Listen to the Song of Life – Osho

The fourth sutra:

Listen to the song of life.

Look for it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it is not there; when I search, I find only discord. Look deeper. If again you are disappointed, pause and look deeper again. There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced – but it is there.

Listen to the song of life. Life is a melody; existence is musical – for so many reasons. Existence is harmony; it is not anarchy. It is not a chaos; it is a cosmos, a unity. So complex, so vast, but still united. And life pulsates – from the lowest atom to the highest star. Wave lengths differ, pulsations are of different frequencies, but the whole pulsates in a deep unity, in a harmony. Plotinus has called this ‘the music of the spheres’. The whole existence is a music. It is musical in another sense also. Yoga, tantra and all the schools that have been working esoterically for the inner journey of human consciousness say that life consists of sound; existence consists of sound.

Science differs, but not very much. Science says that the basic particle is electricity not sound. But science also says that sound is a mode of electricity, a sort of electrical expression – that sound consists of electrical particles.

Yoga says that the basic element, the basic unit of existence, is sound, and electricity is a mode of sound. That’s why we have the myth that, through music, fire can be created. If fire [if electricity] is nothing but a combination of sounds, then fire can be created.

This difference between the scientific attitude and the yoga attitude is worth understanding. Why does science say that sound is nothing but electricity and yoga say that electricity is nothing but sound? Because science approaches existence through matter, and yoga approaches it through life.

The deeper you penetrate within yourself, the more you will find a new world of sound and silence. When you reach to the innermost core of your being, you will find the soundless sound. That’s what Hindus have called nad: anahat nad – sound which is uncreated, which is your very life. It is not created by anything; it is not produced. It is just there. It is cosmic.

Aum is the symbol of that sound. If you go deeply within, when the ultimate core is reached, you hear the sound aum. It is not that you produce it. It is simply there, vibrating. It is the basic element of life.

This sutra says Listen to the song of life. But you cannot listen to it unless you have already heard it within your own heart. Whatsoever you can see must be seen first within your own heart otherwise you cannot see it. You cannot hear it. The basic experience must be the inner. Only then can the outer be experienced.

Whatsoever you know in the outer world is nothing but a reflection or a projection. If you are filled with love, the whole of life appears to be filled with love. If you are sitting with your beloved or with your lover, the whole existence is okay. Nothing is wrong, there is no misery. The whole existence is filled with a deep music, because you are filled with a deep music. There is no discord in you; your heart feels a deep harmony. You are so one with your beloved or your lover or your friend that this oneness spreads all over.

But if you are in deep agony – suffering, sad, depressed – the whole existence seems to be depressed. It is you, not the existence. The existence remains the same, but the climates of your mind change. In one climate the existence appears sad. In another climate the existence seems to be celebrating. It is not; existence is always the same. But you go on changing, and your mind goes on being projected. Existence works as a mirror. You are mirrored in it.

But if you think that whatsoever you have interpreted is the fact and not just a projection, you will fall into deeper and deeper illusions. But if you can understand that it is not a fact but a fiction of the mind – that it depends on you, not on existence itself – then you can change. You can go through a mutation, an inner revolution can happen, because now it is up to you.

The world can be a chaos if you are a chaos. The world can be a cosmos if you are a cosmos. The world can be dead if you are dead inwardly; the world can be alive, abundantly alive, if you are alive within. It depends on you. You are the world. Only you exist really, nothing else. Everything else is just a mirror.

I remember one anecdote.

An emperor, a very powerful emperor, created a palace, a palace of mirrors. All around, all over the palace, there were mirrors. The emperor was a very beautiful person and he was so infatuated with his own beauty that he was never attracted in any way to anyone else. He was a narcissist. He loved only himself and he thought that everyone else was ugly.

Finally, he debarred everyone else from entering his palace. He lived alone there, looking at his own face everywhere in the palace. There were mirrors everywhere, thousands and thousands of reflections of his own face.

But then by and by he got bored, fed up. He started disliking himself. He kept meeting himself the whole day, encountering himself. He became ill; he became sad and depressed. He became so dull that he was almost on the verge of death. He was simply fed up with himself.

Then suddenly he remembered: “This palace is my own creation. I need not be here. There is no one forcing me to be here.”

So he broke one mirrored wall – he threw a chair through it. And for the first time in many years, the sky looked within. It was a full-moon night and the full moon peeped within. A fresh world, a new world, alive. He came in contact with it.

He jumped out of his hellhole, out of the prison. Now he was not dead, not dull, not on the point of death. He started dancing, he started celebrating. He forgot his face completely. And it is said that he never looked in a mirror again.

This is what is happening to each one of us. It is not an anecdote about some unknown emperor. It is about you. You live in a mirrored house. When you look at your wife’s face it is not her real face that you see. It is a projection. It is your own face reflected in your wife’s face. When you look at a flower it is not the flower you are looking at. It is your own mental flower projected onto the real flower that you are looking at.

Everywhere, you move with your own mirrors, your own images. And then, of course, you are bored, you are fed up with the whole thing, and you say, “Life is misery.” You say, “There seems to be no meaning to it.” You say, “It would be better to commit suicide. There seems to be no purpose to life. I’m going nowhere, moving around and around in a circle. It leads nowhere. Every day is the same, the same repetition.” But it is not because of existence; it is because of you.

Throw out those mirrors, break those mirrors. Come out of your palace, come out of your imprisonment, and look at the world not through thoughts, not through moods. Look at the world with a naked eye, listen to it with a naked ear. Don’t allow any mental state to come between you and the world.

This is what I call meditation: looking at the world without the mind. Then everything is new, fresh. Everything is alive, eternally alive; everything is divine. But to come to this point you will have to make deep contact, a deep penetration, into your own heart; because there, life’s juice is awaiting you. You may call it ‘elixir’. It is awaiting you.

This sutra says:

Listen to the song of life.

Look for it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it is not there; when I search, I find only discord. Look deeper. If again you are disappointed, pause and look again. There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced – but it is there.

When, for the first time, one tries to enter within, one encounters noise: crowds, thoughts, madness; everything but silence. But don’t be disheartened. Be indifferent to all this noise that you encounter within.

When I say, “Be indifferent,” I mean don’t do anything about it; just be indifferent. Don’t say, “This is bad.” Don’t say, “How can I stop it?” Don’t try to stop it; you cannot. Allow it to flow – just as if clouds are floating in the sky and you are watching them. Or as if traffic is going on in the street and you are watching. Just stand aside and watch the traffic moving on, or stand on the bank and look at the river flowing. Don’t do anything; just stand there. Indifferent, not interested, not in any way involved.

If you can do this – this is what witnessing is. If you can do this, by and by you will penetrate deeper and deeper. Don’t be disheartened, because ultimately, finally, a deep musical source, a deep harmony, a deep rhythmic existence is waiting within you. Penetrate this crowd and you will reach it.

At the very base of your nature, you will find faith, hope and love. He that chooses evil refuses to look within himself, shuts his ears to the melody of his heart, as he blinds his eyes to the light of his soul. He does this because he finds it easier to live in desires. But underneath all life is the strong current that cannot be checked; the great waters are there in reality. Find them . . .

At the very base of your nature, you will find faith, hope and love – these three things. If you can make contact with your inner music, these three things will flower spontaneously within you: faith, hope and love. But these words have very different meanings. They don’t mean the ordinary things we mean by them.

When we say faith what we mean is belief. Belief is not faith. Belief means a forced thing. Doubt is hidden there, but you have wrapped yourself in a belief and pushed the doubt within.

For example, you say, “I believe in God.” What do you mean? Is there really no doubt? Doubt is there. The belief cannot cancel the doubt; it can only hide it. Really, because of the doubt you believe. You are afraid of the doubt. If you don’t believe, if you are doubtful, you will feel inconvenienced. Belief gives you convenience, comfort, solace, consolation. You feel at ease. But the belief is just a mental, intellectual facade. Behind it, the doubt is always lurking.

You will find doubt hidden within every belief. If you say, “I believe strongly,” that means you have very strong doubts behind it. Those who say, “I believe absolutely,” have absolute doubts within them. What is the need of belief? The need is because doubt is there and you feel inconvenienced by it.

That’s why so many people are theists and so few are atheists. But in reality, the world is full of atheists and to find a theist is very difficult; it is impossible. The whole thing is just false. People say that they believe in God because it seems difficult not to believe, inconvenient. Socially, formally, it is not good.

Not that they believe. They doubt, they know they doubt, but they deceive themselves. Their life remains untouched by their beliefs; their religion remains a Sunday religion. Their life is not touched at all. On Sunday they go to church and pray as a social formality, as good manners. Then, out of church, they are the same again. For six days they remain irreligious; for one day they become religious. Is it possible? Six days you remain ugly and one day you become beautiful? Six days you remain bad and one day you become good? Six days you remain evil and suddenly one day you become saintly? Is it possible?

It is impossible. The seventh day must be the false day; the six days are real. The seventh day is just a trick to deceive oneself and others. Belief is false. It is helpful, utilitarian, but untrue. Faith is totally different. Belief means doubt is hidden there; faith means doubt has disappeared. This is the difference.

Faith means the doubt has disappeared. Belief means the doubt is there and you have created a belief against it You doubt whether God exists or not but you say, “I believe,” because your wife is ill and if you don’t believe, who knows? God may be there. Or your job is in danger of being lost. Who knows? God may help. And if you don’t believe, then he will not help. Utilitarian; it has some utility for you. But doubt is there.

Faith means doubt has disappeared. It is the absence of doubt. But it can disappear only when you have known something within; when belief has not been given to you, knowing has arisen in you. When you have come to know, to realize, then faith arises.

And hope. This hope is not that of desire. This hope doesn’t mean hope for the future. It is not in any way concerned with the future. This hope means simply a hopeful attitude about everything. About everything. An optimistic view, a hopeful attitude. Looking at the golden side of things. Whatsoever happens you remain hopeful; you are not depressed.

Depression comes only if you look at the wrong side of things. Everything has two sides: the wrong side and the right side. You can look at the wrong side and then you will be depressed, or you can look at the right side, the golden side, and you will be happy. So, it depends.

The person who is hopeless always looks at what is wrong. The first thing he tries to find is what is wrong. If I tell him, “This man is a beautiful flute player,” he will first look at him and say, “No, I cannot believe that he can play the flute because he is a thief.” What is the concern? A man can be a thief and a good flute player. But he will deny the possibility. He will say, “No, he cannot be. He is a thief, a well-known thief. How can he be a good flute player?”

This is the hopeless mind. With a mind which is filled with hope, if I say, “This man is a thief,” he will say, “But how can he be a thief? He is such a good flute player?”

How do you look at things? With hope or with hopelessness? Ordinarily, unless you have touched the inner music, you will look at the world with a hopeless attitude. Then everything is wrong and whatsoever is done is wrong. And from everywhere, you will derive misery. You will become an expert at being miserable. Anything will help you to be miserable, anything.

When you touch this inner silence, this inner music, you become hopeful; you become hope. Whatever is, you see. You always touch the innermost core of it, the heart of it. And then, there is no depression.

And love. Ordinarily, love is a relationship. But when you touch the innermost being, love becomes your state not a relationship. It is not between you and someone else. Now it is that you have become love, you have become loving. It is not a relationship. Even if you are alone, sitting under a tree, you will be loving. Lonely, alone, with no one there, you will be loving.

It is just like a lonely flower that grows on an unknown path. No one passes there, but the flower goes on spreading its perfume. It is its state. It is not that when some king passes the flower will give its perfume. It is not that if some beggar passes the flower will not give its perfume. If a beggar passes, the flower gives its perfume. If a king passes, the flower gives its perfume. If no one passes, then too the flower goes on spreading its perfume. The perfume is the flower’s very state of being. It is not a relationship.

Our love is a relationship. And when love is a relationship, it creates misery. When love is a state of being, it creates bliss.

A Buddha is also in love, but he is not trying to love you. Simply because of the way he is, love spreads. Love becomes a perfume and goes to the far corners of the earth.

These three qualities will evolve: faith, hope and love. And if these three are there, you don’t need anything else. These three will lead you to the ultimate peak of life and existence.

. . . know that it is certainly within yourself. Look for it there, and once having heard it you will more readily recognize it around you.

If you can feel your inner music, inner truth, inner faith, inner love, inner hope, you will start recognizing it around you. The whole universe will change for you because you have changed. And whatsoever you feel within, now will be felt all around.

The world remains the same; but when you change, everything changes. With you, your universe becomes different. If you are rooted in the divine, the whole existence is rooted in the divine. If you are rooted in evil, the whole universe is a hell. It depends on you. It is you, magnified.

-Osho

From The New Alchemy to Turn You On, Discourse #11

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.

Master of Your Own Mind – Osho

Those who have purified the mind by the practice of sannyas and yoga, and those who have come to understand the exact meaning of the spiritual science indicated in the Upanishad’s Vedant, they in the end become capable of attaining brahmalok – the world of brahman. And liberating themselves from everything, they strive to achieve immortality.

Kaivalya Upanishad

The basic problem before a spiritual seeker is not how to know, but how to be. Knowing is not the problem, it is easy. The real problem is how to be, how the being should be strengthened. Knowing can grow easily; knowing has its own ways of growing. But knowing is a parasitic growth.

Knowing grows in the memory, and memory is just mechanical. That’s why we now have mechanical devices which can be fed with memory – we have computers, and a computer is more efficient than any human brain. A computer can do anything that a human brain can do – and a computer can do many more things which a human brain cannot do. Sooner or later, human memory is going to be replaced by mechanical devices. A mechanical device can do whatsoever your mind is doing, and more efficiently, and in less time. A computer can do a mathematical problem in seconds for which you would need an Einstein, or a person of the caliber of Einstein, to work on for at least three months.

Mind is just a mechanical device. It can grow – you go on feeding it with knowledge, with information, and it can grow. You may not be aware of it, but nothing comes out of your mind which has not been put in it before – nothing. Nothing comes out of your mind which is original. In that way, nothing is original as far as mind is concerned; everything is just repetition. Mind is the most repetitive mechanism. You have to feed it, give it something: it will reproduce it. Not a single thought comes to you which is your own – it has been given to you by society, by education, by study, but always it has been given to you. At the most you can make new combinations, that’s all. Nothing more can be done with the mind. This is one growth, a parasitic growth at the cost of your being. By being, I mean the consciousness with which you are born. And by mind, I mean all the accumulation that has come to your consciousness through society, through education, through culture. You are not born with a mind; you are born with a consciousness. Mind is a later growth. That’s why if a person is not taught, if a person is not educated, then he has a lesser mind, a poor mind. If no language is taught to you, you will know no language. If nothing is taught to you, you will know nothing. Mind is a social growth.

Consciousness is part of you, but mind is not part of you; mind is given to you. The whole process of social cultivation, of social imposition, is to produce a mind in you. That’s why a Christian mind is different from a Hindu mind – because a Hindu society is feeding something and a Christian society is feeding something else. A Mohammedan mind is totally different from a Hindu, or a Christian, or a Jaina mind. But a Hindu consciousness or a Mohammedan consciousness or a Christian consciousness, are not different.

Really, a consciousness cannot be called Christian or Hindu or Mohammedan – but minds are. So unless you go beyond your society – you are imprisoned in your upbringing. This mind, which the society gives to everyone . . . it is a necessity; a society has to give it to you. It is good as far as it goes, but it must not become an imprisonment. A moment must be attained where you are freed from your own mind. Then mind begins to work as a mechanical thing in you; you can use it but you are not identified with it.

Of course one has to use language, one has to use mathematics, one has to know history and geography and everything. But it must not be identified with your consciousness. You must remain a witness to it. You must remain separate, unidentified, different from your own mind. This is what meditation means: how to be not identified with the mind – how to create a space between yourself and your own mind. It is difficult because we never make any separation. We go on thinking in terms that the mind means me: mind and me are totally identified. If they are totally identified, then you will never be at peace; then you will never be able to enter the divine, because the divine can be entered only when the social has been left behind.

When whatsoever the society has given you has been renounced, only then you enter the divine, because only then, you enter pure consciousness. Mind is an overgrowth; it must be put aside. By renunciation, I mean renunciation of the social. And your mind is nothing but a social by-product, it depends on your society.

This mind can go on growing. Then you grow in knowledge; go on studying, go on learning new things, more things, and your mind goes on growing. And a mind is infinitely capable to grow; yet scientists cannot say to what extent this mind can grow. It can go on growing, the process seems infinite. It has so much potentiality – seventy million cells working in the mind, and a single cell can have millions of bits of information in it. A single cell of the mind can have so much information stored in it, and the mind has seventy million cells in it. We are not using even a single cell’s capacity – ordinarily, we are not using a single cell’s capacity – and we have seventy million cells. And each cell seems to be capable of infinite accumulation of information. The mind seems to be infinite in its own way – and it is not you! It is just something which has been given to you.

It is useful, it is utilitarian; that’s why we become identified with it. One has to use one’s mind constantly, and one has to use it so constantly that there is no gap. You don’t remember any moment when you were not your mind, that’s the problem: to remember it, and to create a space, a gap, when you are not your mind. You are yourself and mind is just a device which can be used or not used, and you are the master to choose whether to use it or not.

Ordinarily, the mind is the master and you have to follow it. The mind gives you something to think about and you have to think about it. The mind gives you some dream and you have to dream it. And the mind goes on . . .  And sometimes even if you say to your mind, “Stop!” it is not going to stop, it is not going to listen to you at all. Because you have cooperated with it so much, and you have given it your energy and identification so much, that the mind doesn’t remember your mastery at all. You are just a slave.

Meditation means to create a gap so that you can become master, master of your own mind. And mastery means that you are not identified.

I can order my hand to do anything – to move or not to move. Why? – because I am not identified with the hand; otherwise, who is going to order and who is going to be ordered? I can order my hand to move; it moves. But if my hand begins to move and I say, “Stop!” and it is not stopping, what does it mean? It means only one thing: my order is impotent because of too much identification with the hand. The hand has become a master in its own right – it goes on moving. It says, “I am not going to follow your order at all.”

This has happened with the mind. The mind goes on working in its own way; no order can be given to it. There is no intrinsic impossibility – it is only because you have never ordered it, so it doesn’t know that you are the master. The master has remained so silent, has remained so hidden, that the slave has begun to feel himself the master.

If one goes on growing in this mind, one goes on more and more hidden deep down. And the mind becomes such a great thing, it is difficult to assert your consciousness. That’s why a very ordinary villager with a lesser mind, is with more consciousness. An ordinary person – not very educated, not knowing much – has always, of course, less mind but more consciousness. So sometimes a person who has more mind may behave very foolishly, because he has less consciousness. A person who has a developed mind can work very wisely, behave very wisely if the situation is such that the mind knows what to do and what not to do. Then he can behave, work, do anything very efficiently. But any new situation in which the mind is not aware, and he will be stupid, he will behave stupidly.

A villager — an uneducated person, a primitive, with less mind — will behave more consciously in a new situation, because for him new situations are occurring daily, every moment. With no developed mind, he has to work with his consciousness. That’s why the more the world has grown knowledgeable, the less wise it has become. It is difficult not to produce a Buddha, not because we are more ignorant, but because we know more. It is difficult to produce a Jesus, not because anything is lacking — on the contrary, something has grown too much. Knowledge has grown too much, and if knowledge grows too much, the being begins to feel poor.

We value a person because of what he has: knowledge, wealth, power. We never value a person for what he is. If I am a powerful man, then I am valued; if I am a wealthy man, then I am valued; if I am a man of knowledge, then I am valued – but never simply for what I am. If wealth is lost, then my influence will be lost; if knowledge is lost, the my influence will be lost; if power is lost, my influence will be lost, because I was never valued for what I am. Something which I have – having has become so important, and knowledge is a subtle having.

Being means: the purity of my inner existence, nothing added by the outside – neither wealth, nor knowledge, nor anything else – just my inner consciousness in its purity.

This is what I mean, what this Upanishad means by the growth of being. This being can be achieved only by two methods: renunciation – sannyas – and yoga, the science of positive growth. One must renounce identification: one must come to know that I am not the body, I am not the mind. One must renounce all that which is mind, but I am not. One must come to the center point which cannot be renounced.

A Western thinker, Rene Descartes, begins his theosophical speculation with doubt, and he goes on doubting. He goes on doubting everything that can be doubted. He was a very keen penetrating intellectual; really, he was the father of modern Western philosophy. He goes on doubting everything, he makes it a point that “I will not stop doubting unless a moment comes and I encounter something which cannot be doubted. If I can doubt, I will continue to doubt, unless I stumble upon some fact which is indubitable.” So God can be doubted very easily. It is difficult to have faith; it is very easy to doubt, because for doubt you have only to say no. Nothing else is needed.

“No” is a very non-involving word. If you say yes, you are committed. If I say “Yes, God is,” then I cannot remain the same. If I say, “No, God is not,” I will continue to be the same. “No” is the easiest word in a way: you say it, you are not involved, you remain outside. If you say yes, you are involved. You have come in; now you are committed. To say no to anything is very  easy, because then you need not prove anything. If you say yes then you have to prove it – and proofs are, of course, very difficult. Even if things are, proofs are very difficult. Time is. We know time is, everyone feels time is – but can prove that time is?

Saint Augustine says, “Don’t ask about time, because when you don’t ask, I know it is. When you ask, I begin to hesitate – whether it is or not? And if you persist, I become doubtful.” Can we prove time? It is; everyone knows it is. We cannot prove it.

Can we prove love? Everyone knows it is. Even if one has not felt love, one has felt very deeply its absence. Love is felt – either as a presence of absence, but no one can prove it. So anyone can say, “Love is not,” and you cannot disprove their statement.

Descartes goes on denying, doubting: God is denied, then the world itself is denied – even the world which is here and now. You are here, but I can doubt; it may be just a dream to me. And how can I tell the difference whether it is a dream or not? – because sometimes I have dreamt about talking to people. And when I was dreaming and talking, those who were present were as real as you are – and really, in a way more real, because in a dream you cannot doubt. But if you are really present, I can doubt: it may be just a dream, you may not be there at all, but just a dream, a dream happening to me. And I am dreaming that you are, and I am talking to you, to my dream construct. How can I prove that you are really there? There is no way. There is no way to prove that you are. I can touch you . . . but I can touch someone in a dream, and even in dream I can feel someone’s body.

It is difficult – really, in a way, impossible to make a distinction between reality and dreaming. That’s why Berkeley says that this whole world is just a dream, or a Shankara says that this whole world is just a dream. They can say it and they cannot be disproved.

So Descartes says, “This world is not. It is only a thought, a dream. God is not.” Then he goes on denying everything. Ultimately, he comes to himself, and then he begins to thin “whether I am, or not.” Now there is a fact which cannot be denied, because even if all is dreaming, someone is needed to dream. Even if everything is dubitable, someone is needed to doubt. Even if Descartes says “I am not,” this statement has to be made by someone – even to doubt, he is needed. Then he says, “Now I have come upon a point which indubitable. I can doubt everything, but I cannot doubt myself. If I doubt, the doubt proves me. So he gives a very meaningful formula: He says, “Cogito ergo sum. I think – I doubt – therefore I am.”

This “I-am-ness” must be broken apart from mentation, from mind, one has to renounce all that can be renounced – just like Descartes who says, “I must doubt all that can be doubted, unless I come to a point which cannot be doubted.” Just in the same way, one has to continue renouncing – renouncing all that which can be renounced, unless you come to a point which cannot be renounced.

You cannot renounce your being; all else can be renounced. All else you can say, “This I-am.” All that you can say, “This is I,” you can renounce. You can say, “No, this is not I-am. This body, I am not; this world, I am not, this thought, I am not; this thinking, I am not.” Go on, go on denying. Then comes a moment when you cannot deny more. Simple “I-am-ness remains. Not even “I-am-ness,” but only “am-ness.” That “am-ness” is the existential jump.

This is the first part of the sutra: renunciation, sannyas.

So sannyas is a negative process. One has to go on eliminating: “This is I-am-not.” Go on – “This, that, I am not.” This is renouncing, a negative process, elimination. But this is only a part: you have renounced whatsoever you are not; then you have to grow that which you are – that is yoga; that needs the positive, of growth. That is yoga. Now you have to grow that which is in you. How to grow it? – we have been discussing that – by faith, by devotion, by meditation, by practices, bodily and other. That is yoga.

Sannyas plus yoga means religion. Renounce that which you are not, and grow in that, create in that, which you are. Only by such negative and positive processes in a deep harmony, the brahma, the ultimate, is achieved.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #21

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.

That Moment becomes the Door to the Divine – Osho

Grouping of mind, vital breath, desire, essence and virtue with the associates is called panchvarga, or the five groups. A living being identified with the nature of the panchvarga cannot be free of them without knowledge or knowing.

The disease arising out of the subtle elements like the mind and the rest of it seems to be covering the self, and it is called the seed body, it is also known as the knot, or complex of the heart. And the consciousness dwelling inside is called the kshetragya, or the knower of the field.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

Now the rishi is discussing the complexities of the mind, complexities of the consciousness. Why are we just a complexity? Why is there no innocence and no simplicity? Why is everything just a knot, just a confusion, just insanity inside?

If we can open a mind, then we will see just anarchy there, chaos. We go on somehow managing ourselves, but inside there is nothing which can be said to be a cosmos. Inside there is chaos, simple chaos. This is a miracle that we can manage ourselves; it seems impossible. How are these complexes built? How are they formed? How do we help them form? And how many complexes are there?

There are five divisions of all the complexes. The first complex is the mind. Eastern mysticism has always looked at mind as the disease, as the basic disease. It is just the opposite from the Western attitude towards life. The Greek mind, which is the originator of all Western thinking, always looked towards the mind as the supreme-most thing. Mind is the peak according to the Greek attitude, Greek thinking.

For Aristotle, mind is the peak, mind is the most evolved energy. But to the Eastern mind, mind has been a disease. That’s why the East couldn’t develop science, because if mind is diseased then you cannot develop science really, because science has to be developed with the mind.

The Greek mind could give the impetus to the Western mental evolution, so they could create a very complex structure of science and scientific knowledge. The structure has arrived; the structure is there now, but the consciousness, the human being itself, is lost. It has been at a very big cost. Machines have evolved, but the creator itself is just feeling empty and meaningless. Technology has developed, and now we can create with this technology a very different world – but the very interest to create a different world is no more there.

Sartre or Camus or others – they all feel that there is no sense in existing at all, there is no meaning. Sartre says we are condemned to be alive; there is no need, there is no purpose, nothing is going to come out of all this effort, it is just futile. So Camus asserts that the only philosophical problem, the only metaphysical problem now is suicide. The only possibility for us in which we can be free and active, seems to be suicide; all else is just meaningless.

This has to happen, because with mind, ultimately there can be only madness and suicide. With mind, ultimately there can be only meaninglessness and an effort to forget it. So the whole of the West is now trying to forget – through chemicals, through alcohol, through so many methods, to forget themselves. Life is so meaningless that to be aware is to be in suffering. To know it – the misery all around, the suffering all around, and the meaninglessness of it – to be aware of it is too much; it creates anguish. So it is better to forget it somehow and drop into a world of dreaming.

Chemicals can help. You drop out of the world, and they say to you “turn on.” Where do you turn on? You turn on really to a dream world; there you can find meaning; there you can find purpose. There you can find again the romance and poetry, but not when you are awake, aware, conscious. And they say these chemicals are helping the expansion of consciousness. This is absurd. They are not helping the expansion of consciousness, they are helping only the expansion of the dreaming process. They are only helping you to dream more beautifully, more deeply, to dream more intensely. They are not helping consciousness; they are helping unconsciousness. They are helping deep processes of sushupti – of sleep and dreaming.

This had to happen, because with the mind you cannot go beyond this point. With mind there is no meaning; there cannot be. With mind there is logic, but no meaning; with mind there is reason, but no life. With mind you can create the dead and mechanical, but you completely lose track of existence, of life, of being, of consciousness.

Mind, this rishi says, is the first disease, the basic disease in a way. Why is mind a disease? – because mind is just a disturbance. Mind is just a disturbance in consciousness. It is not your nature; it is just a disturbance. The moment there is no disturbance, there is no mind. And this state of no-mindedness is the state of consciousness – the expansion of consciousness. You drop into yourself: not into dreaming, not into projections, into yourself. Consciously, with full alertness, you come to your center the moment mind is not there.

Meditation means how to be not a mind.

How to be not a mind!

Meditation means how to create the state of no-mindedness.

It doesn’t mean unconsciousness. It means conscious and still, without any disturbance in the consciousness; conscious with no ripples, with no waves, with no vibrations; conscious as a deep, calm, silent pool with no ripples on it, with no disturbances on the surface; just a calm silent pool with no breeze to disturb, just mirrorlike.

With mind one goes on being disturbed more and more, and then this whole process of disturbance is self-perpetuating. One disturbance creates ten more, and those ten create a hundred more. This is self-perpetuating, and then you are in a vicious circle. With this mind something can be done. That is, you can travel outwardly, you can go more into the world. But the more you go into the world the farther you are from yourself. And the farther you have gone, the more the track back is lost. Then you only remember that there is a home, but there is no way to get back. And we continue to remember there is a home; there is a homesickness always somewhere present. There is a home and one has to go back.

But there is no way, and we continually try to find the home with the mind itself, which has lead us astray. Then we go into scriptures, then we go into words, then we go into philosophies, metaphysical systems. And then we are lost even more in it, even more deeply, and the track is not found at all. The track can be found only if you begin to feel and understand that mind is the disease, so you cannot go back with the mind; the mind cannot be used as a vehicle, it cannot be used as a passage. It is not a door towards consciousness. It is a door towards the world, towards objects – not towards the subjectivity. That’s why it is said to be a disease, a complex.

The second is prana, life itself; rather than life, the lust for life. There is a deep fear – fear of death – and there is a deep lust to continue anyhow, to live anyhow. Life itself seems to be the end.

Life cannot be the end itself; if life itself is the end, then one will have to exist on the periphery.

Something must transcend life itself; something must be higher than life itself; otherwise, life can have no meaning. If you say that life itself is the end, then life is bound to be meaningless, because meaning comes from the beyond – always from the beyond. Something for which you exist gives the meaning – that’s why we create many so-called meanings all around us.

Money becomes the meaning because you live for it; power becomes the meaning, prestige becomes the meaning. You create meanings, but those are just bogus meanings – because really, if life is at peril, you will be ready to lose power, money, everything. So you just deceive yourself, but those deceptions can never become the reality. Life remains above them; they are not beyond, they cannot be. That’s why in the West, there are so many feelings of frustration and meaninglessness. That’s an obvious corollary of life being taken as the end.

Life originates in something and then again dissolves into something. Life comes up and then goes down and is dissolved. So the original source of life must be beyond life. It comes out of it and the goes back, just as a wave raises itself and then falls down into the ocean; the ocean remains beyond the wave. The wave comes and goes; it is there this moment, and the next it is gone. The ocean is behind, beyond.

Life is just a wave. Existence is beyond life.

So one who begins to be too involved and too attached, too infatuated with life, loses the existential source of life itself.

Life is just the periphery:

The center is existence.

We have called that existence God.

We have called that existence moksha.

We have called that existence nirvana.

This is something very delicate to be understood. Really, we have never said that God exists. We have said, rather, God is existence. Those who say God exists don’t know what they are saying.

Man exists; God cannot exist in the same way. Trees exist, the earth exists, the sun exists, but not God. A tree may go out of existence, man may not exist, the sun may not exist, but God cannot be conceived as not existing. God is existence; God is is-ness. So really, to say God is, is to repeat oneself.

God means is; God means is-ness.

That is-ness is beyond life.

Life is just a wave on the ocean of is-ness. So we are separate as waves, but not as the ocean. We are separate on our peripheries, but not at the center. At the center we are one. So many waves on the ocean, but in the ocean they are one.

But no wave will be able to conceive it, because it seems so absurd. How can a wave conceive that all the waves around are one with it? – because when another wave is just rising up, one is just dying and falling down. If waves are one, then they must fall simultaneously, they must rise simultaneously. That’s why we are the same. If we are all the same, then how is one rich and how is one poor? Then how is one young and how is one old? And how is one born and how is one dying? – we must be separate, obviously. Then how is one intelligent and one is not? And one is beautiful and one is not? – we must be different, we must be separate. But we are not. There are small waves and there are big waves; there are waves which go higher, there are waves which cannot go higher. But still they are the same – in the ocean they are the same.

f you are aware only of your wavelike life, then you cannot go inside; then this becomes a disease.

And if you are aware that you are a wave, then you must be afraid – you are bound to be afraid of death, of dying, because every wave has to die. You can see that every wave is dying – coming up and down – so you are afraid. This fear comes because you have not known the oceanic existence which is yours; you have known only the wave existence which means life, which means prana.

So, the rishi says the second bondage, the second complexity, the second division of diseases, is lust for life. What does it mean?

It means if one is to go deeply into existence, one has to be ready to die. This readiness to die is the basic quality of a religious mind. This is what constitutes the very essential core of being religious: this readiness to die. This doesn’t mean a suicidal tendency. This doesn’t mean any suicidal tendency, because really all those who commit suicide, commit suicide because of lust for life. This may look paradoxical – but never has a buddha committed suicide, never! Why?

A person who is not in the least lusting for life, desiring life, why is he not committing suicide? Buddha would say, “I am so indifferent to life, I cannot be so infatuated with death. How can I be so infatuated with death? To me, they both mean the same. If life is – okay. If death is – okay.” A buddha okays everything. He cannot choose.

Whenever someone commits suicide, really, he is imposing conditions on life. He is saying life must be like this; otherwise, I commit suicide. “I must get this woman, I must get this post, I must get this and that. If I am not getting, I can live only with my conditions. Then if there is no fulfillment of my conditions, I am ready to die.” Really this readiness to die is not readiness to die. He is asking too much. He is asking too much of life, and out of life; he is so filled with lust that he is even imposing conditions. This death is just a revenge, just a revenge towards life, because life could not fulfill his demands: “I will destroy life if life is not going to be what I desire it to be!” This is revenge, this is violence.

So when I say readiness for death, it means no lust for life, so that whatsoever comes, one is always in a welcoming attitude, in a receptivity. Whatsoever happens, one is ready – even death. Lust for life is the disease. This readiness, simple readiness to die, unties the lust for life.

The third complexity is that of desires. We don’t live in existence; we live in desires. Really, we don’t live in the world at all, we live in desires. Our life is not here and now, it is always somewhere else where the desire is arrowed. It may be anywhere, but it is never here. Never here, because desire needs time – desire cannot be here.

Can you desire anything in the present moment? The moment you desire, you desire for the future; you cannot desire here and now. Here and now there is no desire, there is no possibility of desiring.

Desire needs space – that space is time.

Desire needs some point somewhere else from here – only then can desire exist. It exists as a bridge: a bridge needs two banks, a bridge cannot exist only on this bank. How can the bridge exist? There must be the other; the other bank must be there. Only then does the bridge become possible.

Desire is creating a bridge from here to there.

And the moment you have gone there and lost this moment, you will live always in an inner tension, inner anguish. And really you will never be existential; you will always be in desires, in desires, in desires – always longing for the other shore. Even if you can get to the other shore, you will be again longing for the other shore. No shore can be the fulfillment – desire is self-frustrating. We are nothing but desires. Can you find anything in you which is not a desire? Even when you are praying, it is desire; even when you are meditating, it is a desire; even when you are thinking of the divine, it is a desire. We convert everything into desire. This is the disease, that we cannot conceive of anything without desire.

Buddha used to say, “There is no God.” And he was himself one of the most existential proofs of the divine. He was the perfect argument for the divine; his presence was divine. And he used to say there was no God. One day, Sariputta asked him, “Why do you continue to say there is no God? – because we all feel that when you are, God is. It seems contradictory, a person like you denying God. It seems contradictory because you are the proof, you are enough! We don’t require any argument, but why do you deny it?”

Buddha said, “I deny it because I don’t like God being made an object of desire. If I say God is, you will begin to desire: ‘Then I must get, then I must reach.’ And God is something which you cannot desire, and by desiring cannot get.”

People would ask him, “Is there existence beyond death?” And he would say, “No, there is no existence beyond death.” Why? – simply because if there is existence beyond death, you will begin to desire it.

They would ask, “Is there bliss? Is bliss possible?”

Buddha would say, “No. There is only the cessation of misery, no bliss.”

He was one of the rarest geniuses to see the phenomenon of desiring, the tricks of desiring, and the cunningness of desiring. He would say, “No, there is no bliss at all; only cessation of suffering.” Why? – because if bliss is positively asserted, one begins to desire it.

We convert everything into desiring. We have a mechanism for converting and transforming anything. Put anything into it, and it becomes a desire. We can even desire desirelessness. I have come across people who come and say, “How can I be desireless?” How to be desireless –

they are asking for the supreme-most desire – how to be desireless! But we go on converting. This is the disease; really, this is the disease.

Look at the disease, look at the fact, and don’t ask the “how.” Look at the fact: this is the fact. Live with the fact. Be aware of your mind’s mechanism, and how it transforms everything into desiring.

In that moment of awareness, desiring stops.

And when there is no desiring, you are just here – this very moment. That moment becomes the door to the infinite.

That moment becomes the door to the divine – to nirvana.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #9

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

That Moment Becomes the Door to the Divine is from the evening talk, The Very Awareness is Transformation is from the morning talk of the same day.

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.

Dreaming has to be Transcended – Osho

The state in which the soul, with the help of the energies of the sun and other gods, and through the instrumentality of these fourteen: mind, intellect, mind stuff, ego, and the ten sense organs – becomes sensitive to sound, touch and such other gross objects, is called the waking state.

When the living being, on account of the unfulfilled desires of the waking state, becomes sensitive to sound, touch and such other gross objects – even in the absence of the latter – it is called the dreaming state of the self or soul.

-Sarvasar Upanishad

 The Eastern mind divides consciousness into four states: one is when we are awake, or the first; the second is dreaming; the third is deep sleep, dreamless; and the fourth is beyond all the three, the turiya, the fourth.

What is this which we call the awake state of consciousness? Knowledge, knowing is possible in two ways: mediate and immediate. Mediate knowledge means knowledge through some means, not direct – indirect. Senses are the means, the windows through which we know the extension beyond us. But the knowledge gained is indirect; it is not a face-to-face encounter; the mediator is in between. The senses are mediators, and when senses inform us of something, it is not a simple information, it is an interpretation also. The senses are not just passive receptors; they are positive interpreters also; they impose something, they add something to the information.

So whenever anything is reported by the senses to the consciousness, it is not a passive receptivity; the senses have added something to it, they have interpreted it, they have imposed something on it.

This imposition creates an illusory world around every consciousness, and everyone begins to live in a world of his own. This world, the Eastern esoteric mind says, is the maya, the illusion. It is not the real, the objective, that-which-is: it is something that you have created.

Everyone is within his own world, and there are as many worlds as there are minds. So whenever two persons are near, two worlds are in collision. And otherwise, is not possible, because you have not known the objective as it is.

The second dimension, the alternative dimension to know the world as it is, is not through senses, but through transcendence of the senses. And human consciousness can be in a direct encounter: the senses are just dropped; and still, knowing happens. That knowing is about the truth, because there has been no mediator. Now you have known directly. To know the truth through the senses is maya; to know the truth immediately, directly, face to face, is brahman. That which we know remains the same, but the knower changes. If he is using senses, then he creates an illusory perception; if he is not using the senses, then he is face to face with the reality.

Meditation is the path of how to drop the senses, how to drop the windows and just to be in reality without anyone in between. The rishi says that this contact with the world through the senses is the first state of consciousness, the awake state of mind, jagrut. When you are in contact with the world through the senses, this is jagrut – the awake state of the mind.

Dreaming is the second state, deeper than the state we call the awake. Dreaming is a substitute state, secondary, but deeper. Whatsoever has been left unfulfilled in the state when you were awake, has to be completed. Mind has a tendency to complete things. If you leave something incomplete, then you will create a dream to complete it. The mind tends to complete a thing. You must complete it; otherwise, there is something restless inside.

You have seen a beautiful figure, but you couldn’t look at it as you liked, as much you liked. Now a lingering incompletion will continue inside. You can suppress it when you are awake – you are occupied in many other things, and the suppression is possible – but when you go to sleep, the incomplete link unfolds a dream and completes the thing.

This state of dreaming, the rishi says, means without the instrumentality of your senses. The senses are closed – they are not aware of the world beyond you; now you are within your cells, within your body, but still you can create your own worlds. This creation of your own worlds in dreams becomes possible because your mind is a conditioning of everything you have known, you have felt; everything has been accumulated in it. It is an accumulation, not only of this life, but of all the lives one has lived; and not only of human lives, of animal lives also; and not only of animal lives, but of vegetable lives also.

So in a dream you can become a tree; in a dream you can become a lion. Sometime you have been a tree: that memory is still there – it can unfold. This unfolding of past memories, of past lives, means only that you have never lived totally – always partially. You have not loved totally, you have not been angry totally, you have not been anything totally. Everything is incomplete. So many things incomplete inside, create the situation in which dreaming happens. The moment one begins to live totally, everything is completed, dreaming ceases.

A christ, a buddha, will not dream, because he has not left anything incomplete. A Jesus says this moment is enough – live it totally. Do not think of the other moment that is to come; do not think of the other moment that has gone. That which has gone is no more, and that which has not come yet, has not come yet. Both are non-existential.

This moment, this very moment, this passive moment is the only existential time. Live in it! And leave all else aside. Be totally in it, then there will be no dreaming, then everything is complete. And by the night, when you are dropping into sleep, nothing is incomplete and needs to be completed. And when dreaming ceases, mind becomes more aware.

This is the second state: dreaming. When dreaming ceases you become more awake; and when there is no dreaming in the night, in the morning when you are awake, you have more innocent eyes, more fresh, more alive. In your eyes there is no dust, there is no smoke; the flame is clear without the smoke. Dreaming creates a smoke around your eyes.

And one who has been dreaming in the night, really goes on dreaming in the day also. Deep down there is always a continuous dream film. You are hearing me: just close your eyes and look inside and there is a dream unfolding.

You are too occupied outside, that’s why you cannot become attentive to your inside dreaming; but the dreaming continues.

Look at the sky; there are no stars now. Where have they gone? They cannot go anywhere; they are where they have been in the night, but only because of the sun, we cannot see them. Our eyes are so occupied with the sun, they cannot penetrate through to them. They are still there. If you can go down into a deep well, even in the day, you can look at the stars, because then there is a gap of darkness and again stars appear.

Just like this, you are continuously dreaming. But when you are occupied in the outside world, the dreaming continues inside without your being attentive to it. The moment you are not occupied, relaxed, you become again aware of the dreaming. This is a constant state – in fact, continuous. And this dreaming is more indicative about your mind than whatsoever we call being awake, because it is less inhibited, less suppressed, more naked and therefore more true.

So, if your dreaming can be known, if your dream can be known, much is known about you. You cannot deceive – in dreams, at least. They are still not a part of your will, they are not voluntary. You are not the controller; that’s why they are so wild, so animal-like. This second stage must be penetrated, must be transcended. Only then we can come to the third – still deeper, the deep sleep, the dreamless sleep.

The more you go deep inside, the nearer you are to existence. The deeper you go to the center, the nearer you are to the center of the universe. These three are concentric circles around the center: awake, dreaming and deep sleep. These are three concentric circles. If you transcend all these three, then suddenly you are face to face with your own center. Then you are centered in it. That centering is all.

That centering is to achieve the deathless.

That centering is to be deep inside the heart of the universe.

That centering is divine realization.

Dreaming has to cease, one must cease dreaming. Dreaming has to be transcended – dreaming is the barrier. A dreaming mind can never know the truth; a dreaming mind is bound to live in illusory worlds. Dreaming is the problem, and if dreaming stops . . . And it stops when ambition stops, it stops when desiring stops, it stops when one begins to live moment to moment, just here and now. If you can remember two words, “here” and “now,” dreaming stops. Be here and now, and there can be no dreaming, because dreaming is always from the past and for the future. It originates in the past; it spreads into the future.

Dreaming can never be in the present. To be in the present and to be in a dream is impossible; they never meet. So if one is awake, aware, attentive of the time that is just here and now, dreaming stops. And when dreaming withers away, you can become aware, really aware; you can really become awake. And when you are awake, this awareness can penetrate the third state of consciousness: dreamless sleep. Really, in no language other than Hindi, is there a word for it – sushupti. In no language is there a word for it – sushupti.

Sleep is not sushupti – that’s why we have to add dreamless sleep. It is not just sleep, it is nondreaming sleep – without any ripple of the dream, with no waves of the dream. The ocean is totally silent, not even a dream is there to disturb. Then you are in sushupti – the third state, dreamless sleep, the non-dreaming sleep. But you can never become aware of it unless dreaming ceases.

The waves must cease; only then can you become aware of the ocean; otherwise, you are always aware of the waves. Waves are on the surface, so when you see, you see the waves, not the ocean.

The waves must stop totally. Only then, for the first time, do you become aware of the ocean, the waveless ocean – the dreamless sleep. And if one can become aware of dreamless sleep, one transcends sleep. One transcends sleep only when one becomes aware of it. And then you are turiya, the fourth; then you have passed all the three.

This fourth is the being; this fourth is the search. For this fourth, effort is needed. And one may go on continuously dreaming and dreaming and dreaming – one can never achieve this fourth state through dreaming. That’s why there is so much insistence on non-desiring, non-ambition. The buddhas go on saying, “Do not desire,” because if you desire then dreaming cannot cease. The buddhas go on saying, “Do not be attached,” because if you are attached the dreaming cannot cease. Do not be ambitious, do not long for any becoming, do not think in terms of the future; otherwise, dreaming cannot cease. And unless dreaming ceases you will never be. You can never be! You will always be a becoming, just a becoming: “a” changing into “b,” “b” changing into “c,” “c” changing into “d” – and always the longing for the far off. And then you go on running, and you never reach; then you go on becoming this and that and you are never a being.

The being is here and now.

Drop dreaming and you are there where you have really been always, but you were never aware. All meditation techniques are just anti-dream efforts, just dream-negating devices.

-Osho

From That Art Thou, Discourse #4

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

Dreaming has to be Transcended is from the morning talk, This Fourth is the Being is from the evening talk of the same day.

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Dreaming has to be Transcended.

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.

The Fresh Waters of Life – Dada Gavand

My greetings to the citizens of Sonoma town. It’s nice to be with you this afternoon to talk little more closely about the life. I am coming from India, the East, and I am interested in talking to the people of different cultures, different traditions, with different lifestyles. I am here not as an Indian but as a person who is living on the same planet.

So let’s see if we can talk together to find out what living is. If there is any significance in living. If there is any purpose. We would like to find out the story of life, the process of living, not through any science, or technique, or any philosophy but if you can find out actually by knowing and experiencing what living is. We generally try to know about life through the books of psychology, or some philosophy, and sometimes through religions. I wonder if we really know anything through any science or through the opinion of any other person. To know anything, one has to go a little close to it, to observe, to watch, to see, to ponder, to find out exactly [what] the thing is. We can’t find out the reality of anything through the descriptions written by other people.

So to know and find out about life, this living energy, we are to come close to it. Do we ever do that? It is very easy to read the descriptions written by others, by experts, and perhaps that is how we are guided, by the opinions of the experts in all walks of life. Perhaps all our understanding and our opinions are the result of the statements of other people. We hardly know anything directly. Is there any direct experience of life? If we don’t have the opinion of others, we create our own opinion, and we always look at things in life and nature through our own opinion which is some kind of conditioned attitude of the mind. Opinion is positive and negative confirmation and that’s how we look at everything. Our relationship is, even intimate relationship, is based on our ideas, on our concepts which are mostly imaginations in the mind. So there is hardly any way of getting into a direct experiencing.

So if you want to find out about the life, this living process, the energy that is moving, living, pulsating in each moment – what is living for us? What is living in us now? Isn’t mostly a thought activity? Ceaseless movement of thought? That is living through its ideas and through its actions. It is a thought which is a mind that is living constantly through its projections, through its ideas, opinions, fears, planning, anxiety, worry. This whole process is operating all of the time. And it is existing; it is living. And we meet everything through these ideas, through this mind. Mostly our understanding is intellectual, through information and ideas, we live the life. That’s one way of living. Now I am questioning this process that we call living through the mind, through the ideas, through the concepts.

The first thing, do we experience anything freshly in the moment through these ideas? Is there any fresh contact with life? Idea is a concept which were formed on the basis of past information. We had some past information from some past experience and that experience has been retained in the mind. And that experience is an opinion, a concept, and through that experience we meet anything in the now, in the future. If you are to meet a person, we have a memory about the person, and it is the memory that meets the person. So [it] is [the] other way, and there is a meeting of two experiences, two memories, two concepts. Is that the way of meeting or experiencing any person? If you want to see a sunset, don’t you look at the sunset completely with your total being? But sometimes it’s the mind that chatters and talks about the sunsets it has seen previously. Or expects something other than what is in front of his eyes. “Oh, I wish there was no cloud like this.” “I wish it was a little more red than blue.” But he hardly sees that scene completely in that moment with his total attention.

There is a possibility of seeing the sunset or experiencing the sunset. We generally see it, but do we experience it? So is the case with other relationships. Do we experience anything, anyone? That kind of experiencing is quite a different thing, much more vital, much more alert, much more in the now, in the present. And for that one has to be a total personality, utterly, totally in the present, without any bias of the mind, without any idea in the consciousness.

Do we experience anything in life so viscerally, so profoundly, so totally? There is the only way of experiencing anything, maybe your child, maybe your dog, or in a flower, or any person to have a contact, a direct contact with the energy, with the other energy. There is a meeting; there is a communion. Otherwise, it is just a gossip of the mind. Many of us have created this habit, this pattern, through mind. That’s why there is not vitality, no energy. This is a dimension of life where one is vital, alert. And in that vitality, there is a blessing of life. You can have your own interiority. And that interiority can work as a reflection of the eternal energy. In that state, there is no room for any opinion, any movement of thought, any imagination.

We are meeting everything through our own imagination, through our own conditioning, through our own prejudices. Negative or positive, but they are all the same conditionings. Do we have to have this conditioning to meet anything freshly in that right moment? There is a new way of living and that is the only living. Otherwise, it is all a continuity in time. It is the past that continues in the hope of a future. That’s why we live by our hopes, create fears, and then face frustrations. Life is a series of planning and hopes unfortunately. There is a way of letting life live, letting this energy function without any hindrance of the ideas, then the life takes its own care. The life is, that energy is fullness in itself; it’s rich, it’s intelligent. And we need to discover this kind of life, otherwise there is not much fun, just a constant burden of thought and mind. There is a ceaseless activity which creates fears, creates planning, problems, conflicts. And we’re beginning to live with all these things without trying to see what the life is, what this living is.

We never come close to see what is happening. We have taken this kind of life for granted. Our education, our culture, our history has sanctified this kind of life. And what is life today? Personal life, or social life, or political or international life, what is it now? Is it all sane? Is it all orderly? We are always trying to create some sanity but it doesn’t happen. We’re trying to build some order in our personal life, family life, or international life, but there is no order at all. It is all a chaos and so filled with fears.

See anywhere and you’ll find these fears, doubts, violence, conflicts, and there isn’t at all disease or war there. We are sowing the seeds of war in our mind itself, through our own conflicts, through our own fears. There is enough violence in ourself, also in the mind, and whenever it gets a chance, it just comes out through angers, hatreds, fears. We are actually at war with ourself, within ourself, through different thoughts, wants and non-wants, good and bad, whether I should be here or I should be there, whether this is good or bad, all this kind of conflict, indecisions. There is never a smooth sailing in the mind, in this consciousness. There are ceaseless ripples going on and on, day and night. Should one live like this? To be in doubt? To be in conflict? To be in worry, anxiety, fear?

With all this plenty around, with this kind of good standard of living, should this consciousness remain like this? Why are we accepting this kind of living? This kind of our own self? If you come close a little and find out and watch, you will see what a picture it is. But we don’t dare come near to see it all that is why we are all the time out, planning, doing something outside, neglecting this inner, refusing to see what it is inside. So, we are to come a little nearer to us, to see, to take a close look at it. What is happening? What is moving? What is living? Not accept all these things blindly because somebody else has told. It’s our own life. We have to see it; we have to understand. We have to experience that. And do something, if it is necessary to do anything there.

So the first thing is to come a little close. To watch, to see, to wait and ponder about it. We never do this. We are all extrovert, planning, doing things outside. Of course, that is one aspect of living we have to do some of these things, but not all the time, all the way. We have lost the capacity to be with ourselves, to stay with ourselves, to look into ourselves.

It’s easy to be out with the thrust of a thought and an idea. From childhood, we are trained to do that, to live with the thought, to polish your thoughts, to have more and more thoughts. And we do not know how the thought is generated. How it takes its root. What happens there at the root? Why all these different thoughts, ceaseless thoughts, contradictory thoughts? It’s very necessary to see that breeding ground of the thought, that where the thoughts are generated ceaselessly. Perhaps many of the thoughts may be just mechanical, but they’re there. We shelter them, and we live with them. We act upon them to give the continuity.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

Perhaps we don’t have this capacity of seeing anything as it is. We can’t see anything without this projection of the mind, without the interference of the mind, the thought. So we are to begin to learn this new way of objectivity, to see anything as just the witness. The witness and the judge has no opinion, he just sees things as it is. So we’re to begin to look at ourselves, to look into ourself as we are, as we are functioning. That seeing and sensing is important. To sense, to feel, to see that, without any opinion, and for that we have to come very, very close almost into ourself, to see this whole game. And that is the beginning of this new understanding.

We have to understand ourself first, understand this whole living process. Know what is happening. How cleverly we are acting. How mechanically we are acting. With what bias in the mind, we’re acting and relating with people. All our relationship is biased very, very conditioned. There is never a freshness. There is never a newness to relate with anything that’s why we carry forward our quarrels, our prejudices. And the whole life is a series of this kind of prejudices. There is never a release from this thing to enter into the fresh waters of life, the fresh energy of life wherein there is no prejudice at all. It’s pure, free, independent, and intelligent.

There is that source of energy, but we are denying that source because we are all the time busy with this conditioned thought. The whole consciousness is so conditioned, colored. So the beauty of living is seen only when you are unconditioned, free. Then the living is a different moment of life. It’s is free, original, transformed. And there’s a new beauty in living. Then your relationships are different. You don’t carry forward any thought, any memory, but you live in that immediate now, with freedom. That is the freedom of life.

We never try to experience that freedom, that’s why we are busy with the other freedoms, economic freedom, political freedom, individual freedom, all these freedoms. Where is a free man with all this freedom? I would like to see a free person. We talk about all these freedoms, give them all these dozens of freedoms, and yet you live a bounded, encaged person. So the real freedom begins here only, then you will never be caught up in any other bondage.

There is a total freedom of that energy. So, there is that living, a real impulse, a real moment of living begins only there when you are totally free with energies completely unbiased, uncolored. Then the relationships are different. Your vision becomes different. Your life, becomes different. We need that kind of life of freedom otherwise what is life today? We know it. So this is a basic question. It is a very fundamental issue, and all the thoughtful persons in the world are conscious of this thing now. With all these scientific discoveries, and affluence, and productions, and new gadgets, what is the life? What is happening to this living? We may have a few more pleasures, few more conveniences, but basically, what is the state of this mind? Is it really happy, contented, peaceful, loving? Why are we denied all these basic things of life? On the contrary, we have become more assertive, more greedy, more competitive, more violent. Is it the result of this civilization, of this advancement?  So let us ponder over it, for our own sake, for our own children, for the next generation.

So we have to establish this sanity, this order, in our own life first. So this is a challenging thing.

Can we take some questions if you have in your mind?

I have a question. Do you believe in God?

Do I believe in God?

Mmm

I think I don’t have any belief. Belief is a hope of the mind. I think this idea, thought has created this God, and we have different images about God. Because of this opinion, we have different concepts of God, different forms of God. And is God a form, or a concept, or an image created by the mind? If God is there, it cannot be a concept. It is something like a thrill, beautiful energy, consciousness, the intelligence. That Supreme is there, but it would never be contacted through this mind and the concept and images, but God is an experiencing, is a fact. And it is that most intelligent energy, that source of creation, is there. I don’t have to have an opinion, a concept about it. Concept is a denial of that experience. God is that kind of experience. The totality of life is that consciousness, is that divinity, is that eternity, is that God. But we don’t need to have any name to it.

Are you saying take no thought, take no thought of whatever we have of God within us whether it be to know what, that would be it? With no thought, no concept of pinning it into one thing, is that what you are saying?

No thought is the first thing, that’s the beginning. From that no thought, we have to enter into the state and experience of non-thought, which is nothing but the pulsation of a dynamic energy within you. And after entering that state of dynamism, that pure energy, there is no room for any concepts. The mind itself is left out. The mind cannot work in that vitality, in that energy which is so dynamic. It is a different dimension of energy. On that dimension, the thought cannot linger. So, we have to transform this thought energy, this level of thought into that new dimension which is a divine state, which is the divinity, which is the vibrancy of eternity. There is no thought there, but there is a fullness of energy, vital, vibrant, pulsating in the now. There is no past and future, it’s only the thought that has created the past and future to refuse to see that present. So, to enter into that present and to be with that energy, to be with that vitality, is to experience that eternal which you call by any name. So again, this problem is of this naming this moment of the mind. See what mind has done even in the realm of God. In the domain of that eternity, it has created all the images, invented all the names and forms, and it cannot understand anything without the concept, without the form, without the image, and that is the limitation of this thought, the mind. So the mind has to become mindless. To experience anything, maybe to experience God, or to experience even your child, or a flower next to you.

The mind is the only hindrance. This conceptual activity is the only hindrance. It keeps you bound to its imagination. And to reach God, one has to be free from this limitation of thought. Thought is always a condensed energy, a crystallized energy. It cannot experience that profundity which is God. Thought is such a limited consciousness. So to experience that eternal, that timeless, that profound, you have to be free from this limitation, this thought, and the time.

You can’t experience the timeless through this time, which is a thought, the mind.

So see the limitation of thought. The binding of the thought. It’s binding us everywhere, on all the levels of living. So the first thing to understand is the limitation and the bondage of thought itself. It is good on some levels, but it has captured the mind, captured the consciousness, captured the man. Everything is just thought. That’s why there is no room for any newness, for any creativity. We have made it a pattern of life. And we are caught up in that pattern; only it’s the pattern that is moving, not you. See the grief of this habitual pattern.

So the freedom from this pattern is very much necessary, to discover that ecstasy in living, that beauty of love. Love cannot flow through thought. Love is such a force, a creative beautiful force that it cannot move through thought and ideas. So for the sake of that at least, to experience that love, to experience that sanity of life, that intelligence in living, you have to see the limitation of thought, and transcend the thought, so that you can meet with the beauty and the orderliness of life. That kind of experience is awaiting us, but we are denying it because of our constant association with thought.

Thought has taken a full grip of our life. You can’t do a thing without thought. There is always a thought present in any of your action. So, see the whole circus of thought that is going on, which we call our living.

 Physical patterns can be even more overwhelming than thought patterns. I find myself that I can learn a lot by the physical side, through aches, through feelings. Feelings that are so strong that they make concentration difficult. How would you relate this to thought? Thought seems to be a higher level even than the physical level.

So you think that feelings are more powerful and dominant in you, and you can’t be free of the feelings and the pains that are associated with your body? And you think that thought is much more higher and superior?

Well, it seems to be a different level. If I am really distracted by physical things then it seems even more overwhelming.

Yes, by why are you distracted if there is a pain? If there is any complaint in the physical body? It may have its cause, a valid cause. You are to attend to the cause. Listen to the physical body also. You may have generated the cause because of your attitudes of mind. You know somethings are no good for the body, but yet the mind craves. Many of our physical ailments are the cause of our mind games, the temptations, the greed and the want of the mind. We are burdening our body through this craving of the thought, of the mind, and then we call it a physical pain. All these difficulties, even the physical, have a cause behind it. And probably you will see that the mind is responsible for those causes. Many of the pains and difficulties of the body are psychical. Many of them are psychosomatic effects. So, the psyche, the mind is so powerful. It is ruling everywhere even it tries to dictate body. It doesn’t want to listen to the body also, what it has to say, what it has to complain. Now a thought is so dominant. Medical science has discovered so many things which are detrimental to the body. But what happens? Does the mind listen to all these things? With all our education? With all this means of communication? With all knowledge? Do we listen to all these things? See what the mind is doing. With all these clear discoveries, the mind is not prepared to listen to it. It has its own enjoyable time.

See the domination of the thought in the mind. And yet, we are educated and intelligent people in the society. How much intelligence is really used in life? So again, we’re to see this disturbing factor, this dominant attitude of the mind which overrules the intelligence, the understanding. It refuses to see the medical facts which are so very well established now. We know the harmful effect of alcohol, of smoking, and see what happens? The result of smoking is clearly established by the medical discoveries but still the sales of cigarettes are mounting. There are so many things like this.

The commercial world is so active and it is making you believe things which may be even harmful. This commercial mind is so very dominant with its own greed, and we are becoming a prey to all this propaganda, and the mind is getting caught into this kind of propaganda, because of the temporary sensation, temporary excitement, and that is what the mind wants. There is no much intelligence in this mind, I tell you. It is interested only in some excitement. In some sensations, and that is how it continues in time.

So, the time has come to question the intelligence of this mind. How intelligent this mechanism is? How useful this activity is? For the mind has come to its dead end now. It is refusing to see facts of life, and that’s why we have to discover a new consciousness, a new intelligence, a new order of life which will not be based on this kind of mind activity at all.

The time is very much ripe for this kind of new discovery, and if you are sensitive and alert, you should be able to see the necessity of this kind discovery now. The discovery of that consciousness which is beyond the mind, which is beyond this thought pattern, and then perhaps we will be able to change the life basically. To create a really intelligent, harmonious, holy order of living.

-Dada Gavand

From a talk given in Sonoma, California

Dada with Amido while staying at our Boulder house in 1993.

Here you can listen to the talk The Fresh Waters of Life.

To see more from Dada look here.

The Mind – Vimala Thakar

As we are meeting in the morning, let us hope that all of us are more fresh, alert, and attentive perhaps than yesterday. We shall go together into an issue that is very subtle and very complex. We shall go together into the issue of what brain is, the mind is, and how the mind functions – to go into the anatomy of mind, the whole mechanism.

It is going to be difficult because you do not see your own mind. You see your body, the hands, the feet, the eyes. You can touch them. You can look at them if you sit before a mirror. But mind is that part of our body which is invisible and intangible. It is material all the same. Mind is matter. Though it is invisible and intangible, it is a part of the physical body, a very subtle part. It is one of our sense organs, like the senses that we have – the smelling, the hearing, the seeing, the touching. In the same way, brain is a sense organ located in the head, connected with the whole body, with sensory and motor nerves, and the most important part of the physical body, if you go into it really.

So what you call the mind or the brain is a part of the physical structure. It is a material structure, and one who has not looked at mind as a sense organ, one who has not looked at the brain as a part of the physical structure, does not realize that mind being matter has a kind of energy. In the physical structure, you have the glandular energy, you have the muscular energy, you have the nervous or the neurological energy. In the same way, the brain has a kind of energy which we are going to go into this morning.

When you talk about the hands, the feet, the optical nerves, the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, it is easy to communicate, to respond to what someone says unto you. But mind being invisible, to talk about the content of that invisible organ, intangible sense organ gets very difficult. So we will need all our attention this morning.

The mind, the brain is located in the human head, connected with the whole body. And as you see with the eyes and you hear with the ears, with the brain you catch ideas. There is an involuntary activity going on in our body. Whether you want it or not, the eyes see things; you cannot prevent the seeing of the eyes as long as they are open. A living human being sees thing around him. He hears the sounds around him. Whether he wants to listen to them or not is different. But the seeing is an involuntary activity of the optical nerves, the retina receiving impressions. The activity of seeing goes on. The activity of hearing goes on, not voluntarily, not out of your effort, not out of your motivation, but it is there. You do not breathe consciously with an effort all the time. You are born with a breathing process. The inhaling and the exhaling of breath is something with which you are born. It’s one of the involuntary activities. In the same way, the brain, the cerebral organ has got an involuntary activity of moving and catching ideas, catching thoughts, registering the name, the color, the kind, the shape, the size of the objects that you touch with your eyes or ears. The brain registers, goes on registering, recording, and whatever has been cognized or registered or recorded gets transferred to memory.

This goes on. You do not have to make a conscious effort for it. If there is no physical disability, and if there is no psychological inhibition, then this cerebral activity of receiving impressions, interpreting them, judging them, transferring them into memory – that goes on in your waking hours.

So mind is a sense organ, the brain, a very subtle one. Now this sense organ has been trained and educated by the human race through untold centuries. We were talking yesterday that the content of culture is patterns of behavior – physical behavior, and psychological behavior. There are patterns of cooking meals, having meals, the kind of food, the quality of food. There are patterns of going through exercises, patterns of having your clothes, houses, furniture. There are patterns of behavior, talking, shouting, crying, laughing, smiling. When does a person smile? How does he smile? The patterns of reactions and activities. This is the content of culture, conditioning for the physical, the verbal, and the mental. And there are beautiful designs in these conditionings, innumerable variety of designs and patterns.

These patterns of behavior and their code words, their symbols, their measurements, their evaluations, priorities are all contained in the brain. As the feet are taught to move on the Earth when a child grows (you teach him how to respond to the law of gravity contained in the Earth) so the movement in the feet and the law of gravity in the Earth – there is a responsive cooperation between the two, and therefore you can walk, run, climb upon the Earth. The child has to be taught how to stand up and cooperate with the Earth, and how to run, to climb. It falters, it falls down, and the mother, the father, the teacher help the child to stand up again, to feel the Earth. How much pressure to put upon the Earth when you walk, the soft earth, the hard earth, the stony surface. All this education has been given. You do not realize it today when you walk because it has become a substance of your being.

The child has been educated and trained to discriminate sounds. The noise, the sound, and organized sound that is music. The child is trained, educated to discriminate the sound of a crow from a swallow, from that of a nightingale, the note of a cuckoo bird. The child gets education in this auditory discrimination, optical discrimination. This is green color. This is blue. This is red. This is yellow, and all the nuances and various shades of colors. This is all part of conditioning. As the ears, the eyes, the nose, they are educated, this so-called mind, the brain, has been trained and educated to receive thought, to interpret it, to evaluate it, to compare it with others, to judge it, and then to put it in memory under different categories. And this process goes on today with an electromagnetic speed. You are not even conscious how such a subtle and complex process is going on every fraction of a second in your and my brain. It goes so quick. The more educated and more cultured you are, the quicker is the process of this cerebration.

You see a thing, compare it, evaluate it, judge it, reduce it to an idea, put it in your memory. It gets registered as a like. It gets registered as a dislike, as a preference, as a prejudice, as an idea, as something to be criticized, condemned, to be given up. You know, all these things go on quickly.  So the brain involuntarily registers and records the name, the shape, the color, the kind, and the more educated you are, the more refined becomes the process of discrimination, and the faster goes the process of naming, registering, recording. We have to remember this.

Now this brain has been nourished on thought. It has been nourished on symbols, ideas, and therefore we, the human beings living in this twentieth century, we live in a world of symbols. When you see an object, you cannot keep the object all the time with you whether it is a thing or a being, an animal, a bird, a human being, or a thing, you cannot keep that object with you. But the idea about the object, manufactured by the brain, is stored in the bank of memory. So the ideas and symbols are the things that become the content of the brain. As the ear has the auditory power, or the eyes together with the optical nerves have the optical powers, the power of the brain consists in the ideas, the thoughts, the symbols, the values, the likes, the dislikes, the prejudices, preferences, all contained in it. Systematically fed into the brain by different cultures, different countries, by different contexts of life.

So brain functions through the symbol, though the idea, through thought, through an emotion, a feeling, sentiment. These are all the cerebral ways of behavior. As the physical structure outwardly has a way of behavior, you know, sitting down, getting up, moving; there are ways. In the same way, the brain has ways of moving. Where it moves into relationship it has certain ways, and the eyes look at you in a certain way. That is to say, the optical instrument in the action of relationship has ways of behavior. So the brain has ways of behavior, what you call your feelings, and sentiments, the angers, the jealousies, the greed, the violence. That is a cerebellar way taught to the human brain, through untold centuries, by different cultures, religions, metaphysicians, occultists, physical scientists, economical political leaders. All of these go on feeding systematically into the brain.

Thoughts and emotions, so as the feet walk and run, the brain thinks and feels. Mind you, it is connected with the whole body, so as soon as the brain moves, the whole body moves. The brain thinks a thought, and the whole neurological system becomes tense. Brain touches an emotion or a feeling, and the whole chemical system, the liver, the spleen, the kidneys, the pancreas gland, the intestines, they respond to that emotion, and a chemical change takes place in the body. So the movement of the brain is interwoven with the whole body. When the brain moves, the body moves.

Now, we said the content of the brain is all these symbols, these thoughts, these ideas, and man lives in this ideational, conceptual world much more than the physical world. The more sophisticated, the more cultured a person is, he lives much more in the conceptual world, in the world of ideas, concepts, theories, beliefs, judgements, confusions. He lives there much more than with his senses. A primitive person who has not dealt much with the cerebration lives more with his senses. And the so-called educated person, intellectually advanced person, lives most of the time in this conceptual world. The concepts, the ideas have their own beauty. The symbols and the world of symbols have their own beauty, but one has to look at the mind, get acquainted with its anatomy, and see how we live in the world of symbols and ideas. We have to see it.

For example, all of us talk in terms of time. We measure life by time. Time is a measurement, a yardstick created by man to measure infinity. As he wanted to measure the Earth, the Space, and he made a kilometer, a mile; that’s a measurement.  There are no miles and kilometers as far as the globe is concerned. It is the invention of the human mind. When he wanted to make arrangements for collective living, he started measuring. The very idea of measuring is the creation of the human mind.  So, whether you measure a cloth by a yard or a meter, centimeter, whether you measure the Earth into kilometers, whether you measure infinity into years, and months, and days, and centuries, and hours and minutes, time is a symbol. All the measurements are symbols. You must have noticed this. The numbers with which you measure, like one, two, three, four, up to nine, which is the perfect number, the whole number. One to nine, these are the inventions of human mind. And the relationship between one and two, and two and five, and five and nine, all this is arbitrarily arrived at by the ancient man on which not only mathematics but even astronomy, astrology is based. So man having this brain, started playing around with it, and he created symbols.

We have to look at the symbols and see them for what they are. So I wonder if we look at time and see it as a symbol created by the human mind? Beautiful. You measure it, a second and 60 seconds into a minute, and sixty minutes into an hour, and 24 hours into a day. You go on measuring that, but there are no days, and hours, and minutes, and seconds in life. Life is a whole. Wherever it moves, it moves in its totality. It moves as a whole. Man cannot keep in touch with the movement of totality which is mind so he fragments it, measures it, and finds out ways of being with a fragment, with the particular. And we have become so used to this language of time, we feel that life is equal to time. We forget that it is a symbol. The yesterday, the today, the tomorrow, these are concepts. The sunset, the sunrise, it’s a poetical language. The sun never rises, never does it set. The sun is there but due to the movement of the Earth, the whole globe in relation to the sun and the whole solar system, the sun, the moon, the planets, when you see the sun, you call it the sunrise, the midday, the evening. The Earth in relation to the Sun and the movement of the Earth. But in reality, there is nothing like sunset or sunrise.

So life is timelessness. Time is a creation of the human mind, and one has to see the beauty of this creation so that one can use it efficiently wherever the use is warranted, but does not get obsessed with the idea of time. If the idea of tomorrow obsesses a person, and a person obsessed with the idea of tomorrow, the fear and anxiety of tomorrow, misses the today, then he will never live because to live is to be with what is before you here and now. If the memory of the past keeps you away from this eternity that presents itself to you in what you call the present moment, in what you call the now, in what you call the here, you meet that eternity now at this moment, or never. Eternity cannot be met with in tomorrows. What I am trying to say, my friends, is, there are very many symbols, I have taken only one, of the time. So time has to be understood as a measurement, as a symbol, beautifully, poetically, aesthetically created and cherished by the human race.

I for one have nothing against the conditions of man. The conditions are not the bondage. To mistake the conditionings for the reality of life, leads towards bondage. To see the falsity of the false thing is the beginning of seeing what is true, what is real. So the conditionings are bound to be there. They are part of our inner being. They are the content of consciousness. You cannot run away from them. You cannot deny them. You cannot wish them away. The brain, the mind, contains all these.

We have touched only one symbol, the symbol of time and around it is woven the whole structure of psychological time. And collective relationships are arranged, managed on the basis of this. If you say the life is timelessness, therefore I don’t care for the time, then there will be chaos in collective relationships. In collective relationships and living together, we have to use symbols as the children use toys and play with them. So that we meet here exactly at 10:30 or quarter past 11, knowing full well that there is nothing like quarter past 11, or 12, in life and reality. We meet here at that time. So living together, human transactions, communications, require these toys of ideas and symbols. As I said, the mathematical figures, numbers — beautiful things — if you start counting the totality of life into one or two, the God, the divine into one and two, then you are mistaking the symbol for the real.

There are the seven basic notes of music and you organize them — permutations, combinations of those notes and their arrangement — you arrive at music. But those seven basic notes, with which are associated now feelings, sentiments, emotions. If you play Symphony No. 2 of Beethoven, you get into one kind of feeling, and if you play Symphony No. 5, or Symphony No. 9, or Bach, or Schubert, or Mozart, that communion with that music stimulates certain chemical responses in you because certain note in relation to certain other has been associated with certain feelings. Or if you travel to the Orient, the ragas, the melodies, the ragas of the morning before the sunrise, after the sunrise, the mid-morning, the end of the morning, the midday and so on, for 24 hours, different ragas, different melodies. These seven notes, they are the creation and the music is the creation of human mind. But all these notes and sounds are born of that infinite substance of silence, the soundlessness of life. As time is born of the timelessness of life — and it’s only a measure, to measure the infinity — the sound is a measurement. Man tried to measure the infinity of silence, and he arrived at sound. He arrived at speech.

So the brain contains a great variety of symbols, in art, in sculpture, in music, in literature. You take a point, and with that point you get the whole science of geometry, trigonometry, engineering. You have to postulate and presume that point, having no length and no breadth. If you put a point on paper, it has both, length and breadth. But the definition, the presumption of the point is having no length and breadth. You have to presume, and on that presumption, you start. All the beautiful angles, and triangles, and circles, octaves, so many things you get out of that. You play with that.

The content of culture is this wealth of conditionings, is this wealth of symbols. If a man does not recognize them as symbols, then he becomes a prisoner of the symbols. It is the lack of acquaintance with these conditionings that puts you in bondage. If you see them, look at them in a friendly way and discover what they are, and use them in the relative field of utility. They enrich the life. You cannot strip the whole life of all the content of brain, all the content of your psyche.

So the brain, the mind, the consciousness contains all this and because of this, there is a movement going on, the thought energy, the energy of the emotions, the sentiments, the feeling, the energy of anger, energy of lust, of passion, you know. So the mind moves with the energy of all these. The meaning attached to anger, to jealousy, to greed, to lust, to sexual instinct, the meaning attached to all these by man gives the energy.  So the mind, the brain, containing all these is moving involuntarily.

There cannot be matter without motion. Wherever there is matter there is energy —energy being the property of that matter — and wherever there is energy (energy is never idle) it moves. So the mind is moving. Please do not look upon the incessant movement of mind as a problem otherwise we will create a problem out of a simple fact of life. The mind moves. When you sit down quietly winding up all your sensual activities, you notice the movement of mind. When you are busy the whole day, physically acting or reacting, then you do not notice the velocity with which the mind moves. But when you sit quietly, the first encounter is with your own mind and its movement. Then you find out in how many directions the mind moves, hops from one point to the other. Now it is with one thought and it hops over to another emotion and there, after a fraction of a second, it hops over and jumps to another thought.

The whole movement of mind, the variety of directions in which the mind tries to run simultaneously, all this you will notice. It is vitally important to look at the mind, to be with it, and to observe the movement of the mind as it goes on, without wanting to change the movement, without wanting to stop it. Without wanting to do anything about it, to look at the mind because this is only information. As I go on speaking, though I may be speaking about the facts as I have seen them, when you receive it through the brain, it becomes information for you. It will be [an] information or an idea for you until you experiment with observation.

If you just store it in memory then it will be there as a piece of information with which you agree or you disagree, which you accept or you reject. It has no value. The brain has already too much information, undigested, incoherent, unrelated to your daily living, and that undigested, unorganized, chaotic information creates mental problems. It keeps the nerves shaking all the time, that chaotic, anarchic, unorganized or disorganized information, undigested. The information remains as an idea as long as you and I do not discover the validity thereof by experimenting.

That is why a religious life is a life of constant discovery. Every minute you live, you move, you act, and through the action you discover a new ounce of life, some subtle meaning of life which you had not noticed before. And life being infinite, there is no end to this discovery. That’s why it is worth living. If you discover the whole meaning of life by the age of 25, 30, 50, life won’t be worth living at all. Life is living. Living is learning. Learning is growing, discovering. And the authenticity of personal discovery gives the vitality and passion. Information and ideas never give you passion. They can’t give you a non-cerebral energy. Knowledge gives you energy born of thought. But discovery and understanding, a personal encounter and understanding, give you a non-cerebral energy about which we shall talk later on. But this morning, let us be busy, let us investigate how the brain functions. The brain functions involuntarily, and when you add a voluntary effort to it, by providing a motive, a purpose, an intention, then you increase the velocity of that movement.

It is such a fascinating subject, you know — this mystery of mind — if you can go into it. So whether you want it or not, the brain moves. It has a momentum of millions of years behind it. The thoughts, the ideas that you and I have, are not all our creation. A tiny bit of it may be acquired by you and me since our childhood, but much of it is inherited, from the parents, from the family, from the community into which you are born, the culture of the country, the context of the life, and then also the total human race. This tiny little brain of man, this mysterious sense organ that you and I have, contains in its chemicals the total human experience and knowledge. And please, this is not a tall claim. This is a simple fact that you and I contain the knowledge and experience of the total humanity, total human race. Knowledge and experience. Because the knowledge and the experience are constantly getting converted into chemicals stored in brain cells. It is possible to extract that knowledge and memory from a brain cell and inject it into another brain.

So, in our biological and psychological inheritance, we have got it, the knowledge, the experience, and it has its momentum. You need not give it a momentum. Even without you, or in spite of you, it moves. And with the motivations that you acquire in this life, you add to the velocity already existing. Or if you try to resist the movement of the mind then also you add velocity. Every resistance increases the speed of what is contained inside. The more you try to resist it, the more you try to suppress and repress it, the more it gets motion. The momentum, the speed, the velocity increases with your every resistance. I am not a student of science so if the expressions velocity or momentum or movement, if they are not very apt expressions, please forgive me. It is not easy for me to get apt words in your language, I mean in English language. If it were Sanskrit, then there would be much more accuracy and precision. It’s difficult for me, even to satisfy myself, then I have to communicate in English language.

So the brain moves, the mind moves. The content of the consciousness is all these symbols, ideas, and thoughts. The variety of them is not a problem unless you create a problem out of it. It is there; it is the inheritance. Now, how do I see it for myself? You may say, “Alright, you have talked about it. How do I see it, and how can I get into a direct, simple, immediate encounter with my own brain?” That is a very important question. We are not taught to do that. Since childhood, we are trained to use the brain. Ideas are fed into it. Patterns of behavior are fed into it. But nobody educates us to look at the mind, its mechanism, its movement, the kind of energy that mind generates, and so on. So as enquirers, we will have to educate ourselves in looking at the movement of mind.

What does this imply? Who will look? And what is looking? What is observing? First of all, we use the word “I”, don’t we? You are listening to me, and you are aware that you are listening. This is not a simple activity of listening. But you listen, you understand, you agree or you do not agree with it, and at the same time you are aware that you are listening.

You like certain things and you are aware that you like [it] them. This human consciousness is a complex consciousness. It can move backward and forward, upward and downward, in all directions simultaneously. Inward and outward. So, a person can think and be aware that he is thinking. He can act and be aware that he is acting. If he is sensitive, why he is acting, and how he is acting, and so on. So human psyche, or consciousness, is a very much evolved consciousness and a very complex one. So “I” the experiencer, “I” the doer, sit down to observe or look at my own mind.

At present, the energy at the level of the mind, of the brain, is divided, is it not? You are listening, and at the same time, you are aware that you are listening. You are dividing it into two and using it in that duality. Every activity requires the duality.

So, I sit down to look at myself. I am using the “I”, the “me”, the “self”, the ego. Where does the ego come from? What is the “I-consciousness”? We shall go into it later on. But it is not a problem for any one of us. We always use the term “I”, the “me”. I do it. I experience it. I hate it. I like it. The same “I”, the same ego is now going to look at itself, as you look at yourself into the mirror.

Into the mirror you see a person, but that person is your own reflection. You are looking at yourself. In the same way, you are going to look at yourself, not physically, not at the tangible and physical level, but at the invisible level. But where is the mirror? The mirror is the state of observation. I sit down. Whether I sit down, or I stand up, or I walk around, it is immaterial. This is only a way of communicating, otherwise, you might think, “Oh, it is necessary to sit down.” I am not implying that way. But you have to use words. So I say you sit down. You are not looking at objects, you are not hearing sounds or listening to them, but you begin to watch the movement of the mind. You notice, you begin to notice, when there is nothing to be done, there is nothing to be acquired or obtained. The outgoing activities are all gathered unto yourself. The looking, the listening, the doing, the reacting. There is no necessity; they are not warranted. So, all the senses are gathered unto the “I”, the “me”, the “self’. They are not moving outward. So with all the faculties intact, now you remain, and you see the mind moving. Thought is a movement of mind. An emotion is a movement of mind. So when you sit quietly there comes up a thought. There comes up an idea. There comes up an emotion. Not stimulated by external objects because you are not sitting there in relation to the objects around you. You are sitting in relation to yourself, with yourself. So the ideas, the thoughts, the feelings, and their movement is felt.

What happens is, as soon as you feel the movement of the thought or the emotion, you react to it. We have been trained to feel feelings or to think thoughts, either stimulated by external objects, and immediately react accordingly, or we are educated to react to the thoughts and feelings that come from within. But this business of reacting goes on. We react so quickly, unawares, unknowingly, unconsciously. The reaction goes on, of judging it, of evaluating it, of reducing what is seen, what is felt to a conclusion, to a theory.

So when you sit down and you begin to notice the movement of mind, the first pitfall is reacting to what is being observed. You will notice it very quickly if and when you experiment with this observation. You will notice that one is not educated to remain in the state of pure and simple observation, non-reactional attention. One is not educated to be in that state of bare cognition, pure attention. That state is not sustained. The moment you are there, the reaction comes in, and the state of observation gets contaminated, gets polluted.

So when you begin to sit down and watch the movement of mind, the first thing you notice is, “I cannot observe. I cannot remain steadily in the state of non-reactional attention.” That’s a great discovery if one can arrive at that. Not as a fear, but how the human race, advanced in intellectual activity, of grasping, or acquiring ideas, interpreting, judging, and storing them in memory, has grown lobsidedly. It has lost the simplicity of remaining in the state of simple, innocent observation. Simple innocent look. A glance. We have lost that elegance of innocency. We are so busy, something seen, heard, felt, reacted, judged, compared, and put it into like or dislike, good or bad, like a business man. To be with something, just in the simplicity of being, to be with it. So one realizes that one does not know how to observe.

An encounter with the movement of mind can teach us a lot. You know, life is a teacher, and with every discovery of the factual reality, you learn something. If one has the humility to learn, the master, the teacher, this whole life is around you and within you, eager to teach you, eager to open you. So I say, “Goodness me, I don’t know how to observe. The moment I observe the reaction comes up so how do I learn to observe?”

One has to learn to observe, that is to say, to sustain the state of simple cognition, the state of non-reactional attention. When you sit in silence, you see that the mind is moving and you say, “Well I was sitting in silence and the mind was moving. There were so many thoughts.”  Obviously, there were thoughts. But when you went into silence at least you could notice. Noticing the subtle movement of mind by itself is a great act of learning.

So you sit down and watch and observe. The observation slips out of you, and you notice the state of inattention. You notice that you are in the state of inattention. You are not attentive. If you get angry with yourself and say, “Well, I sat down for observing and I can’t observe. I sat down for observing, and suddenly I lapsed into my reaction.” If you try to condemn yourself, criticize yourself, or if you give yourself a timetable that the observation much be learned within one minute or one year. If you try to imprison the growth into your schedules, your timetables, your ambitions, your comparisons with other people — the other person learned in one minute and I can’t do it — if you are comparing, if you are measuring then the growth cannot take place.

Religion is a question of total growth. It is only total growth that transforms the quality of your being, not petty little changes that we bring about intellectually or emotionally. The changes in behavior outward, they do not result in the growth of total being. When I observe and I notice in that moment of observation that the state of observation is not steady — it is shaky. And a fraction of a second, I am there / I am not there, then let me notice that I am not there. Being aware of the inner tension is itself a kind of attentiveness. But one has an image of oneself. I am very sensitive. I am very attentive. I am very quick. One has an image of oneself. And when he sits down to observe and discovers that he cannot, then the image is shattered.

You know, we all have our own images. So I have an image. “I will do things quickly. What is there in observation? I sat down. I’ll get it very quickly.” We feel as if it is something to be grasped, to be grabbed. And you know, life is something that can never be grabbed, never be grasped, never be imprisoned into your framework of experiences, cannot be imprisoned in concepts and ideas. It can enter into an idea apart and go out, like the breathing in and breathing out. You cannot arrest life. You cannot imprison life.

So when you sit there, and when you notice that you do not know how to observe, you become impatient. If your image is shattered, if you feel humiliated, if you feel self-pity, “I have lived 60 years in life and I don’t know how to observe.  Goodness me. Now what am I going to do?” “Will I be there in liberation or nirvana before I die or not?” You know, all such crazy things come up, and that builds a resistance. So when I notice that I am inattentive, that I was in the state of inattention or non-attention, let me not resist that state of non-attention. Let me not create a problem out of that momentary inattentiveness, because if I resist it, if I grudge it, if I get annoyed with it, I am complicating the matter.

It was very simple that due to a deep-rooted habit of reacting the state of observation was not sustained. When you learn to drive a car or to pilot an aeroplane, the balance is precarious in the beginning. When you learn to swim, in the same way, every learning and every growth is painful because one moment you feel you have got it and the other moment it slips. The nerves, the control about the nerves, right from your toe to the crown of your head, it doesn’t come quickly. The sensual system, the physical structure requires time for education. Not the understanding.  Understanding is not of time. But for the response to come out of your whole being, and for the sensual, the physical, to keep pace with the quickness of your understanding, that requires education.

So when you have understood what is observation, and you sit down to observe, not to experience, not to analyze, not to judge, then you sit down, you have understood what is observation, and yet when the observation takes place, it slips. So one has to be very pliable. Be in the state of observation and also go with the state of inattention without resistance, without complicating the state of non-attention any further. Then the moment you become aware that you were not attentive, the attentiveness comes back. The moment you become aware that you were not observing, you were not in the state of observation, that very recognition brings you back to the state of observation.

So one has to work upon oneself seriously, and seriousness does not mean stiffness or rigidity. It does not mean dogmatism. It does not mean becoming fanatic about it. Seriousness has its own relaxation. I say seriousness in order to remind ourselves that our impatience, our ambitions cannot affect the growth any way. It cannot escalate the speed. It is only the intensity of inquiry that can accelerate the speed. Nothing else. The heat of that intensity. The depth of the passion. That can bring about the growth quicker but not the impatience, the annoyance, the irritation, the resistance, the comparison, the self-pity. On the other hand, they create obstructions, and they slow down the pace of growth.

So I sit down to observe, observation being non-reactional attention. As I am not educated in it, and I started at the age of 15 or 20 or 50, the whole system does not cooperate. So on one hand, through proper diet and exercises, and sleep and so on, what we have talked about yesterday, by creating an inner order on the physical structure, I make the physical structure more and more sensitive. I educate it in sensitivity and that sensitivity cooperates with me when I learn observation. Spiritual life is a realm of self-education at all levels, in all fields. Dehypnotizing ourselves that we know what religion is, or spirituality is.

So now I think the time is over. So I cannot proceed any further. This morning we went into the issue of mind. The mind, the brain, including all the faculties of the brain. The faculty of imagination. The faculty of memory. The faculty of retaining ideas in memory, and so on. The brain, the mind is a sense organ located in the head, connected with the whole body, interwoven into the body.

And before I conclude, may I just remind you that this brain is interwoven very closely and intimately with all the organs contained in the stomach, the pituitary gland connected with the whole of your stomach. The slightest movement in the brain, and the liver, the kidneys, the spleen, the pancreas gland, the intestines big and small, you know, they get affected. Attention is generated in the stomach. If there is something wrong in the stomach, if the digestive process is not functioning properly, it affects the nerves in the brain. It affects the optical nerve, the auditory nerves, the points of pleasure, the point of pain located in the brain. It affects the movement of all the brain cells, the blood circulation in the brain. That is why one pays so much attention to the exercise, to the diet, and to the other parts of the physical life. The navel point and the brain located in the head, these two, unless they are balanced properly, are in a proper balance, the physical and the mental health is not easy to come by. It is only in the balance of the two that the radiance of health can be there.

So we were talking this morning about this beautiful and complex, very sensitive sense organ. It functions through symbols, ideas, thoughts, confusions, theories. It cannot function without a thought, without an emotion, without an idea, without a word, the brain doesn’t function. For the fun of it, you can find out what the movement of the brain implies — some idea, some thought, some concept, some imagination, some memory, the manipulation of knowledge, the manipulation of experiences, and so on.

Now all these are the inheritance that we have, and we have no control over the velocity, the momentum, of the inheritance. The biological and the psychological, they have their tremendous momentum. So on the conscious level, on the surface level, you have the knowledge and experience that you acquire in this life, and deeper down, what you call the subconscious or the unconscious, is contained the total inheritance.

So there are two energies moving. At the conscious level, the energy of your acquired total experience, and at the sub or unconscious level — these are not compartments, please — it is difficult for me to indicate the words. The words can give wrong ideas. Consciousness is one pole. But the subtlest movement that we are aware of in waking hours has one kind of energy and one kind of motion. That motion or energy of other theories, other values is much slower, very much slower than the motion of subconscious or unconscious. Shall I put it this way? The motion of the inheritance is much more than the movement or the momentum of what you acquired since childhood. There are two motions, two different energies, working parallel, and unless there is a harmony in these two, there is no peace. We talked about the content of the psyche, the two different momentums contained in the psyche, and we proceeded to find out how we can become aware of them.

And the last point, we saw that for a personal discovery, a direct encounter with the mind is inevitable. A direct encounter with the mind implies being with oneself, and observing the movement of the mind as it takes place, not with an idea but just as it takes place to watch it. When we went into this issue we found out, that we don’t know how to observe. We don’t know how to look. That is why education becomes necessary. Throughout the day, educate the physical being to be more sensitive, and when you spend some time with yourself to observe, not to be impatient or not to be in a hurry. But to observe and when you lapse into inobservation or inattention to go with that inattention, to go with that non-observation. And the moment you recognize it, the moment you become aware of it, you are back in the state of observation. […]

If some of you find it difficult, I am really helpless because I don’t think I could put it in simpler words, or that I could make it more easy. With consciousness is a very difficult thing to deal with through words. So we have had enough for the morning, haven’t we?

At the end of the talk, Vimala recited a mantra from the Yajurveda, Wakeup Mantra.

-Vimala Thakar

From The Mind, A talk given by Vimala Thakkar in 1974

Here you can listen to Vimala Thakar’s The Mind.

For more posts on Vimala Thakar look here.

The Whiskers of the Pebble – Osho

What is religion? It is not the howling of the wolves at the moon, but that’s what it has become to the masses. If the masses are right, then animals have a great religious sense – wolves howling, dogs barking at the moon, at the distant, at the faraway.

Paul Tillich has defined religion as the ultimate concern. It is exactly the opposite: it is the immediate concern, not the ultimate concern. In fact, the immediate is the only ultimate there is.

Religion is not a desire for the distant, a curiosity for the faraway. It is an inquiry into one’s own being.

That’s why Buddhism is not concerned with God at all. It is concerned with you, with your reality. It’s whole process is like peeling an onion. Buddhism continues to peel your reality; layer upon layer, it goes on destroying the illusions, the dreams. And just as happens when you peel an onion, ultimately only nothing is left in your hands. That nothing is the source of all. Out of that nothing all arises and slowly, slowly disappears back into that nothing.

Now physicists are coming very close to it. They call that nothing ‘the black hole’ – matter disappears into black holes, is utterly annihilated, and becomes nothing. Now, after black holes, there is talk in scientific circles about white holes too. Out of white holes, matter arises. It seems black holes and white holes are just two aspects of the same reality – like a door. On one side of the door is written ‘Entrance’; the other side of the same door is called the ‘Exit’.

When things appear out of the womb of nothingness, the door is called the white hole – white because it gives birth, white because life comes out of it. By calling it white we are appreciating it, we are valuing it. One day every-thing disappears back into the same door – then we call it black. We have always called death black. Man has always been afraid of the black, of the dark, of death.

But it is the same reality! From one side it is ‘black hole’, from the other side it is ‘white hole’. Buddha calls it sunyata.

There is every possibility that modern physics will come every day more and more close to Buddha. It has to come. It has to recognize Buddha’s insight into reality, because nobody else ever dared to call nothingness the source of all. How did Buddha stumble upon the fact? He was not a physicist. He was not working into the deepest reality of matter, but he was working into the deepest reality of his own psychology.

You have to be reminded of that also: Buddhism is not a metaphysics. Metaphysics is always a concern with the ultimate. Meta’ means beyond – beyond physics, beyond that which can be seen; beyond the earth, beyond the visible, the tangible, the sensuous. Metaphysics means always the faraway, the distant reality, the God.

Buddhism is basically purely a psychology; it is not concerned with metaphysics. Its concern is with the reality of the mind, how the mind functions, what constitutes the mind. And it goes on penetrating deeper into the layers of the mind, and finally comes to the realization that deepest, at the bottom core, there is nothingness.

Buddha was not believed by people, because who can believe in nothingness? Who wants nothingness in the first place? Modern physics is also puzzling people, driving them crazy. But reality is as it is; whether you like it or not is not the question. Your liking or not liking is not going to change it. Your liking and disliking can only keep you in illusions. Reality has to be seen as it is. And to be capable of seeing that is all that is needed to become religious: the courage to see reality in its naked truth, in its nakedness, undisguised, uncovered, undressed.

And once you have seen reality as it is, once you have had a glimpse of the real man, a great transformation happens of its own accord – that very insight transforms you, transmutes you. You are never again the same, because all illusions disappear. Seeing the reality, how can you continue to delude yourself? How can you continue to dream? How can you continue in your prejudices? How can you go on keeping false opinions? How can you carry on with doctrines and philosophies and scriptures? Seeing the reality, all simply disappears, only reality is there. And to be with that reality is liberation.

Jesus is right when he says: Truth liberates. Truth is liberation. There is every possibility that Jesus learnt the secrets of the truth through Buddhist masters. There is every possibility that before he started his work in Israel, he was in India, in Nalanda, with Buddhist masters. Nalanda was one of the most ancient Buddhafields, a great university of monks. Never before and never after has something like that ever existed again.

I am hoping to create something like that again, on a wider scale, a bigger scale. Nalanda was a great experiment, an experiment with truth, an experiment to see truth as it is. Ten thousand monks continuously meditated, worked, penetrated, with no prejudices, with no a priori ideas. They were not bent upon proving anything; they were real seekers.

The unreal seeker is one who is bent upon proving something from the very beginning. The unreal seeker is one who, says, “I am in search of God” – one thing he has accepted, that God exists.  Without knowing? If he knows, then why search? If you don’t know, then how can you search for God? Who knows? – God may exist, may not exist. The search is already based on an a priori belief.

In Nalanda, those ten thousand monks were not searching for God, they were not searching for any heaven. They were not searching in reality for something a priori. They were simply searching into their own being with no idea of what they were searching for. Their search was pure. They were just looking into reality . . . to see what is there. And because they were not preoccupied by any idea, they stumbled into nothingness, they came to know nothingness.

If you are preoccupied by some idea, then you are bound to create the illusion of your own idea in that nothingness, and that nothingness is capable of supporting any idea. Any dream that you are carrying in you can be projected on the screen of nothingness. If you are searching for Krishna, you will find him, and it will be just a projection. If you are searching for a Jewish God, you will find. If you are searching for a Hindu God, you will find. Whatsoever you search for you will find, but it will not be truth and it will not liberate you. It will be your imagination.

Remember, this is one of the most important things in life, that if you start a search with a fixed idea, a fixed attitude, you are bound to find it – and then there is a vicious circle. When you find it you think, “Of course, it is because I have found it.” Then it enhances your belief even more, then you start finding it more, and so on and so forth . . . it becomes a vicious circle. The more you believe, the more you find it; the more you find it, the more you believe. And you go on pouring reality into a dream, and one can go on wasting lives together.

Search without any idea – that is Buddha’s message. Look, just clean your eyes and look. Don’t look for some-thing in particular, just look, a pure look into things, into the suchness of things. The eyes have to be clean and pure, otherwise they can project; even a small particle of dust and it will show on the screen of nothingness. Just a little liking, disliking, a little choice, and you will create reality.

Buddha’s approach is such an absolute experiment – simple once you understand, not complicated. But if you don’t understand, you can go on deluding yourself. […]

The Buddhist approach has been to look into reality without any idea so that reality can reveal itself. Allow reality to reveal itself; don’t enforce anything upon it. All other religions have been enforcing something or other – hence they go on missing. Their work becomes metaphysical; in fact, their work becomes a kind of autohypnosis. Buddhism de-hypnotizes man. Buddha’s work is de-hypnosis: how to drop all kinds of hypnosis, all kinds of suggestions given by the society, by the people. And when you are utterly silent, with no conditioning, truth becomes known. That truth liberates.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

Now the sutras:

One very precious word in Buddha’s approach towards life is samata. Samata means equanimity, equilibrium, balance, choicelessness. Don’t move to the extremes, avoid extremes.

Pain and pleasure are two extremes – don’t choose. Don’t avoid either and don’t cling to either. Just remain in the middle of it, watching, looking at it, unattached. Pain comes, let it come – you just be a watchful consciousness. You just be awareness. There is a headache, you just watch it. Don’t say no to it, don’t start fighting with it; don’t deny it, don’t avoid it. Don’t try to engage yourself somewhere else so you are distracted from it. Let it be there: you simply watch. And in watching it, a great revolution happens.

If you can watch it without like and dislike, suddenly it is there but you are out of it, you are no more in it. You are standing there unbridged to it. Choicelessness unbridges you from all kinds of moods, from all kinds of minds. That is samata.

Pleasure comes, let it come. Don’t cling to it. Don’t say, “I would like to have you for ever and ever.” If you cling to pleasure, then you will avoid pain. And don’t go to the other extreme: don’t start denying pleasure, don’t start escaping from pleasure, because that is the same. If you start escaping from pleasure, you will start clinging to pain. That’s what ascetics do.

The indulgent person clings to pleasure, avoids pain. And the ascetic person avoids pleasure and clings to pain. Both approaches are wrong; in both you lose balance. Buddhism is neither indulgence nor asceticism. It does not teach anything – it simply says watch!

And that’s what Jesus goes on repeating again and again: Watch! Be watchful! Keep alert, keep awake.

You try it! This is an experiment in psychology – nothing to do with God. And you will be surprised and immensely benefitted. The day you can see that you are neither pain nor pleasure is a great day, is the greatest day – because from then onwards things will be different.

If it rain, let it rain…
If there is pain, let it be so.
If it rain not, let it not rain

If there is no pain, let it be so. If there is pleasure, let it be so. But you don’t get identified with anything.

But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

But remember one thing: even if your life has been of convenience, comfort, pleasure, and there have not been great pains, great miseries, then too you must travel with wet sleeves. Why? Because still you will become old, still you will have to die one day. So one can live a very pleasant life, but old age is coming, and death is coming. Death cannot be avoided; there is no way to escape from it; it is inevitable. So whether you lived a painful life or you lived a pleasant life will not make much difference when death comes. And death is coming.

Death has come the day you were born. In the very idea of birth, death has entered in you.

I have heard a very beautiful anecdote about one of the most famous Zen masters, Bankei:

Bankei had a terrible fear of death from his earliest age. When he was a small child, his mother created the fear of death in him. He says that at the age of three, his mother, as a punishment, constantly frightened him with death. Not only that: sometimes, because Bankei had committed something which was not right, she pretended that she had become dead. She would lie down with closed eyes and stop her breath, and the small child would cry and weep around her and would call her, “Come back! And I will never do such a thing again.” Only then would she start breathing.

So from the very childhood the fear of death had entered into him. He was constantly afraid. Maybe that’s why when he was young he became interested in Zen – because Zen people say there is no death. He entered a monastery and way overdid the austerities. Whatsoever was said, he overdid it, out of the fear of death. He wanted to see that there is no death; he wanted to overcome death, he wanted to conquer it. He practiced zazen sitting for such long periods at a time that the places where he sat became covered with sores and boils. He became so ill, he nearly lost his life! Then he withdrew for a few months to recuperate.

It was during a feverish period of his convalescence that he had his first satori. And this consisted of an instantaneous realization that he could not die for the simple reason that he had never been born! The crux of the matter was that he had never been born.

Now, Bankei knew as well as you know and everybody knows that his body emerged from his mother’s womb, that his body had been born. Yet he realized that he had never been born.

With the idea of birth, the idea of death arises. They go together, aspects of the same coin. Unless you get rid of the idea of birth, you will not get rid of the idea of death.

That’s why Zen people insist: Go deep into your being and see your face that you had before birth. If you can have one small glimpse of that original face which you had before birth, then death has disappeared. Attached to birth you are going to die – don’t be attached to birth, then you need not be afraid of death. Watch birth and you will be able to watch death too.

And the greatest experience of life is to die watching death. But you have to prepare for it. If you cannot even watch a headache, if you cannot even watch a small pain in the stomach, if you cannot watch these small things, you will not be able to watch death.

Buddhism says: Watch! Let every moment of life become an experience in watchfulness – pain, pleasure, everything; love, hate, everything; good, bad, everything. Go on watching. Let one taste spread on your being: the taste of watchfulness, and samata arises out of it. One becomes utterly balanced in the middle of the polarities.

In that balancing . . . just like a tightrope walker walks balanced on the tightrope. He remains in the middle, does not lean to the left or to the right; or whenever he finds himself leaning to one side, he immediately balances himself. Between pain and pleasure, day and night, birth and death, go on balancing . . . and then that very balancing will give you an insight of the reality you are.

That reality has never been born. This body has been born; this body is going to die . . .

Another Zen master, Bokoju, was asked by a man . . . Bokoju was ill, old, just on the verge of death, and this stranger came and asked, “Master, where will you be when you are dead?”

And Bokoju opened his eyes and said, “I will be in the grave! All my four limbs raised towards the sky.”

A strange answer. And you will miss the point if I don’t remind you. When Bokoju is saying, “I will be lying in my grave with all my four limbs raised to the sky,” what is he actually saying? He is saying, “The body will be in the grave and I will be watching it lying in the grave with four limbs raised to the sky. I will still be watching, I will still be a watcher. I have always been a watcher. The body was born and I was watching. The body became young and I was watching. And the body became old and I was watching. And one day it will die and I will be watching. I am my watchfulness.”

This Buddha calls samasati – right awareness.

If it rain, let it rain;
If it rain not, let it not rain;
But even should it not rain,
You must travel
With wet sleeves.

So don’t be deceived by your comfortable, convenient life – because death is coming to disrupt all, to destroy all. Prepare yourself!

And the only preparation is balance.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

Life repeats itself mindlessly – unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That’s why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death – the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success. Just see!

If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern. One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don’t see the point why one should go on living. And tomorrow again that blissful moment will come. The cherry blossoms will come again, and there will be fragrance and the singing of birds, and the sunlit days . . . and again the cloudy days, and the dark nights of the soul. And it goes on and on, but you don’t see the pattern.

Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it. Once you see the pattern; that it goes on and on mindlessly, it does not need you . . . People ordinarily think that when they are angry, somebody has created the anger in them. That is utterly wrong! Even if you were alone and there was nobody, you would have been angry in that moment. That has something to do with your inner wheel, with your inner periodicity, inner rhythm – it has nothing to do with somebody outside.

The outside is just an excuse, because it is so ugly to think, “I am creating my anger myself.” The excuse feels good, it relieves you of a burden. Then someday, meeting a friend, you feel so happy and you think, “The coming of the friend has made me so happy” – that too is false. Even if you were sitting alone in that moment, you would have been happy.

That is one of the great realizations that comes to people who move into isolation for a few days. That’s a good meditation, to move into isolation for a few weeks and just to be alone for a few weeks. You will be surprised! Out of nowhere . . . one day you are feeling good – nobody is there and nobody has done anything to you. And one day you are feeling so bad. One day you are dancing, another day you are crying. And then you can see that you create your own states.

Once this is seen you stop throwing responsibilities on others and life becomes a different life. Otherwise, we are all throwing our responsibilities on others. We are making others feel guilty: “It is because of you that I am angry or sad.” And naturally the others have to accept it because they are doing the same thing themselves. And they have to accept it for another reason too, because sometimes they are praised because they make people happy too.

Once you know that you can’t make anybody happy, you have never made anybody happy, and nobody can make you happy and nobody can make you unhappy – once this insight has become settled in your heart, you will never be throwing responsibility on anybody. All struggle, futile struggle, disappears. Then you know that you have an inner wheel that goes on moving. Sometimes one spoke is on top, sometimes another spoke comes on top.

And it moves mindlessly, remember. So the only way to get out of it is mindfulness. It is a robot; it is a mechanical thing; it is an automaton. So all meditations are nothing but de-automatization. All the processes that have become automatic in you have to be de-automatized. Anything that de-automatizes helps immensely.

For example, you walk at a certain pace. Buddha told his disciples: Walk slowly; change the pace. Just walk very slowly. And suddenly you will be surprised: if you walk slowly, you become aware of your walking. In fact, you can walk slowly only if you remain aware. The moment you lose awareness, you will gather speed; then you will become again an automaton.

Buddha’s meditations are to make you aware about life’s activities. Eating, eat with full awareness; chew with awareness of what you are doing. Walking, each single step has to be taken with full awareness of what is happening, what you are doing. Not verbally! but there has to be a consciousness behind: “I am raising my left foot” – not that you have to repeat it, “I am raising my left foot.” That is stupid. There is no need to repeat it. But you can watch it: “I am chewing. I am standing under the shower. The water is cool. It is too hot and the body is perspiring.” Not that you have repeat these words: you have just to be watchful. Then slowly, slowly a new integration happens in you, a mindfulness arises. That mindfulness can take you out of the wheel – nothing else.

Look at the cherry blossoms!
Their colour and scent fall with them,
Are gone forever,
Yet mindless
The Spring comes again.

How many times has it happened to you? You had fallen in love with a woman or with a man, and then there was great frustration and great misery, and you suffered and there was anguish, and you thought you were finished for ever – never again! And after just a few days, again the spring comes, again you are feeling love blossoming in you, again you are falling into the same rut and routine. Again you are saying the same stupid things to another woman. Again you are whispering those sweet nothings, and you are hearing those sweet nothings. And again you are in a dream world, and you have completely forgotten the old experience.

And this will happen again and again! The spring goes on coming. Don’t think you are very much different from a cherry tree. You are angry – and this is so about all your moods – you are angry and you feel the fire of it and the poison of it and the destructiveness of it, and you suffer. And you decide, “No more again. It is ugly and it is foolish and it is a sheer wastage of energy. So why should I be in anger again?” And you decide, and you decide very strongly, “This is the last time. Now I am going to avoid.” And one day, mindlessly, it comes again. Just a small thing triggers it, and you are again on fire, again red, again doing destructive things. And later on you will remember. You will become mindful, but always later on. Then it is of no sense, no meaning. It is impotent.

Mindfulness means in the moment. Everybody is wise when the moment has passed, remember this. Really wise are those who are wise in the moment. When something is happening – you are sad – this is the moment to become so watchful that you are unbridged from sadness, that you are disconnected from sadness; that sadness is there, you are here, and there is no connection. You are no more identified. You are simply seeing it.

You are not sad, you are the seer. Then you are wise.

When sadness has gone, then you think, “It was not good to become sad. It was so trivial, so foolish; there was no meaning in it. Next time I am not going to become so sad. There is no point.” But you will become sad again because awareness can be practiced only in the moment. This repentance is not on the right track.

Everybody repents, and things go on happening the same way they have always been happening. There is such a vicious circle that sometimes you think you are doing the opposite and you are not really doing the opposite but the same thing.

An angry person can decide, “I will never be angry,” and can go on repressing anger. Then by repressing anger, one day he has so much anger that it is uncontrollable, it explodes. If he had not repressed, he may not have been so angry. Now he is more angry because he tried not to be angry.[…]

This happens. You can go on thinking that you are doing something else, something contrary. But if you are mindless, something else is going to happen.

Your life is not lived by you – it is lived by a very mindless process. You are not really living it: you are being lived by a mindless existence. You are born, you are young, you become old; you have emotions, ideas – and they all are happening in you just like the cherry blossoms. And you go on repeating the same, year in, year out; you go on moving in a wheel. To see it, to see it totally, to see it as it is, is Buddha’s way of becoming aware.

The vicious circle of birth and death has to be broken, but it can be broken only if you start looking into things which happen to you in a detached way, in a non-passionate way. What scientists call ‘a detached observation’ is really a Buddhist discovery.

Scientists have been trying this only for three hundred years – in their labs they simply watch, without any prejudice, without for or against. They simply note down the facticity of it. But this is an ancient Buddhist meditation: the same way one has to watch one’s own mind, one’s own mind’s functionings, structures, and slowly, slowly you start becoming aware of a wheel that goes on moving inside you. And you are not moving the wheel; it moves on its own. The spell can be broken only if in this mechanical process of life something of awareness penetrates.

De-automatize yourself.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Still Buddhism is not an ‘ism’, it is not a philosophy. It does not give you any idea of what reality is – because once the idea is given to you of what reality is like, you immediately jump upon it, you start clinging to it. And you will make reality like your idea, you will create it.

Buddhism simply takes all ideas away from you, it is negative. It does not give you any positive notion. It does not say what truth is: it only says what truth is not. It eliminates, it goes on eliminating. It is very severe. It does not allow you any nook and corner to cling to. It takes all, everything that you possess away from you. Only then one thing is left, which cannot be taken away – that is your awareness. Then uncontaminated awareness is left; you become a mirror. In that mirror the reality is reflected. So Ikkyu says:

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

So Buddhism as an ‘ism’ is as false as The sound that accompanies

The bamboos in the picture, or as false as The whiskers of the pebble. As an ‘ism’ Buddhism is false.

Then what is it? If it is not a philosophy, then what is it?

It is just an approach towards reality, an opening. It is not a belief system. It is utterly devoid of beliefs; it negates beliefs. It is not a positive philosophy. And that is the beauty of it – because all positive philosophies are nothing but creations of the mind.

And people are very much interested in positive philosophies. They appeal – because they enhance your mind, they nourish your mind. They give you great ideas how to live your life, how to achieve more, how to become more, how to be enlightened, and all that.

Buddhism simply says: Just drop your ideas and you are enlightened. Just drop your mind and you are divine.

But Buddha was very, very careful even about saying that, because people are hankering so much to cling to something. He was very careful about making even a single statement positively. If you ask him, “What will happen when all has disappeared and one has become a mirror?” he says, “There will be no pain”; but he never says, “There will be bliss.” Never for a single moment, for a single time does he become positive.

People used to insist to him, because they had heard it down the ages that when the ultimate happens you will be blissful. And Buddha says, “You will not be miserable” – that’s all. “Why don’t you say,” they would ask him, “that we will be happy and blissful?” And he would say, “If I say that you will be happy, then it is never going to happen – then you will search for happiness! And you will fall into new dreams and new imaginations, heaven and paradise and so on and so forth. And you will create your own ideas of what happiness is. And all that you know is misery. So I say only: There will be no misery – and let me keep absolutely quiet about what there will be. You just drop misery and see what is.”

It didn’t appeal to ordinary, mediocre minds. The mediocre mind wants something to possess; he wants some keys which can open new doors to new treasures. Buddha simply takes all the keys out of your hands. He leaves you utterly alone . . . but in that utter aloneness, something immense happens, something infinite happens, something unimaginable happens, something inexpressible happens. And the first condition for it to happen is that you should not think about it, that no idea should be given to you about it – otherwise it will never happen because the idea will prevent it.

Buddhism is the shaved part of the saucepan,
The whiskers of the pebble,
The sound that accompanies
The bamboos in the picture.

Then what is Buddhism? Just a gesture, just a painted picture. There is no sound in it, no wind is blowing. Just Indian ink is there and nothing else – no sound, no wind. You just imagine sound and wind, you imagine movement – nothing is moving there. So people have created Buddhism out of their own imagination.

The religion that exists in the name of Buddhism is just a painted religion. Buddha never delivered this thing to the world. It is a creation of the people; because people cannot live with nothingness they created something.

What I say to you, you may not hear it, it may be too much for you. You may hear something which I have not said at all, because that you can manage. You may hear a few fragments. You may delete something, you may add something; you may create something out of what I am saying; you may create something out of it which is absolutely yours.

That’s how Buddhism has happened. That’s how Christianity has happened. That’s how all the religions have happened. The original expression has been lost in interpretations. What exists in the name of Buddhism is not what Buddha had said. What Buddha had said caul be experienced only if you become a Buddha – there is no other way.

What I am saying to you can be experienced only in the same state of mind, in the same state of awareness. It is impossible to convey it. Once it leaves one state of consciousness and enters into another kind of state, it is transformed, it is translated, it becomes polluted, it is never the same again.

If you can also become silent, quiet, unprejudiced, with no opinion in your mind, then things can happen. But people carry opinions in their minds – such opinions! amazing opinions!

Just the other day I was reading an article by Ashoka. Now he feels doubtful about my enlightenment because sometimes I look at the clock. “How can an enlightened person look at a clock? Can’t he know what time it is? And if he can’t even know what time it is, what else can he know?” And this type of thing continues. It is not only in Ashoka’s mind – in many people’s minds, because minds are minds.

But you have not looked at it without prejudice. You have some idea of how an enlightened person should be. You have some idea – in that idea it is implied that he will know without looking at the clock what time it is. The reality is just the contrary.

You may be able to know what time it is without looking at the clock, but an enlightened person cannot – because for him time has disappeared. For him there is no more time! For him there is only eternal now. Nothing moves. All has stopped. His clock has stopped! Now there exists no calendar in him anymore. He has to look to know what time it is. You can feel the time because your clock, inside clock, is working; you can have a certain inference about what time it must be. And within minutes you will be right; at the most, within ten minutes you will be right. Your mind can calculate. You know what time is; you know how much it feels when one hour passes by.

But to the enlightened consciousness, nothing passes. All simply is . . . and always is. There is no way to infer what time it is. Hence, I have to look at the clock again and again.

Sometimes Vivek becomes very much puzzled, because just five minutes before I had looked at the clock and I look again. And she says, “Just five minutes before you had looked, and you are looking again.” And I can understand her puzzlement: anybody can infer, any child can infer, that only five minutes have passed. But nothing is passing for me. Even for the day I have to inquire what day today is, what date today is.

But you have your mind, your idea, and naturally you can look only from your mind and from your idea. You will go on missing that way. You have to drop your prejudices; you have to drop all ideas. Why bother how an enlightened person should be when an enlightened person is with you? Why not look directly? Rather than having an idea, why not look directly?

You have a certain idea how a rose should be. Maybe you have never seen a black rose, and you think that a rose has to be only red. And there is a black rose, and you will say, “This is not a rose because a rose has to be red, has to be rosy. This is not a rose! It is not rosy – it is black. How can it be a rose?”

Drop the idea. Come close. Smell the flower. Sit silently with the flower. Let its fragrance give you the message. Let it have a communion with you! and you will know. And that will be far better, far truer. Otherwise, this goes on happening.

Buddha was there, and what he was saying people were not listening to – they were listening to something else. They were translating. Please, don’t translate me; otherwise, sooner or later I will be just The whiskers of the pebble, the sound that accompanies the bamboos in the picture.

Don’t create a picture! While the reality is here, why can’t you have a contact with the reality? Why can’t you bridge yourself? What is preventing you? A priori prejudices, opinions that you have gathered.

A Christian comes, and he looks at me and he wants to find Christ in me. And if he can’t find Christ he says, “This man can’t be enlightened!” A Buddhist comes, he looks for Buddha in me. A Jain comes, he looks for Mahavir in me. And if he can’t find . . . and he cannot find, because I am myself.

This rose flower is black, that rose flower is yellow, another rose flower is red – there are thousands of rose flowers. Don’t be too much concerned with the color, with the shape, with the form. But the roseness is the same, that flowering is the same.

There were people in Buddha’s time who followed Jain philosophy. They would look at him, and because he was not naked they would think he was not yet enlightened – because Jains have the idea that when a person becomes enlightened he drops all clothes. It is a beautiful idea, but clothes don’t mean clothes literally. He drops all clothes, he becomes nude, utterly nude, but not literally. But who is going to prevent people from being literal? And Buddha was not nude, so he was not an enlightened person.

Buddha was one kind of rose flower. Jesus was another kind. Bodhidharma, Buddha’s disciple, was a third kind. Buddha was silent and Bodhidharma was laughing. But I say to you: the taste of Bodhidharma’s laughter was the same as Buddha’s silence. But if you have seen Buddha sitting silently under his Bodhi Tree, you will not believe in Bodhidharma because he will be rolling on the floor. Such mad laughter! And you will say, “What is happening? This man must be mad – how can he be enlightened? An enlightened person always sits under a Bodhi Tree and never looks at a clock!”

Your ideas continuously interfere. You can miss this opportunity. It all depends on you. You can use this opportunity. You can be transformed by this opportunity . . .

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

Buddha has said that mind is a magician. All that it creates is magic work. You must have seen our sannyasin magician, Avinash. He can produce things out of empty boxes . . .  Mind is a conjurer. Once you have a certain idea in the mind, it becomes a seed and the seed starts growing, and soon it will become a reality for you. […]

Buddha says mind is a conjurer; it creates illnesses, it can create cures. Mind creates all kinds of illusions – beauty and ugliness, success and failure, richness and poverty . . . mind goes on creating. And once the idea settles in you, your whole life energy functions to create it, to make it a reality. Every thought becomes a thing, and every thing in the beginning was only a thought and nothing else. You live in a kind of hypnosis.

Buddha says this hypnosis has to be broken, and no other religion has tried so hard to break this hypnosis. Man has to be de-hypnotized. Man has to be made aware that all is mind: pain and pleasure both, birth and death both. All is mind.

And once this has been seen absolutely, the conjurer disappears . . . and then what is left is truth. And that truth liberates.

The puppet-player hangs them
Round his neck, not his heart;
He can take out a devil,
He can take out a buddha.

A tremendously important statement. You can become a Devil, you can become a Buddha – it is all mind game. You can become a sinner, you can become a saint; you can become a criminal, an Adolf Hitler, or you can become a great mahatma – and it is all mind game. In both the ways it is mind playing.

Then who is a real Buddha? If the Devil is a mind thing and the Buddha is a mind thing, then who is a real Buddha? The real Buddha is one who is no more the mind, who has come to see all the games of the mind and has retired from all the games of the mind. That is renunciation, that is sannyas: retiring from all games of the mind, playing no more new games.

Zen people say Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment – and they are right. And obviously wrong too, because Buddha was born, he lived for eighty-two years, he is a historical person, he is not a myth only. He has left immense marks on the sense of time. He was born, he became enlightened, and he uttered millions of words. For forty-two years continuously he was teaching. These are obvious facts.

When Zen people say: Buddha was never born, never lived, never uttered a word, never died, never attained enlightenment, they are not denying these historical facts. Remember it. They are uttering something of more value. They are saying: Yes, he said many things but he never uttered a word – his real reality remained silent. Yes, he was born to a certain mother, to a certain father, in a certain place, but that birth was only a mind phenomenon, a dream that he lived through. But in his reality he was never born.

And, in reality, you are not born either. And in reality he never died, because how can you die if you are not born? Who can die? Who is there to die? And, of course, when you are not born and you cannot die, how can you become enlightened? Who is there to become enlightened? There is no one; there is nobody to become a Buddha.

This is Buddhahood, this is enlightenment: seeing the fact that there is nobody, that the house is utterly empty, that there has lived nobody ever, that we were only playing games of the mind, that we were creating shadows, that we were fast asleep and dreaming things . . . then all disappears.

When in the morning you wake up, it is not only that the bad dreams were wrong or false – the good dreams were also false. Whether you dream in the night that you were a thief or you dreamt that you were a yogi doesn’t matter in the morning – both are false. Whether you dreamt that you were Adolf Hitler or you dreamt that you were a Gautam Buddha doesn’t matter in the morning – when you are awake, all is finished. Gone is Adolf Hitler, gone is Gautam Buddha – all is gone. And what is left has always been there as the substratum. That eternal, that formless, that attributeless, that nirguna, that conditionless, is your reality. On that conditionless all kinds of conditions have been imposed; on that unconditional a thousand and one conditions have been put together. Those conditionings together are called the mind. And the only way to get out of the mind is to see the mind, to be aware of it.

Slowly, slowly, the more you become aware of the dream, the dream starts dissipating, the dream starts receding back. When awareness is perfect, dream has disappeared. Then you are neither a Buddha nor a man nor a woman, neither this nor that. Who are you then? – nothing can be said about it. Only one thing can be said about it: A glimpse of the real man, and you are in love, and you are love.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Discourse #7

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.

In the Fire of Dancing Stillness

A review of In the Fire of Dancing Stillness – Reflections with Vimala Thakar

A film by Renata Keller

Renata Keller introduces the life and teachings of Vimala Thakar in an extraordinarily accessible way, so very much in tune with Vimala herself.  The opening scene sets the stage for the intertwining of the elements and nature as both background and enhancement.  Waves form, play, and disappear. The boatman intently watches as he punts his craft along the shore, and soaring over this peaceful scene is the crystal-clear voice of Vimala.

Renata uses a delicate touch to tell Vimala’s story, guided by profound gratitude, for Vimala recognized her longing for wholeness, and by so doing changed her life.  This tribute, made some twenty years after this meeting, interweaves interviews with Vimala’s colleagues and friends; an exploration of places she worked and taught; and powerful excerpts from those teachings. Interspersing these scenes is the slow evolution of a chalk image into the goddess Durga.

Vimala is described as a philosopher, spiritual revolutionary, and social activist.  She engaged in land distribution, persuading rich landowners to donate part of their land to landless laborers so all could live in dignity.  She reached out to, and taught, girls and women, encouraging their independence and development of self-respect.  She explains her work as taking care of suffering at all levels.

Vimala’s capacity for love and light extends far beyond her social activism.  J. Krishnamurti invited her to visit him for some healing sessions after a car accident severely damaged one of her ears.  These meetings engendered an upheaval in her consciousness.  Vimalaji wrote, “Something within has been let loose. It can’t stand any frontiers. The invasion of a new awareness irresistible and uncontrollable has swept everything away. The freshness and awareness keep one ever alert, ever keen and ever insecure. Though the journey has come to an end, I have not arrived.  Perhaps there is nowhere to arrive.  Perhaps there is no static destination.  It seems to me that life is its own purpose. Life is its own direction.  Life is dynamic, and those who live are on an eternal voyage.”  Krishnamurti strongly encouraged Vimala to start giving talks from her understanding.

This movie exudes the vast love and concern Vimala felt for the whole of humanity, the global family we are becoming as so much of our way of living is changing.  Vimalaji has tremendous hope in the new generation, in all of us, that though we live in turbulent times, such challenges create the possibility to “emanate out of our being a new human culture” based on truth, love and compassion.

Vimalaji explains how we have become separate from the sacred in life due to the way we live apart from nature, apart from each other, interacting with the manmade. Vimala points out how so much of what is considered human can now be done by artificial intelligence; it has become memory, thought, and even feeling.  She asks, is there something that is untransferable, something that artificial intelligence cannot do?  And this is the search.  What is it that cannot be transferred to a machine?  Let us find out! And this dovetails into another frequent theme.  How can we relate to life without the interference of the mind? Can we learn to look at life in a fresh way born of silence, from emptiness, in touch with the sacred?  Vimala encourages us all to experiment, dive within, disinfect ourselves of knowledge, and find out.

And the threads of this tapestry – scenes of flowing rivers and still lakes, a bird aloft in the vast sky, the beauty of trees, of humanity – the interrelatedness of it all woven together with exquisite music, and the patient creation of the goddess Durga from chalk; and shortly after completion, the destruction.

-Amido

In the sanctuary of silence
Beauty comes to life.
On the altar of silent beauty
Humility plays with life.
In the light of dancing humility
Innocence opens itself.
Freedom is the blossom
Love is the perfume
Compassion its graceful way of walking.

-Vimala Thakar

Download or watch the video: In the Fire of Dancing Stillness.

Here is a link to explore more from Vimala Thakar.

All Moons in the One Moon

I cannot understand the philosophy of Zen. What should I do to understand it?

Baula, Zen is not a philosophy at all. To approach Zen as if it were a philosophy is to start in a wrong way from the very beginning. A philosophy is something of the mind; Zen is totally beyond the mind. Zen is the process of going above the mind, far away from the mind; it is the process of transcendence, of surpassing the mind. You cannot understand it by the mind; mind has no function in it.

Zen is a state of no-mind; that has to be remembered. It is not Vedanta. Vedanta is a philosophy; you can understand it perfectly well. Zen is not even Buddhism; Buddhism is also a philosophy.

Zen is a very rare flowering – it is one of the strangest things that has happened in the history of consciousness – it is the meeting of Buddha’s experience and Lao Tzu’s experience. Buddha, after all, was part of the Indian heritage: he spoke the language of philosophy; he is perfectly clear, you can understand him. In fact, he avoided all metaphysical questions; he was very simple, clear, logical. But his experience was not of the mind. He was trying to destroy your philosophy by providing you with a negative philosophy. Just as you can take out a thorn from your foot with another thorn, Buddha’s effort was to take out the philosophy from your mind with another philosophy. Once the first thorn has been taken out both thorns can be thrown away and you will be beyond mind.

But when Buddha’s teachings reached China a tremendously beautiful thing happened: a crossbreeding happened. In China, Lao Tzu has given his experience of Tao in a totally non-philosophical way, in a very absurd way, in a very illogical way. But when the Buddhist meditators, Buddhist mystics, met the Taoist mystics they immediately could understand each other heart to heart, not mind to mind. They could feel the same vibe they could see that the same inner world had opened they could smell the same fragrance. And they came closer, and by their coming closer, by their meetings and mergings with each other, something new started growing up; that is Zen. It has both the beauty of Buddha and the beauty of Lao Tzu; it is the child of both. Such a meeting has never happened before or since.

Zen is neither Taoist nor Buddhist; it is both and neither. Hence the traditional Buddhists reject Zen and the traditional Taoists also reject Zen. For the traditional Buddhist it is absurd, for the traditional Taoist it is too philosophical, but to those who are really interested in meditation, Zen is an experience. It is neither absurd nor philosophical because both are terms of the mind; it is something transcendental.

The word “zen” comes from dhyan. Buddha used a certain language, a local language of his times, Pali. In Pali dhyan is pronounced “jhan”; it is from jhan that “zen” has arisen. The word comes from jhan; jhan comes from the Sanskrit dhyan.

To understand Zen you need not make a philosophical effort; you have to go deep into meditation. And what is meditation all about? Meditation is a jump from the mind into no-mind, from thoughts to no-thought. Mind means thinking, no-mind means pure awareness. One simply is aware. Only then, Baula, will you be able to understand Zen – through experience, not through any intellectual effort.

Yoka says:

There is one nature, perfect and penetrative, present in all natures, one reality which includes all, comprising all realities in itself. The one moon is reflected wherever there is water. And all moons in water are comprised in the one moon.

The moment you move beyond the mind, suddenly you have moved from the many to the one. Minds are many, consciousness is one. On the circumference we are different, at the center we are one. That one can be called Brahma, can be called God, the absolute, the truth, nirvana.

Zen calls it no-mind for a particular reason. If you call it God, then people start thinking in terms of a person, they start imagining a person – of course the supreme most person, but their idea of personality is derived from human personality; it is a projection, it is not truth.

The Bible says God created man in his own image; that is not true. Man has created God in his own image; that is far more true. The God that we have created is our idea, it is anthropocentric. If horses were philosophers, then God could not be a man, then God would be a supreme horse.

If donkeys were philosophers – and who knows? – they may be; they look very serious, always brooding, as if in deep contemplation, thinking of great things . . .  Watch a donkey and you will be certainly aware of this simple fact that donkeys are great thinkers. They are constantly somewhere else far away, involved in great esoteric things; that’s why people think they are fools. They are not fools; they are philosophers. If donkeys think, if they are theologians, theosophists, philosophers, then God will be a supreme donkey. God cannot be a man, that’s impossible. They cannot imagine God to be a man.

Hence Zen avoids any anthropocentric terminologies, any words that can become associated with our circumference. It does not call God Brahma because that is a philosophical term; maybe the best philosophical term, but even the best philosophical term is still philosophy, and philosophy is something of the mind – you can think about Brahma.

In India we have been thinking about Brahma for centuries and there are as many interpretations of Brahma as there have been philosophers. Shankara interprets it in one way, Nimbarka in another, Ramanuja still in a different way, and so on and so forth. Not even two philosophers agree and the dispute still continues. Philosophers go on quarreling. They never come to any conclusions, they cannot, because mind has no capacity to conclude about the One.

Even Shankara, the greatest non-dualist, remains a dualist deep down. He talks about Brahma, the One, but to talk about the One he has to bring in maya, illusion; then One becomes two. If you want to talk about the real you will have to talk about the unreal; that is a necessity, an absolute necessity. Without talking about the unreal you cannot talk about the real; without the unreal the real loses all meaning. Human languages are dualistic, hence Shankara got into trouble, great trouble. He tried to sort it out but he could not, and for one thousand years many philosophers who have followed Shankara have tried to find a way out, but they have not been able to. Even if you say that maya means illusion, maya means that which does not exist, you have to talk about it. To define Brahma, you have to use illusion as a support, otherwise who will define it? How will you define it? The One remains indefinable; the One needs something else to define it. So, although the philosophy of Shankara is thought to be non-dualist, it is not. No philosophy can be non-dualist.

Zen is neither dualist nor non-dualist; it is not a philosophy at all. It simply says, “Move from the mind into the no-mind and see.” It believes in seeing.

Yoka says:

The spirit operates naturally through the organs of sense. Thus, the objective world is perceived. This dualism mists the mirror. But when the haze is removed, the light shines forth. Thus, when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all words are gone, your mirror has no more dust on it, no more mist on it. When you look at things you collect impressions; that is the dust – that’s what you call thinking. When you see a rose flower, the rose flower is outside you but it makes a reflection inside you. The rose flower will fade away by the evening, the petals will fall and disappear, but the inner rose flower, the rose that has become imprinted in your memory will continue. It will remain forever with you, you can always remember it. And if you are a sensitive, aesthetic, artistic person you can visualize it again and again; you can imagine it as if it is true. In fact, if you try you will be surprised: you can even experience the fragrance of the rose again. If you create the whole situation in your imagination: the garden, the green grass, the dew on the grass, and you are walking with naked feet on the grass . . . and the sweet smell of the earth and the cool air and the birds singing; you just create the whole atmosphere… and then suddenly you discover a beautiful rose flower hidden behind a bush . . . and the fragrance! And then suddenly you will see: the fragrance has come back to you; the imprint is there. The outer rose is gone, but the inner rose is alive.

Now scientists, particularly brain experts, have discovered that if certain spots in the brain are touched by electrodes, certain memories become immediately active. Those memories are Lying there deep frozen; touched by the electrode they start becoming alive. A very strange experience. If your brain is touched by an electrode at the point where the rose memory is lying deep, suddenly you will forget the present; you will be again in the same garden. Maybe twenty years have passed, but it will be again as real as if you were in the garden again: the same smell, the same wind, the same coolness, the same flower. And if the electrode is taken out, the memory disappears. Put the electrode back again in the same spot and again the memory starts revealing itself.

And one thing more has been discovered: you can do it thousands of times. Again and again the same memory comes, and again and again the memory repeats itself from the very beginning. The moment you remove the electrode it seems that there is an automatic rewinding; the memory coils back into the same original state. Touch it again with the electrode and as the electricity starts flowing the memory begins from the beginning: you are entering the garden again . . . and the same sequence of events. And this can be done thousands of times. In fact, scientists say there is no limit to it; it can be done millions of times.

The outer reality goes on changing, but the mind goes on collecting dust. Your consciousness is a mirror, and you are carrying so much dust from this life and from other lives – such a thick layer of dust! That’s why you cannot understand Zen: because you cannot understand yourself, because you cannot understand life, because you cannot understand existence. Zen is not philosophy; it is existential, not philosophical.

 . . . When the haze is removed, says Yoka, the light shines forth. Thus when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied suchness affirms truth.

When all is emptied – you have forgotten all the memories, you have forgotten even your individual existence, your separate existence; you are no more an island, you have melted into the whole; you are not like an ice cube floating in the water, you have become water itself – this is what Zen is. Then suddenly truth is revealed.

Vision is clear, says Yoka.

These four lines are of tremendous importance.

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

This is the ultimate declaration of Zen. This is the lion’s roar!

Vision is clear.

This is a strange phenomenon. When there are objects to see, your vision is not clear because those objects are making impressions on you. Your vision cannot be clear; it is full of mist. When vision is clear, there are no objects at all, just clarity, just pure consciousness with no content, just seeing and nothing to see, just watchfulness and nothing to watch. A pure observer, a pure witness and nothing to witness.

There is no person.

And when there is nothing to witness, nothing to see, you cannot exist as a separate entity. The “In can exist only with the “thou”; if the “thou” disappears, the “I” disappears. They are part of each other, they are always together like two sides of a coin; you cannot say ”one.” This is what many stupid religious people go on doing: they go on saying to God, “I am not. Thou art.” That is sheer stupidity. In the very saying you are, otherwise who is saying “Thou art”?

There is a famous poem of Jalaluddin Rumi; I agree with him up to a point and then my disagreement starts. On the really essential point I cannot agree with him. My feeling is he must have written that poem before he became enlightened. He was an enlightened man, but the poem is decisive – it must have been written before he became enlightened. The poem is beautiful, because sometimes poets say things almost like seers, but remember they are almost like seers. There is bound to be some flaw, it can’t be flawless. You may not be able to find the flaw.

Listen to the story of the poem.

Jalaluddin says:

A lover comes to his beloved’s home, knocks on the door.

The beloved asks, “Who is there?”

And the lover says, “I am – your lover.”

The beloved says, “The house of love is so small, it cannot contain two, so please go back. When you are no more, then come again. The house of love cannot contain two, it can only contain one.”

So far so good!

The lover goes to the forest, he becomes an ascetic. He meditates, he prays to God. His prayer is only one: “Dissolve me!” Many moons come and go, months pass, years pass, and one day he comes back. He knocks again on the door, and the beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?”

And he says, “Now I am no more, only you are.”

And Rumi says:

The doors open and the lover is received in the home of love.

There I don’t agree – it is too early! Then who is the person who is saying “I am no more”? Even to say that “I am no more,” you are needed. It is as foolish as if you went and knocked at somebody’s house and he leaned out of the window and said, “I am not at home.” That is self-contradictory; you cannot say that. To say it is to prove that you are.

Jalaluddin must have written this poem before he became enlightened. He should have corrected it. But these enlightened people are crazy people. He may have forgotten all about the poem, but it needs correction. I can do the correction. I would like to say that the beloved says, “Go back again because you are still there. First you were positively there, now you are negatively there, but it makes no difference.”

The lover goes back. Now there is no point in praying because prayer has not helped. In fact, prayer cannot help: in prayer the duality persists. You are praying to somebody; God becomes your “thou.” God cannot help. Now he becomes a Zen monk – not a devotee but a real meditator. He simply goes deep within himself, searching and seeking. “Where is this ‘I’?” He tries to find out where it is. And anybody who goes in is bound not to find it because it is not there; it is non-existential; it is only a belief. So he searches and searches and finds it nowhere.

So he comes back, knocks on the door. The beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?” And there is no answer because there is nobody to answer. Just silence. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence deepens. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence is absolute. She opens the door. Now the lover has come, but he is no more; there is nobody to answer. He has to be taken inside the home, taken by the hand. He is completely, utterly empty.

This is what Zen people call “emptied suchness.”

Vision is clear. But there are no objects to see. There is no person. There is no buddha.

Everything has disappeared. Zen has achieved the ultimate peak of enlightenment; hence it can say that there is no enlightenment either because if the enlightened person goes on thinking, “I am enlightened,” he is not enlightened. If he claims enlightenment then he is not enlightened, because every claim is an ego claim. Enlightenment is not a claim, it is a silent presence.

Baula, don’t try to understand Zen. Go within yourself to find out who you are, where you are. You will not find anybody there, just pure emptiness. And then vision is clear. No person, no Buddha. All is silent, utterly silent. There is nothing to say. In that silence one becomes truth. Not only that one knows truth, one becomes truth. That is the only way to know it.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Discourse #16

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.

Being a Light Unto Myself – Dayanand Bharati

A lot of water has flowed down the Ganga since that article about the addiction. I had transcended alcohol addiction and sobriety then. It is not quite correct that “I” had transcended them. Transcendence happened after “I” had failed absolutely, completely. Only through the power of awareness and watching, both had disappeared in a blaze of grace never to be seen or heard of again.

The first true transformation had happened in my life. It was real. It was a miracle. I was in awe, and the mind still cannot comprehend it, even now, because he was left out of the loop. I mean something that was such a strong destructive habit for almost half my life, suddenly just gone, evaporated like it never existed from one moment to the next. This was a key experience; I knew this key could be used to transcend the mind itself, and not just part of it.

Many changes happened right after this transformation. I was filled with love and gratitude. All doubt about myself was erased from my mind forever. I knew that truth existed. It was clear confirmation that transcendence is possible − I had experienced it − even on just this small scale of the personal mind, the impact was mind blowing, literally. I had been on the right path, I was not in some kind of spiritual illusion about myself, because even in all that time I had been with my master, I never had an experience that confirmed that I was on the right path, never proof, except his acceptance of me and my love and trust for him. Of course many other things happened on the emotional and mental plane but never this final proof, this dropping into another dimension, this falling out of polarity. But now this was it, the first real transformation made it all real. I was free now of all unconscious layers, free of the hidden influences that had directed this life so far.

I was conscious of myself as part of existence and no longer part of society. I was free of all the games society plays. I had nothing to do with it anymore; there was nothing I wanted from the outer world. Therefore, anxiety dropped away immediately, replaced by a natural trust in existence.

I was loved, accepted and embraced by life, I was ultimately worthy to be alive. I looked at myself now, not anymore at others. I had asked my whole life, the other, the woman, the mother image to confirm me, give me worth and value, love me, or the lover, to satisfy me, give me bliss and fulfillment. But I was asking a mirror image, there was nobody in this reflection, only my own projections, nobody really there, only the reflection echoing back, asking the same from me. As if when I look in my bathroom mirror and ask, “Do you love me?” What will happen?  Will the reflection say, “Yes!” No, the reflection will say, “Do you love me?” There was no other!

To me, this is best described by a small anecdote my beloved master Osho told once. I don’t recall in which discourse so I write it as I remember it. My master had a friend who had a butcher shop in his village. (It must be a made up story. No Jain, even an enlightened one, ever walks into a butcher shop.) Anyway, he liked the man and he dropped in occasionally to say hello. One day just before closing time, my master stopped by and asked how his day was. The butcher said he had had a great day today, “I sold all my meat except for this chicken here.”

That very moment, the shop door burst open and a customer rushed in, “Ahh, glad I made it. I have some friends over for dinner today and need a chicken.” The Butcher winked at my master and put the chicken on the scale, “$5.00 please,” he said. “Hmmm,” said the customer, “Do you have a bigger one?” Without hesitation the butcher walked back in his storeroom with the chicken, made some noise and came back with the same chicken. He slapped it on the scale and said, “This one will be $7.” “Tell you what,” said the customer, “I will take them both.”

Now, there is only one chicken. My master said there is always only one chicken. Asking for both will reveal the truth! That there is not two! Being alert, watching, looking, inquiring is asking for both.

Love this story!

The Steps that Led to Transcendence

I want to elaborate on the steps that led to this transcendence because this is a key that can be applied to transcend any duality. And, it can be used by anyone.

Before the transformation from getting drunk and trying to control it, I had always believed I was going in a straight line, from this point to that, from unhappiness to happiness, from addiction to sobriety, from dependence to independence. And to get there I just had to try hard enough, give it my all and one bright sunny day . . . it will happen. I will arrive at my final destination. I will be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. And when it didn’t happen, as I had hoped, the reverse attitude kicked in, no matter how hard I try, I will never make it. I will be never be free, sober, happy, loved, enlightened. But in the struggle to be free of the drunkard, I became aware that I was not going in a straight line at all. I became aware of the circle, going from negative to positive and back again to negative, from addict to anti-addict back to addict . . . from unhappiness to happiness back to unhappiness, round and round . . .

If I follow a straight road and keep going and going, I will eventually drive around the planet and arrive exactly where I am now. The same with the mind. Previously, I had never been aware of this fact, because the opposite was always hidden in the unconscious, half of the globe hidden in the dark night.

The invisible road appears non-existent, that is why it looks like it is a straight line. A half circle looks like a straight line going from dawn to dusk, from here to there. The other half is dark, unconscious, hidden, but somehow, through watching my mind and by trying, digging myself out of myself hopelessly, I had brought eventually light to that dark hidden part. I suddenly saw the whole mind. I stood apart. I saw the full circle not just a half. I became aware that they are one whole, one dynamic and not two separate things.

It changed everything!

If you make a circle, the end and beginning meet – only then is the circle complete. If you become a circle, whole, total, in you will meet the beginning and the end. You will be the very source of the world and you will be the very climax of the world. You will be both the alpha and the omega. And unless you become that, something is incomplete; and when something is incomplete you will remain miserable. The only misery that I know is being incomplete. The whole being tends to be complete, needs to be complete, and the incomplete becomes a torture. The incompletion is the only problem. And when you become complete, the end and the beginning meet in you. God as the source and God as the ultimate flowering meet in you.

-Osho, The Hidden Harmony, Discourse #4.

It is not that the mind saw that, he cannot, he is not able to look around the full circle, around the whole globe. The mind, just like the eyes, can always only see half, the front or the back, the up or the down. The eyes can never see front and back, up and down, at the same time. That is the limitation of the mind and body.

Only awareness can see all, no, not see, be all, rooted at the center with full awareness of all that is. Being aware of that, I could not be in illusion anymore that one day I will be fulfilled, that this mind would one day arrive at the destination of one side only, and stay there. There was no destination. A circle has no end, no arrival point, it just goes round and round, on and on, like the horses on a merry-go-round.

Understanding this clearly, the turning in happened, the “letting go” happened, the transformation happened. Addict and anti-addict evaporated into awareness, into the heart of being, because reaching anywhere was not possible. Choice was not possible. Choice was an illusion.

I would never reach one side because there is no one side. There are always two sides, like breathing in and breathing out. There cannot be only breathing in, or only breathing out. But the mind believes that this is possible, that is the illusion.

I would never attain fulfillment of any of my desires because they are all based in duality. There was no love waiting for me at the end of the tunnel, or security, or happiness. There were always both waiting for me. Love and hate, happiness and unhappiness, life and death. If I am in love unaware, hate is waiting in the basement for its turn, because love is based on hate and vice versa. They are each other’s contrast. How would I know what love is if I did not know hate, its opposite?

Seeing this, understanding this, choice was now irrelevant. I would always end up at the opposite again sooner or later. The illusion that I was going somewhere, that I was growing, winning, that one day I would arrive at my goal, was only an illusion, and that I will be condemned forever, lost in eternal despair was also only one side of the coin. It is like a chess player suddenly becomes aware that he is actually playing against himself, his own mirror image.

I became aware that I was 100% addicted to alcohol. I wanted to get drunk, escape, forget, period. And I was aware that I wanted 100% to get rid of the addiction, be free of it, period. And both identifications where mine. I was the only player in this game. I was aware of the player opposite as myself. I was my own enemy, my own competitor. I competed against myself, tried to win against myself.

But now the light was on. I saw who I was playing against, and I knew the next move I would make because the opponent was me, myself, my own mind. I played from now on with an open deck of cards, like playing poker with all the cards face up. You know exactly the next card coming up. The game is meaningless. There is no game anymore because the game consists in not knowing what card will be next; will it be a winner or a loser? That day, the game of playing and winning against the world collapsed because it was all me, my projection. I was the world and I was the individual because I projected me onto the world. The world was me, my projection.

The mind got it too! Once a fact is known, it cannot be reversed. Once a child knows by experience that fire burns, it will know it for life and not touch fire again. Once the mind knows 100% it is not possible to get fulfillment outside, it will cooperate and stop reaching out.

The mind itself inside of me did not collapse yet, only the mind going out, playing with the world, getting, desiring, escaping. Resisting the outside was now meaningless. I did not project the images in my mind onto the outside anymore, but the images themselves where still intact.

The conditioned mind fell onto itself. I was the center now and the world was the periphery. Before, I had no center. I was kicked around like a ping-pong ball on the periphery. I became a light onto myself; I could see where I was going.

Now I had a center. I was “in” but the center was again divided in itself, inside, into its own duality.

. . . .if you are wise, intelligent, and you know how to contain the opposites together in a deep friendly embrace, then thesis opposed by antithesis will create a new phenomenon in your being: synthesis. On a higher plane you will arise. In a deeper way you will be united. And then again, the synthesis functions as a thesis, creates its antithesis, and again, on a higher plane, synthesis. It goes on and on, waves upon waves, higher and higher. There are planes upon planes, and one can go on reaching. The ultimate plane is the total synthesis of your life. All conflict disappears – is not dropped, but disappears of its own accord.

 -Osho, The Secret of Secrets, Discourse #29. 

For me, the addiction to alcohol was the catalyst that pushed me into awareness, but it can be anything that the mind is addicted to. The mind is basically in its essence addiction.

What I am pointing to in this writing is that any duality can be transcended with deep inquiry and awareness.

The conditioned mind, acquired in this life, had been erased. But the ancient mind, the totality of the mind with its roots in the beginning of time, had not yet. But it opened the door to “The final ultimate synthesis.”

In deep gratitude to my beloved master Osho.

-Dayanand Bharati

See a related post How I Came to One-Mind.

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