Make Your Mind as Sharp as Possible – Osho

Since I have been a sannyasin, I have thought that I needed to use my mind less if I was to be in touch with my heart. Yet I heard you say the other day that we should train our minds to keep our intelligence alive and help it become sharper and sharper. Could you please clarify this?

Life is not so simple as you think; it is very complicated. It is true that if you want to be in touch with me, you will be more and more in the heart, not in the mind, because the mind has no qualities for inner growth. It has immense powers for outer research, for objective, scientific work. But for religious growth, it is absolutely impotent.

So if you listen to me through the mind, then what I am saying to you is lost in a desert. It will never reach to your heart. That’s why I have always insisted: put the mind aside and be with me with your heart, with your love, with your trust.

But that is only one part of the story. When I said I would like you to make your mind as sharp as possible, that is a totally different dimension, because unless your mind is sharp enough you are going to be enslaved by the society. You are already enslaved by the society because your mind has not fought against it; it has been obedient to it.

Both these statements belong to different contexts, so don’t get mixed up. When I say be with me with your heart, put the mind aside, it is one thing, one context, that of being a disciple. And if you can really do it totally you can reach to the highest peak that is of being a devotee.

These are the three stages. The student listens only from the mind; he will collect knowledge, but he will not become a knower. The disciple tries to put the mind aside and listen from the heart. He is making an effort. The mind will come again and again in between; the effort will not be total, but still, if something reaches to the heart, even a few seeds, soon it will change the whole color of your being. The season will not be far away when the heart will start blossoming. That is the point when you reach to the boundary line of being a devotee.

Now you are capable of putting the mind completely, totally, away without any interference… as if you are not a mind at all. You are just heart and heart. Your every fiber is simply vibrating with love, openness, vulnerability. The devotee and the master start melting into each other. The disciple once in a while gets a glimpse, but the devotee becomes totally one with the master.

The disciple can fall back, can get into the mind again. The devotee has broken the bridge that leads to the mind. He cannot go back; the past is finished. He has become part and parcel of the master’s energy.

This is one context. And you are mixing it with another context. As far as the society, the outside world, the religions, the governments are concerned, you have to be very sharp and very intelligent; otherwise they will enslave you. They will exploit you. They have been doing it for centuries. They have not allowed millions of people to go beyond the age of thirteen as far as the mind is concerned.

The person may be seventy years old; he has the mind of a thirteen-year-old child. This is what I mean by retardedness.

Society does not want you to grow up; it simply wants you to grow old. It wants you to function as a machine, a robot – absolutely obedient, no argument, no question. It needs you only to be efficient.

To the society you are not an individual to be respected but only a mechanism to be used, and there is no other insult, no other humiliation more ugly than using people as machines, as things.

Against the society, use the mind. Mind is a perfect means to keep you independent, to keep you alert. It is a good fighter, but it is not a lover. So when there is need to fight, when there is need to stand up for your liberty, use the mind; heart will not be of any use. Heart knows no way to fight.

But the context is totally different, and I call that man conscious who can use his capacities in their right context and does not get mixed up. Eyes are for seeing – you cannot hear from them. And ears are for hearing – you cannot see from them. So use them whenever the need is there, and don’t let them come in each other’s way.

Mind is a beautiful instrument. It has to be sharpened, but remember its limitations. It should remain a servant to the heart. The moment it becomes the master, the heart simply dies. In slavery, the heart cannot exist.

So there is no contradiction in what I have said – just two different contexts. And your consciousness is different from both, so a conscious person can use his heart when needed, can use his mind when needed, can put both to silence when he wants to be absolutely in a state of nirvana, where neither the mind is needed nor the heart. When he wants simply to be himself, both are not needed.

If you are the master of your instruments, there is no problem. If you have a flute and I ask you, “Can you stop playing on it for a few moments – I want to talk to you,” and you say, “I cannot do it; the flute won’t stop,” what will be thought about you? You are insane. The flute won’t stop? So you are not playing the flute, the flute is playing you. When you want to stop the mind, just say, “Stop” – it has to stop. If it moves even a little bit, that means something has to be done urgently. This is dangerous: the servant is trying to be the master. The servant should be the servant, and the master should be the master. And beyond both is your being which is neither servant nor master… which simply is.

That ‘isness’ is the goal of all meditations.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 37

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Living in Consciousness

Consciousness has been at the center of my life for almost 50 years, as it has been for so many of us. But, I am a practical sort of guy and so am not very interested in the conceptual “consciousness.” On the contrary, the consciousness that I am interested in is the “being consciousness.” There are many neo-advaita teachers around who tell us that we are always consciousness. And, since we are always awareness, consciousness, there is nothing to be done. Osho is much more compassionate. He too tells us that we are already Buddhas but he also reminds us that the difference between us and him is that he is aware of his Buddhahood. He is experiencing his Buddhahood and we are unawake to its splendor.

In his compassion, he introduced 112 meditation techniques. He created active meditations to prepare the ground for meditation to take root and, he distilled all meditation techniques down to the key element of witnessing.

For me personally, I have found that the best way to become aware—to awaken the witness—is to begin by being aware of my unconsciousness, my unawareness, my dreaming mind.

Most every morning I wake up around 3:30 a.m., meaning at around that time I become aware that I am no longer sleeping. Immediately I begin to look at the activity of the mind, the tail end of the dreaming cycle. I find that it is this seeing the unconscious that enables becoming more conscious or we could say less unconscious.

As I continue lying in the bed, looking directly at the tail of the dream, this awakeningness becomes more pronounced. I find this to be the best time to get up and sit in meditation.

This sitting in meditation is more of the same but now I am sitting erect and perhaps more attuned to the watching.

At first while I am watching I catch thought streams, some thought about this or that, but as I watch without grasping the thought and without rejecting the thought but just looking directly at the movement of thought, it becomes less defined, more opaque.

At this point, it is the energy of the mind that is being seen rather than individual thoughts. At the same time, I am now aware of the watching itself rather than that which is being seen. With my awareness of the watchingness, the previous objects of consciousness begin to slip out of view.

 

This is not a permanent situation.  At some point some thought appears and either I am dragged off until I remember again or I am awake enough to catch it at the beginning and again without grasping or rejecting there is the remembrance of watching and the watched subsides.

I find that the unconscious stream is in an inverse relationship to how conscious I am in that moment. The more conscious, the less of the stream. The less conscious, the more present the stream. So, it is by seeing my unconscious that I become more conscious.

My understanding of Ramana Maharshi’s method of inquiry is a thought appears, one inquires to whom does the thought appear and the answer is to me. Then one inquires more deeply “Who am I?” I see that as another way of saying what I described above.

Osho’s is even simpler, it is watching, witnessing. Watching without judgement, without jumping onto the back of the thought and without pushing away in rejection. Just watching and as we watch without reaction the other steps that I described above happen naturally. As thought becomes less, I automatically become aware of my self, provided that I haven’t fallen asleep.

“Meditation starts by being separate from the mind, by being a witness. That is the only way of separating yourself from anything. If you are looking at the light, naturally one thing is certain, you are not the light, you are the one who is looking at it. If you are watching the flowers, one thing is certain, you are not the flower, you are the watcher. Watching is the key of meditation:

Watch your mind.

Don’t do anything—no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of God—just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is meditation. As you watch, slowly, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware.

As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes a flame of awakening. This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing—without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind.”

-Osho, from The Invitation, Discourse 21

So, this has been my experience. By understanding and seeing my un-consciousness, un-consciousness is transformed into consciousness, from unconsciousness to consciousness. This is how I come out of mind. This is not enlightenment; it is an awakening before enlightenment. It is nothing special and we are all capable of coming out of mind. It is just a question of seeing the identification with what we are Not that we discover that which we Are.

Along the way, a couple of points have become clear and perhaps they could be helpful for someone else.

Number one and this is of course obvious but nevertheless important to state. In order for the transformation of consciousness to take place, we have to look directly at the mind. It is not enough to know about meditation, we have to meditate. We have to get to know intimately how we perpetuate unawareness. We have to meditate, did I already say that. We have to meditate.

 

A second point that one day became clear is, we are not to do anything with the mind, or any content of consciousness. Transformation happens but not by anything we do. Our job is to become conscious and again we do that by watching our unconscious. It is through watching the unconscious that the energy becomes conscious. I used to feel that it was the content that was important in the watching. Somewhere along the way a shift happened so that it is the watcher that is of importance not what is being watched. We watch our unconsciousness simply to become conscious.

And thirdly, it is by watching without reacting that we begin to become aware of being conscious, of awareness itself, not as an object but as a living, existential, experiencing.

Finally, these awakenings, this watchfulness that arises in meditation, has to be taken into daily life.  With this watchingness, there are more moments of action and fewer of reaction, but when reaction appears, it is watched without judgment just like the watching of thought. And, it is here in this daily life that the watchingness is crystalized into Being conscious. And that truly is a splendor.

-purushottama

This has been published in the Viha Connection Magazine, March/April 2019, Volume XXX II-Two and also in Osho News.

 

 

 

Become a Blissful Buddha – Osho

[A visitor is hesitant to take sannyas: I keep hearing you talk how your old self dies when you become a sannyasin…]

But a new self is born! And the old you have known already, so what is the point of keeping it? You have lived it, you have experienced it. It has no more any significance; going on living it will be just repetition. You should be able to die every moment so that the new becomes possible; then only do you live. That is not a difficulty! And what is there to cling to in the old? The old means that which is gone, which exists only in your memory and is nowhere else, which is no more a reality, is not part of existence; there is no point in it. And if you are too burdened with it and too attached to it, it will not allow you to live this moment. It will interfere, it will take you backwards.

It is as if you are driving a car and you go on looking in the rear view mirror; the car is going ahead and you are looking in the rear view mirror, out the back, at the road that is gone. You are in danger, because you have to look ahead! It is good that drivers don’t follow this rule, otherwise there will be only accidents and nothing else. But people follow this rule in their lives, that’s why life is full of accidents and nothing else. People move forwards and look backwards.

If god wanted you to look backward he would have given you eyes at the back (laughter) but he has not done that. He wants you to remain looking ahead, towards the new. Say good-bye to the old! You are already sannyasin… unnecessarily creating trouble. Become a sannyasin. Close your eyes… close your eyes!

Look! – You have died to the past, there is no problem.

Anand means bliss, Amido is the Japanese name for Buddha. The Sanskrit name is Amitabh; it means infinite light, light and light and light. The name moved from India to Tibet, from Tibet to China, from China to Korea, from Korea to Japan, and this much change has happened: it has become Amido. But it is a beautiful change: it has become more soft, more round, more feminine. Amitabh looks more masculine, Amido looks more feminine: and Buddha is a feminine personality.

So become a blissful Buddha!

And it is just the idea that the past is valuable which creates the problem. The past is not valuable; the value is in the present. Out of the present the future is born. And we should not burden the present too much with the past, we should allow the present to have its own space. That’s all that I mean by dying to the past and being born to the new.

You can move easily; I don’t see that there is much of a problem in it. Just a decision on your part and you will become new.

-Osho

From Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast, Chapter 19, February 19, 1978

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Mind is the Unreal – Osho

It seems as if everything I perceive in or out of meditation is my own creation or projection. I can’t distinguish between what I see, feel or am creating.

Osho, what is?

There is no need to distinguish between thoughts, dreams and reality. If you try, you will feel more confused. There is no way to distinguish, because as far as mind is concerned everything appears in the mind as a thought. It may be real, it may not be real; but the moment anything appears in the mind it appears in the form of thought.

You cannot distinguish, and there is no need. And don’t go on that journey, because that journey becomes a journey of thinking, and meditation is lost. Rather, on the contrary, remain centered in your witnessing. Don’t be worried by the objects in the mind; whatsoever they are, they are mind stuff. You simply remain more centered in your witnessing. Just be the watcher. Don’t try to distinguish. Whatsoever appears in the mind, just watch it. Watch it appearing, watch it being there, watch it disappearing.

Sooner or later, when you are really centered… and this can happen any moment. That moment remains always unpredictable. Whenever you feel centered the whole mind disappears: thought, dreams, reality – all. Suddenly you are in emptiness; there is no object for you. In the mind there is nothing – pure emptiness. Then open your eyes and look: whatsoever there is, is real.

When you are a witness and the mind has completely dropped, then only is known that which is – call it God, the real, the truth, or whatsoever you like to call it. Mind will never allow you to know the real. Mind is the disturbance. And if you get too much caught in it, then you will be trying to solve puzzles. You can go on solving and creating and solving and creating new ones, but it never comes to any end. Thinking is not going to lead you to reality; a no-thought awareness is. So don’t try to distinguish. Just watch, irrespective of what it is. Mind is the unreal.

For example: if you are standing before a mirror, something appears in the mirror. It may be real; it may be a reflection of something real outside the mirror, but in the mirror it is just a reflection; it may not be real at all. You may be seeing your own dream reflected. You may be projecting. That too is unreal. Whatsoever appears in the mirror is unreal, because the mirror simply reflects. The mind is a mirror, it only reflects. Drop the mind, drop the mirror, and then see. Whatsoever there is, is real, because now the disturbing factor is no longer there.

My whole effort here is to help you to become witnesses.

So please don’t try to get into thinking, contemplation; otherwise you will become more and more confused. And there is no way to get out of thinking through thinking. It goes on creating itself endlessly. The only way is not to get into it. So watch, and remain alert. Whatsoever passes the mind, don’t try to decide what it is. Watch as if everything is a dream. That is the concept of the Hindu notion of maya – illusion. Everything is unreal. So there is no need to be worried, there is no need to distinguish. Whatsoever appears in the mind, because it appears in the mind it is unreal. Mind is the faculty of the unreal.

So drop the mind. Be more centered in the witnessing soul. Just be a watcher. By and by silence will pervade, will permeate your soul. By and by you will come closer and closer to home. By and by everything will fall in line and you will center into yourself. Any moment the centering happens. Suddenly the mind is not there and your eyes are clear, clear of the mind. Then whatsoever you see is real. And this world that you have seen before will not be there as you have seen it before. It will be totally new. It will be something never known before. Everything will be the same and yet not the same – because you have changed. You are no more drunk with the mind. You are alert, aware.

So, let me say it in this way: the more aware you are, the more reality you can know; the less aware, the less is the possibility to know the reality. So the basic thing hangs on being aware. If you are totally aware, whatsoever you know is the reality.

-Osho

From The Search, Chapter Eight

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Trust is the Purest Form of Doubt – Osho

The third is the astral body. This also has two dimensions. Primarily, the third body revolves around doubt and thinking. If these are transformed doubt becomes trust and thinking becomes vivek, awareness. If doubts are repressed you never attain to shraddha, trust, though we are advised to suppress doubts and to believe what we hear. He who represses his doubts never attains to trust, because doubt remains present within though repressed. It will creep within like a cancer and eat up your vitality. Beliefs are implanted for fear of skepticism. We will have to understand the quality of doubt, we will have to live it and go along with it. Then one day we will reach a point where we will begin to have doubt about doubt itself. The moment we begin to doubt, doubt itself, trust begins.

We cannot reach to the clarity of discrimination without going through the process of thinking. There are people who do not think and people who encourage them not to think. They say, “Do not think; leave all thoughts.” He who stops thinking lands himself in ignorance and blind faith. This is not clarity. The power of discrimination is gained only after passing through the most subtle processes of thinking. What is the meaning of vivek, discrimination? Doubt is always present in thoughts. It is always indecisive. Therefore, those who think a great deal never come to a decision. It is only when they step out of the wheel of thoughts that they can decide. Decision comes from a state of clarity which is beyond thoughts.

Thoughts have no connection with decision. He who is always engrossed in thoughts never reaches a decision. That is why it invariably happens that those whose life is less dominated by thoughts are very resolute, whereas those who think a great deal lack determination. There is danger from both. Those who do not think go ahead and do whatever they are determined to do, for the simple reason that they have no thought process to create doubt within.

The dogmatists and the fanatics of the world are very active and energetic people; for them there is no question of doubting – they never think! If they feel that heaven is attained by killing one thousand people, they will rest only after killing one thousand people and not before. They never stop to think what they are doing so there is never any indecision on their part. A man who thinks, on the contrary, will keep on thinking instead of making any decision.

If we close our doors for fear of thoughts we will be left with blind faith only. This is very dangerous and is a great obstacle in the path of the meditator. What is needed is an open-eyed discretion and thoughts that are clear, resolute, and which allow us to make decisions. This is the meaning of vivek: clarity, awareness. It means that the power of thinking is complete. It means we have passed through thoughts in such detail that all the doubts are cleared. Now only pure decision is left in its essence.

The chakra pertaining to the third body is manipur. Doubt and trust are its two forms. When doubt is transformed trust is the result. But, remember, trust is not opposed or contrary to doubt. Trust is the purest and most ultimate development of it. It is the ultimate extreme of doubt, where even doubt becomes lost because here doubt begins to doubt even itself and in this way commits suicide. Then trust is born.

-Osho

From The Mysteries of the Seven Bodies, Chapter Sixteen

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In Two Steps the Whole Journey is Complete – Osho

So these are the three words: thinking, feeling, being. From thinking, nobody has ever been able to reach being. Nobody can bypass feeling; feeling is the bridge. The first step is from thinking to feeling, and the second step is from feeling to being. And in two steps the whole journey is complete.

So remember, feeling will be tremendously beautiful, but don’t stop there. That is only a stopover. You can rest there a little bit, enjoy the world of the heart, but remember there is one step more.

Through contradictions I destroy your clinging to the mind and thinking. Through silence I destroy the world of your feeling. And when both these layers are gone, you are as existence wanted you to be, in your purity, in your individuality. You have come home.

So don’t be worried, the journey has begun. Don’t stop until you come back home, where there is no thinking, no feeling, but only a sense of existence. In that experience, I will be able to convey to you that which is unconveyable in any other way. Then I am not the master and you are not the disciple.

In the mind, I am the teacher, you are the student.

In feeling, I am the master, you are the disciple.

In being, I am not, you are not – existence is.

-Osho

Excerpt from From Death to Deathlessness, Chapter 12

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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The Nature of Darkness – Osho

Let us first meditate a little on the nature of darkness. It is one of the most mysterious things in existence – and your life is so much involved in it, you cannot afford not to think about it. One has to come to terms with the nature of darkness because the same is the nature of sleep, and the same is the nature of death, and the same is the nature of all ignorance.

The first thing, if you meditate on darkness, that will be revealed to you is that darkness does not exist, it is there without any existence. It is more mysterious than light. It has no existence at all; rather, on the contrary, it is just an absence of light. There is no darkness anywhere, you cannot find it, it is simply an absence. It is not in itself, it has no “in-itself” existence, it is simply that the light is not present.

If the light is there, there is no darkness; if the light is not there, there is darkness – absence of light, it is not a presence of something. That’s why light comes and goes – darkness remains. It is not, but it persists. Light you can create, light you can destroy, but you cannot create darkness and you cannot destroy darkness: it is always there without being there at all.

The second thing, if you contemplate, you will come to realize that because it is nonexistential you cannot do anything to it. And if you try to do anything to it, you will be defeated. Darkness cannot be defeated, how can you defeat something which is not? And when you will be defeated you will think: “It is very powerful because it has defeated me.” This is absurd! Darkness has no power; how can a thing have power which is not? You are not defeated by the darkness and its power, you are defeated by your foolishness. In the first place you started fighting – that was foolish. How can you fight with something which is not? And remember, you have been fighting with many things which are not, they are just like darkness.

The whole morality is a fight against darkness, that’s why it is stupid. The whole morality, unconditionally, is a fight with darkness, fighting with something which in itself is not. Hate is not real, it is just the absence of love. Anger is not real, it is just the absence of compassion. Ignorance is not real, it is just the absence of buddhahood, of enlightenment. Sex is not real, it is just the absence of brahmacharya. And the whole morality goes on fighting with that which is not. A moralist can never succeed, it is impossible. Finally he has to be defeated – his whole effort is nonsense.

And there is the distinction between religion and morality: morality tries to fight with darkness, and religion tries to awaken the light which is hidden within. It doesn’t bother about the darkness, it simply tries to find the light within. Once the light is there, darkness disappears; once the light is there, you need not do anything to darkness – simply it is not there.

This is the second thing, that nothing can be done to darkness directly. If you want to do something with darkness, you will have to do something with light, not with darkness. Put the light off and the darkness is there; put the light on and the darkness is not there – but you cannot put on and put off darkness; you cannot bring it from somewhere, you cannot push it out. If you want to do something with darkness, you have to go via light, you have to go in an indirect way.

Never fight things which are not. The mind is tempted to fight, but that temptation is dangerous: you will waste your energy and life and dissipate yourself. Don’t be tempted by the mind; simply see whether a thing has a real existence or is just an absence. If it is an absence then don’t fight with it, then seek the thing of which it is the absence – then you will be on the right track.

The third thing about darkness is that it is involved deeply with your existence in many millions of ways.

Whenever you are angry, your light within has disappeared. In fact, you are angry because the light has disappeared, the darkness has entered. You can be angry only when you are unconscious, you cannot be angry consciously. Try it: either you will lose consciousness and anger will be there, or you will remain conscious and anger will not arise – you cannot be angry consciously. What does it mean? It means the nature of consciousness is just like light, and the nature of anger is just like darkness – you cannot have both. If the light is there, you cannot have darkness; if you are conscious, you cannot be angry.

People come to me continuously and ask how not to be angry. They are asking a wrong question – and when you ask a wrong question it is very difficult to get the right answer. First ask the right question. Don’t ask how to dispel darkness, don’t ask how to dispel worries, anguish, anxiety; just analyze your mind and see why they are there in the first place. They are there because you are not conscious enough. So ask the right question: How to be more and more conscious? If you ask how not to be angry, you will become the victim of some moralist. And if you ask the question how to be more conscious, so anger cannot exist, so lust cannot exist, so greed cannot exist, then you are on the right track, then you will become a religious seeker.

Morality is a false coin; it deceives people. It is not religion at all. Religion has nothing to do with morality, because religion has nothing to do with darkness. It is a positive effort to awaken you. It does not bother about your character; what you do is meaningless and you cannot change it. You may decorate it, you cannot change it. You may color it in beautiful ways, you may paint it, but you cannot change it.

There is only one transformation, only one revolution, and that revolution comes not by being concerned with your character, by your acts, by your doings, but being concerned with your BEING. Being is a positive phenomenon; once the being is alert, awake, conscious, suddenly darkness disappears – your being is of the nature of light.

And the fourth thing… then we can enter the sutra. Sleep is just like darkness. It is not accidental that you find it difficult to sleep when there is light; it is simply natural. Darkness has an affinity with sleep; that’s why it is easy to sleep in the night. Darkness all around creates the milieu in which you can fall into sleep very easily.

What happens in sleep? You lose consciousness by and by. There comes an interval period in which you dream. Dreaming means half-conscious, half-unconscious; just on the midway, moving towards total unconsciousness; from your waking state you are moving to total unconsciousness. On the path dreams exist. Dreams mean only that you are half-awake and half-asleep. That’s why, if you dream continuously the whole night, you feel tired in the morning. And if you are not allowed to dream, then too you will feel tired – because dreams exist for a certain reason.

In your waking hours you accumulate many things: thoughts, feelings, incomplete matters hang in the mind. You looked at a beautiful woman on the road and suddenly a desire arose in you. But you are a man of character, manners, civilized; you simply push it down, you will not look at it, you will go on with your work – an incomplete desire hangs around you. It has to be completed, otherwise you will not be able to fall into deep sleep. It will pull you back again and again. It will say, “Come up! That woman was really beautiful, her body had a charm. And you are a fool, what are you doing here? Seek her – you have missed an opportunity!”

The desire hanging there will not allow you to fall into sleep. The mind creates a dream: again you are on the road, the beautiful woman passes, but this time you are alone without any civilization around you. No manners are needed, no etiquette is needed. You are like an animal, you are natural, no morality. This is your own private world; no police constable can enter into it, no judge can judge it. You are simply alone; there will not be even a witness. Now you can play with your lust: you will have a sexual dream. That dream completes the hanging desire, then you fall into sleep. But if you continuously dream, then too you will feel tired.

If your dreams are not allowed…. In the United States they have many sleep labs, and they have come to discover this phenomenon: if a person is not allowed to dream, within three weeks he will go mad. If he is awakened again and again whenever he starts dreaming…. There are visible signs. When a person starts dreaming you can awake him. Particularly his eyelids start fluttering fast; that means he is seeing a dream. When he is not seeing a dream his eyelids rest, because when he starts seeing a dream his eyes are functioning. Awake him and do this the whole night – whenever he starts dreaming, awake him. Within three weeks he will go mad.

Sleep doesn’t seem to be so necessary. If you awake a person… whenever he is not dreaming awake him: he will feel tired, but he will not go mad. What does it mean? It means dreams are a necessity for you. You are such… you are so illusory, your whole existence is such an illusion – what Hindus have called maya – that dreams are needed. Without dreams you cannot exist: dreams are your food, dreams are your strength, without dreams you will go mad. Dreams are a release of madness, and once the release happens you fall into sleep.

From waking you fall into dreaming and from dreaming you fall into sleep. Every night a normal person has eight cycles of dreaming, and just a few moments between two dreaming cycles he has of deep sleep. In that deep sleep all consciousness disappears, it is absolutely dark. But still you are near the boundary, any emergency will awake you. The house is on fire, you will have to run back to your waking consciousness; or you are a mother and the child starts crying, you will run, rush, towards waking – so you remain on the boundary. You fall into deep darkness, but remain on the boundary.

In death you fall exactly to the center. Death and sleep are similar, the quality is the same. In sleep, every day, you fall into darkness, complete darkness; that means you completely become unconscious, the very opposite pole of buddhahood. A buddha is totally awakened, and every night you fall to total unawakened state, absolute darkness.

In the Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna that when everybody is fast asleep, the yogi is still awake. That doesn’t mean that he never sleeps: he sleeps, but only his body sleeps, his body rests. He has no dreams because he has no desires, so he cannot have incomplete desires. And he has no sleep like you – even in deepest rest his consciousness is clear, his consciousness burns like a flame.

Every night you fall into sleep, you fall into deep unconsciousness, a coma. In death you fall in a deeper coma. These are all like darkness. That’s why you are afraid of darkness, because it is deathlike. And there are people who are afraid of sleep also, because sleep is also deathlike.

I have come across many people who cannot sleep, and they want to sleep. And when I tried to understand their mind, I came to realize that they are basically afraid. They say they would like to sleep because they feel tired, but deep down they are afraid of sleep – and that is creating the whole trouble. Ninety percent insomnia is fear of sleep; you are afraid. You are afraid of darkness; you will be afraid of sleep also, and the fear comes from the fear of death.

Once you understand that these are all darknesses and your inner nature is that of light, things start changing. Then there is no sleep for you, only rest; then there is no death for you, only a change of clothes, of bodies, only a change of garments. But that can happen if you realize the inner flame, your nature, your innermost being.

-Osho

From Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Chapter Three

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