see the futility of it. The moment you see the futility of one method and you are finished with that, a higher method will be given to you and so on and so forth. Higher and higher methods will be given; and ultimately,
slowly, slowly, you will cling ate all the methods because you will see the futility of them all.

One day you will come to the point where you will see that there is nothing to be attained, nowhere to go. That moment in Zen is called ‘the great doubt’. That moment is known in the West through Christian mystics as ‘the dark night of the soul’. It is really a dark night of the soul, the great doubt. Nothing to be attained, nowhere to go, all future disappears; you are in a kind of shock. Then who are you? Then what are you doing here? Then why this existence? All seems meaningless if there is no attainment, if there is no way to reach and nowhere to reach and nobody to reach. Then what
is all this? A great doubt arises.

This doubt precedes satori. This great doubt, this dark night of the soul, always precedes satori. Either you fall back because of the doubt – you start moving again into methods, you start clinging again to methods, paths and ways, and scriptures and principles and philosophies and doctrines.
You fall back; just to avoid the doubt you start clinging to something again. But if you are really ourageous… And this is real courage: that you remain in doubt, and you don’t fall back, and you don’t cling to anything again. You leave yourself in this dark night of the soul, helpless, lost – utterly
lost, seeing no meaning and seeing no future. If this courage is there, satori happens. Suddenly, out of this great doubt, and the pain and agony of it, you become awakened.

A parallel exists in nightmares. You must have seen it happening again and again: if the nightmare is too horrible, the dream is broken. You can go on dreaming sweet dreams the whole night; there is no problem. The dream is so sweet that it is like a lullaby: it keeps you drunk, intoxicated. But if
the dream is horrible? – you are being chased by a tiger, and the tiger is coming closer and closer and closer; and the fear… and your heart is beating fast, and your breath is no more rhythmic, and you are perspiring; and you are running and running, and there seems to be no escape, and then
suddenly you see that the path has ended in an abyss, there is no way to go; and the tiger is coming closer and closer, you can almost feel his breath on your back; and then his paw… and a fountain of blood rushes out of your back – can you go on remaining asleep? The nightmare is too much; it is
bound to destroy your sleep. Abruptly, suddenly, you are awake. It is like a sudden jump from one state of consciousness to another. A moment before you were asleep, now you are awake. There is no tiger, just your wife – and her hand on your back, and her breath… All has disappeared.

The great doubt is the point where one feels the greatest nightmare, where one’s whole life turns into a nightmare with open eyes. When you see that the whole of life has lost meaning… Because life has meaning only if you have goals. When you are enchanted by goals, life has meaning; when there are no goals, meaning disappears. Suddenly you see that you don’t have any ground underneath your feet; you are hanging in emptiness. You are falling like a dead leaf into some unknown, bottomless pit, and it is all dark, and there is not even a ray of light.

This is the work of a Zen Master: to push you into this great doubt. Once this happens, satori is bound to happen unless you fall back again and start dreaming sweet dreams.

To be with a real Master is to be in a fire. To be with a real Master is to face your death, is to face your annihilation. That’s why Zen is known as the sudden enlightenment, the doctrine abrupt.

Hubert Benoit also says that satori has two meanings. One is the satori-state in which everybody is – the birds and the trees and the mountains and you and all the buddhas – past, present, future. The whole existence is in the state of satori. This is another way of saying that godliness is everywhere, in everything; that godliness is the soul of everything. Buddhahood is everybody’s nature. And the second is the satori-event. Every man is from all eternity in the state of satori. The satori-event is only that historic, anecdotal instance when man suddenly ceases not recognizing that he has always been in the satori-state.

You are a Buddha. When you recognize it, or when you remember it, that is the satori-event. The satori-event is only a window into the satori-state, and this satori event has apparent reality only in the eyes of the man who has not yet experienced it. One who has experienced it recognizes
that he has always been in satori. That is why we cannot speak of progress, evolution, attainment, realization, etcetera, etcetera.

-Osho

From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Imaginative mental activity is the enemy of Satori – Hubert Benoit

According to Zen man is of the nature of Buddha; he is perfect, nothing is lacking in him. But he does not realize this because he is caught in his entanglements of his mental representations. Everything happens as though a screen were woven between himself and Reality by his imaginative activity functioning in the dualistic mode.

Imaginative mental activity is useful at the beginning of man’s life, as long as the human machine is not completed, as long as the abstract intellect is not fully developed; it constitutes, during the first period, a compensation without which man could not tolerate his limited condition. Once the human machine is entirely developed, the imagination, while still retaining the utility of which we have just spoken, becomes more and more harmful; it brings about in fact a wastage of energy which otherwise would accumulate in the interior of the being until the crystallisation of intuitive non-dualistic knowledge (satori).

-Hubert Benoit

from Zen and the Psychology of Transformation: The Supreme Doctrine