What Am I Looking For – Osho

What am I looking for? 

Deva Parmita, man is a search for the self – not for A self but for THE self. Man is constantly seeking the lost paradise: somewhere deep in the recesses of human beings, the nostalgia persists. We have known something that is only a far faraway memory. The memory is not even conscious; we have lost all track of it, where it is. But the fragrance goes on arising.

Hence religion is not an accidental phenomenon. It is not going to disappear from the world; no communism, no fascism can make it disappear. Religion is going to remain, because it is very essential. Unless a man surpasses humanity, unless a man becomes a Buddha, religion remains relevant. Only for a Buddha is religion irrelevant. He has arrived: now there is no need for any search.

Parmita, there are not different searches for different human beings. The search is singular, it is one, it is universal. The search is for the self, the supreme self. One wants to know, “Who am I?” because everything else is secondary. Without knowing oneself, whatsoever one is doing is pointless. Unless I know exactly who I am, my whole life is going to remain futile. It will not bring fruition, it will not bring flowering, it will not bring fulfillment.

The first step has to be that of self-knowledge. But the paradox is that if you start searching for A self you will miss THE self. By “a self” I mean the ego, the process of egoing. That is a false self: because we cannot find the true, we start creating the false, just to console ourselves. It is a substitute. But the substitute can never become the truth, and the substitute becomes a bondage.

Truth liberates. Substitutes for truth create prisons. The ego is the greatest prison that man has yet invented; you are all feeling suffocated, crushed. It is not that somebody else is doing it to you: you are the doer of it. You have taken a wrong step. Rather than searching for that which is, you have started substituting something for it – a toy, a pseudo thing. It may console you, but it cannot bring celebration to your life. And all consolation is suicidal, because while you remain consoled, time goes on slipping out of your hands.

THE self is not A self. The self is exactly a no-self: there is no idea of ‘I’ in it, it is universal. All ideas arise in it, but it cannot be identified with any idea that arises in it. All ideas arise in it, all ideas dissolve in it. It is the sky, the context of all contexts, it is the space in which everything happens. But the space itself never happens – it abides, it is always there, and because it is always there, it is easy to miss it. Because it is so much there and always there, you never become aware of its presence.

It is like the air: you don’t become aware of its presence. It is like the ocean that surrounds the fish: the fish never becomes aware of it. It is like the pressure of the air: the pressure is so much, it has always been there, but you are not aware of it. It is like gravitation: it is so much, but you are not aware of it. It is like the earth rushing with great speed round and round the sun: the earth is a spaceship, but nobody is aware of it. We are aboard a spaceship, and it is going at a great speed. Still we are not aware of it.

Awareness needs some gaps. When there are no gaps you fall asleep; you cannot remain aware.

If one has always been healthy, one will not be aware of health. Awareness needs gaps – sometimes you should not be healthy. You should fall ill, then you can have a sense of health. If there was no darkness in the world and there was only light, nobody would have ever known light; people would have missed it.

That’s how we go on missing the original self – you can call it God or nirvana, it doesn’t matter. Sufis have two beautiful words. One is fana: fana means dissolving the ego, dissolving the false substitute. And the other word is baqa: baqa means the arrival, the arising, of the real self.

The real self is universal. How to find it? It is not far away, so you are not to make a long journey to it. It is so close that no journey is needed at all. It is within you. Rather than journeying, you will have to learn how to sit silently.

That’s what meditation is all about – just sitting silently doing nothing. Thoughts arise: you watch. Desires arise: you watch. But you remain the watcher. You don’t become a victim of the desires and the thoughts that are arising; you remain a watcher. You remain the context of all contexts, you remain the space before which everything appears. But the space never appears before itself – it cannot, it is impossible.

The mirror cannot mirror itself, the eyes cannot see themselves. I cannot catch hold of my hand with the same hand; it is impossible.

This is the most fundamental thing to remember, Parmita. You are the watcher and never the watched, you are the observer and never the observed, you are the witness and never the witnessed. You are pure subjectivity. You never appear as an object – how can you appear as an object in front of yourself? Whatsoever appears in front of you is not you.

Go on eliminating the contents. Go on saying, “Neti neti, I am not this, I am not this.” Go on eliminating, and a moment comes when there is nothing left to eliminate. There is pure silence: no content moves in front of you, the mirror reflects nothing. That is the moment when self-knowing arises in you. You become illumined, you are enlightened.

So these few fundamentals are to be remembered: the self is a no-self. The self is not personal, it is universal. The self is the space or context in which all “positionality” in life appears, occurs, arises. It is the screen of life, but the screen itself never appears on the screen, it cannot. Everything else appears on it, it itself remains hidden. It is pure subjectivity.

This pure subjectivity is the ultimate goal everybody is searching for. But it seems difficult. We are so prone to become identified with the contents. So rather than searching for the real, we create something unreal, which is easy. The artificial is always easy, you can manufacture it.

Your ego is a manufactured phenomenon. And once you have manufactured the ego…

How is the ego manufactured? “I am a Hindu”: now you are on the way to creating an ego. “I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am this, I am that” – you are bringing more and more bricks to make the prison called ego.

And this is what we go on doing in our whole life. Earn more money, have a bigger bank balance, and your ego will feel more grounded, more supported, more secure. Become famous: the more people know about you, the more you will think you are.

Hence the constant search for attention. If nobody pays any attention to you, you are reduced to nothing. If you move on the street and nobody says hello, people go on passing by, not even taking any note of you, suddenly you start feeling the earth disappearing underneath your feet. What has happened? They are not feeding your ego. But people feed each other’s egos, because that’s how THEY can be fed. Somebody says, “How are you?” He is really saying, “Ask ME, ‘How are you?’” He is simply asking for mutual gratification. And people do gratify each other; we support each other’s egos: somebody praises you, you praise him in return.

That’s what we call society. It depends on mutual satisfactions, and the greatest satisfaction seems to be ego-gratification.

Hence people are interested so much in politics, because politics can gratify you as nothing else can. If you become politically powerful the whole country is in your grip; the whole country has to pay attention to you. You can impose your will on people, you have power.

The power of a politician is the power of violence. Now he controls the whole mechanism of violence: he controls the police, the government, the military, he controls everything. He can impose his will on you. That’s why politicians tend to become violent sooner or later. Politicians hanker deep down for wars, because it is only in war that a politician becomes a great politician. If you go through history you will see the point.

Winston Churchill would not have been such a great leader if there had been no second world war. Neither would Adolf Hitler have been such a power if there had been no second world war, not would Mussolini. The war created the context: they were able to be as violent as possible. They were able to butcher people, to murder people, in millions.

People immediately pay attention when you are violent. If you live a peaceful life, no newspaper is going to report about you in your whole life. But if you kill somebody or you commit suicide, you will be immediately in the newspapers.

Just a few days ago, Reverend Jones committed suicide with all of his nine hundred disciples. You had never heard about this poor man before, nobody knew that there was anybody like that. Now the whole world knows.

They had lived in that commune for many years, but nobody would take any note of them. It is possible that had you taken note of them, they might not have needed to go to such an extreme, they might not have committed suicide. This is his way of making the whole world feel his presence – this is a very pathological way, ugly, but this is the same phenomenon again. People are searching for the ego: if they cannot find it through being creative, they will find it through being destructive. If they cannot find it by being a great saint, they will find it by being a great sinner.

Somebody asked George Bernard Shaw, “Where would you like to go when you die – to heaven or to hell?” He said, “It all depends.”

The man said, “What do you mean, ‘It all depends’?”

He said, “If I am going to be the first in heaven, then to heaven. If I am going to be second there, no. Then it is better to be in hell but be first.”

He is joking, but he is telling a truth – a truth about you, a truth about the whole humanity, the way it lives through ambition, through egoing.

Remember, the real self has nothing to do with anybody else paying attention to you. Note the difference: the false self needs others’ attention to be paid to you, and the real self only needs your attention – just your attention, and that’s enough.

If you turn your attention inwards, you will know the real self. If you go on seeking others’ attention, you will continuously live in a false entity which is always ready to disappear if you don’t feed it continuously. It has to be supported.

The ego is not an entity. It is not a noun, it is a verb. That’s why I am saying it is egoing. You cannot remain satisfied with any attention paid to you, you have to ask and hanker for more. You have to go on egoing; it is only through egoing that the ego can exist. It is a process – and it is so false and its demands are so ugly! It is a lie. It demands more and more lies from you, and to gratify it you have to become utterly false. You have to become a personality.

A personality means a false phenomenon, a mask. You have to become an actor; you are no longer a real person, you are no longer authentic. You don’t have any substance, you are just a shadow. And because of this shadow there is always fear of death, because any moment this shadow can disappear.

Your bank can go bankrupt, and immediately you are gone, you are nobody. Your power can be lost, because there are other competitors pushing you. This whole life is a constant pushing and pulling, hence there is so much agony.

Do you know the root of the word agony? It comes from ag: ag means pushing. You are continuously being pushed, and in your turn you are pushing others; that creates agony.

The whole world lives in anguish and agony. Only the person who comes to know his real self goes beyond it and enters into the world of ecstasy. And there are the two states: agony and ecstasy.

Parmita, you are in agony, as everybody else is. And the search is for ecstasy. Remember always, your commitments, your ideologies, your so-called ultimate values, your theologies, philosophies and religions provide contexts, often valuable contexts, for individual existence. But they are not what you are.

You are not even your body. You are not your mind. You are neither black nor white, you are neither Indian nor German. You cannot be defined in any way, all definitions will fall short. You are indefinable; you are something that surpasses all definitions. You are the vast sky in which planets appear and earths appear, and sun and moon and stars – and they all disappear, and the sky remains as it has remained always. The sky knows no change. You are that unchanging sky. Clouds come and go, you are always here.

When Raman Maharshi was dying, somebody asked, “Bhagwan, soon you will be leaving your body; where will you go?” He opened his eyes, laughed and said, “Where can I go? I have been here, I will be here. Where can I go – WHERE? There is nowhere to go. I am everywhere: I have been here and I will remain here for ever and ever.”

He is saying that he has come to know his being as the sky; he is no longer a cloud.

If you really want to search for the real self, don’t get attached to any commitment, to any program, to any idea. Remain unattached, flexible, fluid; don’t become stagnant. Always remain in a state of unfrozenness; don’t freeze. The moment you freeze, you have something false in your hands; a cloud has arisen. Remain in a state of meltedness, don’t become committed to any form or name. And then something tremendous starts happening to you: for the first time you start feeling who you are.

The feeling does not come from the outside, it arises from the inner depths of your being. It floods you. It is light, utter light, it is bliss, utter bliss. It is divine. It is another name for God.

Never become crystallized; if you become crystallized in something, you are encaged. Remain free, remain freedom. All identity creates fixation; and every fixation, every identification, is a liability. The more fixed one’s identity, the less the experience of which one is capable. The point is not to lack a position, but not to be positional.

I am not saying to become unthinking. Remain intelligent, capable of thinking, but never get identified with any thought. Use the thought as a tool, as an instrument; remember that you are the master.

Not to be attached to whatever position one has at any particular moment is the beginning of self-knowledge. One IS, one experiences aliveness, to the extent to which one can transcend particular positions and can assume other viewpoints.

That’s what I mean by remaining fluid, flowing. One should remain available to the present. Die to the past each moment, so that nothing about you remains fixed. Don’t carry a character around yourself; all characters are armors, imprisonments.

The real man of character is characterless – you will be surprised by this. The real man of character is characterless: he has consciousness, but he has no character. He lives moment to moment. Responsible he is, but he responds out of the moment, not out of past contexts. He carries no ready-made programs in his being. The more you have ready-made programs, the more you are an ego. When you have none – no programs, nothing ready-made in you – when each moment you are as fresh as if you are born anew, to me that is freedom. And only a free consciousness can know the true self.

This is the search, Parmita. Nothing else will ever satisfy, nothing else can ever satisfy. All are consolations – and it is better to drop them, it is better to become aware that consolations are not going to help.

This is what I call sannyas: dropping consolations, renouncing consolations – not the world but consolations – renouncing all that is false, becoming true, becoming simple, natural, spontaneous. That’s my vision of a sannyasin, the vision of total freedom.

And in those beautiful moments of total freedom, the first rays of light enter you, the first glimpses of who you are. And the grandeur of it is such, and the splendor of it is such, that you will be surprised to find that you have been carrying the kingdom of God within you and you have remained so unaware, and for so long. You will be surprised that it was possible not to know such a treasure. Such an inexhaustible treasure is within you.

Jesus goes on repeating again and again, “The kingdom of God is within you.” Call it the kingdom of God or the supreme self or nirvana or whatever you will, that is our search – everyone’s, not only of human beings but of all beings. Even trees are growing towards it, even birds are searching for it, even rivers are rushing towards it. The whole existence is an adventure.

And that is the beauty of this existence. If it was not an adventure, life would be absolute boredom. Life is a celebration because it is an adventure.

-OSHO

From Unio Mystica, V.2, Chapter Two

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Unio Mystica, V.2

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

Many of Osho’s books are available online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

What Does “I” Mean – Osho

Please, in the question “Who am I?” What does “I” mean? Does it mean the essence of life?

“Who am I?” is not really a question because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. It is used as a mantra. When you constantly inquire inside, “Who am I? Who am I?” you are not waiting for an answer. Your mind will supply many answers; all those answers have to be rejected. Your mind will say, “You are the essence of life. You are the eternal soul. You are divine,” and so on and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected: neti neti — one has to go on saying, “Neither this nor that.”

When you have denied all the possible answers that the mind can supply and devise, when the question remains absolutely unanswerable, a miracle happens: suddenly the question also disappears. When all the answers have been rejected, the question has no props, no supports inside to stand on any more. It simply flops, it collapses, it disappears. When the question also has disappeared, then you know. But that knowing is not an answer: it is an existential experience. Nothing can be said about it, or whatever will be said will be wrong. To say anything about it is to falsify it. It is the ultimate mystery, inexpressible, indefinable. No word is adequate enough to describe it. Even the phrase “essence of life” is not adequate; even “God” is not adequate. Nothing is adequate to express it; its very nature is inexpressible.

But you know. You know exactly the way the seed knows how to grow — not like the professor who knows about chemistry or physics or geography or history, but like the bud which knows how to open in the early morning sun. Not like the priest who knows about God; about and about he goes, around and around he goes.

Knowledge is beating around the bush: knowing is a direct penetration. But the moment you directly penetrate into existence, you disappear as a separate entity. You are no more. When the knower is no more, then the knowing is. And the knowing is not about something — you are that knowing itself.

So I cannot say what “I” means in the question “Who am I?” It means nothing! It is just a device to lead you into the unknown, to lead you into the uncharted, to lead you into that which is not available to the mind. It is a sword to cut the very roots of the mind, so only the silence of no-mind is left. In that silence there is no question, no answer, no knower, no known, but only knowing, only experiencing.

That’s why the mystics appear to be in such difficulty to express it. Many of them have remained silent out of the awareness that whatsoever you say goes wrong; the moment you say it, it goes wrong. Those who have spoken, they have spoken with the condition: “Don’t cling to our words.”

Lao Tzu says: “Tao, once described, is no more the real Tao.” The moment you say something about it you have already falsified it, you have betrayed it. It is such an intimate knowing, incommunicable.

“Who am I?” functions like a sword to cut all the answers that the mind can manage. Zen people will say it is a koan, just like other koans. There are many koans, famous koans. One is: “Find out your original face.” And the disciple asks the Master, “What is the original face?” And the Master says, “The face that you had before your parents were born.”

And you start meditating on that: “What is your original face?” Naturally, you have to deny all your faces. Many faces will start surfacing: childhood faces, when you were young, when you became middle-aged, when you became old, when you were healthy, when you were ill…. All kinds of faces will stand in a queue. They will pass before your eyes claiming, “I am the original face.” And you have to go on rejecting.

When all the faces have been rejected and emptiness is left, you have found the original face. Emptiness is the original face. Zero is the ultimate experience. Nothingness – or more accurately no-thingness — is your original face.

Or another famous koan is: “The sound of one hand clapping.” The Master says to the disciple, “Go and listen to the sound of one hand clapping.” Now this is patent absurdity: one hand cannot clap and without clapping there can be no sound. The Master knows it, the disciple knows it. But when the Master says, “Go and meditate on it,” the disciple has to follow.

He starts making efforts to listen to the sound of one hand clapping. Many sounds come to his mind: the birds singing, the sound of running water…. He rushes immediately to the Master; he says, “I have heard it! The sound of running water — isn’t that the sound of one hand clapping?”

And the Master hits him hard on the head and he says, “You fool! Go back, meditate more!”

And he goes on meditating, and the mind goes on providing new answers: “The sound of wind passing through the pine trees — certainly this is the answer.” He is in such a hurry!

Everybody is in such a hurry. Impatiently he rushes to the door of the Master, a little bit apprehensive, afraid too, but maybe this is the answer….

And even before he has said a single thing the Master hits him! He is very much puzzled and he says, “This is too much! I have not even uttered a single word, so how can I be wrong? And why are you hitting me?”

The Master says, “It is not a question of whether you have uttered something or not. You have come with an answer — that is enough proof that you must be wrong. When you have really found it you won’t come; there will be no need. I will come to you.”

Sometimes years pass, and then one day it has happened, there is no answer. First the disciple knew that there was no answer to it, but it was only an intellectual knowing. Now he knows from his very core: “There is no answer!” All answers have evaporated.

And the sure sign that all answers have evaporated is only one: when the question also evaporates. Now he is sitting silently doing nothing, not even meditating. He has forgotten the question: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It is no more there. It is pure silence.

And there are ways…there are inner paths which exist between a Master and a disciple.

And now the Master rushes towards the disciple. He knocks on his door. He hugs the disciple and says, “So it has happened? This is it! No answer, no question: this is it. Ah, this!”

-Osho

From Ah This!, Chapter Two

Ah This

Ah This CDCopyright© 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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.

 

The Witness and the Illusion – Osho

How may one enter into that supreme truth, how may one know that supreme mystery which is so near and yet remains unknown; which is forever with us and yet is lost? How may we reach it, how has anyone ever reached it? In these sutras is the explanation of that science, the process of that path.

Let us first understand a few things about illusion. Illusion means to see as it is not. Truth means to see as it is. Whatsoever we see is illusion, because we involve ourselves in our seeing; our experience does not remain objective, it becomes subjective. Whatsoever is out there, it does not reach us as it is. Our mind distorts it, embellishes it, ornaments it, prunes it – making it bigger or smaller and changing it into many, many forms.

The biggest change and the deepest illusion is that we associate ourselves with everything, which in fact we are not associated with at all. As soon as we are associated the reality is lost and the dream projection starts appearing true. For example, we call a thing ‘mine’ – ‘my house’… the house which was there when we were not and which will still be there when we will be no more. Something that can be before I am, and will continue after I am not, which does not disappear with my disappearance – how can it be ‘mine’? If I die this moment my house does not collapse or disappear, in fact it will not even know that I have died – then what kind of association can there be between myself and that house? What is the relationship? Tomorrow someone else will live in that same house and call it ‘mine’. Yesterday somebody else was living in it and he was calling it ‘mine’. Who knows how many people have stuck their ‘I’ on that house, and have passed away? But that ‘I’ never sticks onto the house, and that house does not belong to anybody; the house belongs to itself.

In this world everything belongs to its own self. If we can understand this properly, we shall be able to shatter the illusions easily.

There is a piece of land. You call it ‘my field’, or ‘my garden’. If not today, tomorrow there will be claims advanced about the moon – America will say it is ’ours’, Russia will say it is ’ours’. Until yesterday the moon did not belong to anybody; it simply was. It simply belonged to itself. But now someone or other will claim the moon and sooner or later there will be struggles and confrontations. Up to now the sun belonged to itself, but tomorrow the sun may also be claimed.

Wherever man puts his feet he labels it with his ‘I’. Nature does not accept his labels, but other human beings have to, otherwise there will be confrontation. Others have to accept the labels because they want to put their own labels on things. So the house becomes somebody’s and the piece of land becomes somebody else’s. Why are we so impatiently eager to stick this label of ‘I’ somewhere? The eagerness is because the more places and things on which we stick this label, or make our signatures, the bigger the circle of ‘mine’ grows and the bigger the ‘I’ is developed within us.

‘I’ is as big as the number of things that carry its label. If someone says that he has one acre of land, how can his ‘I’ be as big as that of another person who says, “I have one thousand acres of land”?

With the expansion of the ‘mine’, the ‘I’ feels as if it is growing bigger. If the expanse of ‘mine’ decreases, the ‘I’ also shrinks. So every brick of ‘I’ is made up of ‘mine’. Thus the more ways I can say ‘mine’, the higher rises the palace of ‘I’. Hence our whole life we remain in only one race – how many things we can stick our labels on and say, “It is mine.” In so doing, while we continue to label things, one day we die and wherever we had put our labels, someone else begins to stick his labels on the things we had called ‘mine’.

Things belong to themselves, not to any person. They can be used, but there can be no ownership. Ownership is an illusion, and while we are using them we should have a sense of gratitude because we are using something that does not belong to us. But when we say ‘mine’, all sense of gratitude disappears and a new world of ‘mine’ is created. That includes money, position, prestige, education and everything. For these things it may be okay, but what is more surprising is that things which have nothing to do with ‘I’ also get included. We say: my religion, my god, my deity, my temple – with whom ‘I’ can have no relationship whatsoever. And if it can, then there is no possibility of freeing oneself from the world. If religion can also be mine and thine, if God can also be mine and thine, then there is no hope; where shall we then find a way out of ‘mine’? If God also falls within its jurisdiction, then there remains no space left anywhere for the ‘I’ to go away to. But we put the label of ‘mine’ on temples and mosques and on God as well.

Wherever man goes he reaches there with his ‘mine’. Try to understand the implications: ‘I’ actually becomes bigger through ‘mine’, but the greater the expanse of ‘mine’, the greater the unhappiness. The increase in ‘I’ is the increase of unhappiness, because ‘I’ is a wound. And the greater the ‘I’, the bigger the area vulnerable to hurt, so that more hurt can be inflicted upon it. It is like someone having a large physical wound which tends to get hurt every now and then; any move the person makes and it gets hurt. The wound is big, its area large, and any little touch becomes a hurt. The bigger the ‘I’, the bigger the hurt and the greater the pain.

With the expansion of ‘mine’, the ‘I’ expands. As the ‘I’ grows, the pain also grows. On one hand one feels that happiness is on the increase, on the other hand the unhappiness also goes on increasing. The more we increase this happiness, the more unhappiness goes on increasing – and between the two an illusion is carried on. Where there is no possibility of saying ‘mine’, there too we go on saying ‘mine’ falsely, un-meaningfully. This hand you call ‘mine’, this body you call ‘mine’, are also not yours. When you were not, even then the bones, the skin, the blood of this hand existed somewhere; and they will exist even after you. The bones in your body, they have been bones in so many other earlier bodies. The blood in your body has flowed in the body of some animal yesterday and in some tree the day before. Who knows how long, how many billions and trillions of years, the journey has been? Even when you won’t be, not a single particle of your body will be annihilated. It will all exist. It will flow in some other bodies.

Understand it this way: the breath you took in just now, a moment ago it was inside the person sitting next to you. A moment ago he was calling it “my breath,” and a moment later it does not belong to him anymore, it has become somebody else’s.

Life does not accept anybody’s claim over it and goes on flowing each moment. But we go on claiming. This illusion of claim, this is man’s deepest illusion.

So whenever a person says ‘mine’, he is falling in ignorance. This sutra is to break this very illusion. Not only the land is not mine, the house is not mine, the money is not mine; even the body is not mine. Your body is made up from the atoms of your parents. Those atoms existed before you were, and they are coming to you after a long journey. Before your parents, they were in the bodies of their parents. These atoms have had a long journey of millions of years; now they constitute your body. That body too is a field, a land in which you are rooted, but you are not it. You are not the body, you are separate from it.

This sutra says a man is not only not the body, it goes even deeper and says man is not even the mind, because mind is also an accumulation.

Do you have a single thought which may be yours, which you can say is yours? There are none. Some have come from tradition, some from scriptures, some from hearing someone, some from your reading – they have come from one or the other external sources. If you search for the birth chart of your every single thought, if you look at the journey of every single thought, you will find you don’t have a single thought of your own, they are all borrowed; they have come to you from somewhere.

No thought is ever original, all thoughts are borrowed. But we claim even a thought to be ‘mine’.

Remember, even a breath cannot be called ‘mine’; thought is a much more subtle matter. Going deeper and deeper into this analysis, where does one come to? Where have the Upanishads come to? Where does Buddha come to? Where does Mahavira come to? Continuing this analysis, using the negation: “I am not this, I am not this”; when in the end nothing remains to be negated, when nothing remains about which I can even think whether it is mine or not, that which remains even then…. When there is nothing left to cut, when all relations are broken and none remains that can still be broken, that which remains even then is what the Upanishads have called sakshi, the witness.

There is a big world around me – it is not mine. Shrinking I come closer – this body is not mine. Descending deeper into it – the mind is not mine. Then who is there whom I can call ‘I’? Or is there nothing in me which I can call ‘I’? Am I, or am I not? Cutting away ‘mine’ in its entirety, what purest thing remains within? Only one thing remains which is not discarded; there is no way it can be discarded.

In the West there was a philosopher named Descartes – a deep thinker. He decided not to accept anything until he found the truth which cannot be doubted, so he began to reflect. He labored hard and he felt everything was doubtful. One may say “God is,” but a doubt can be raised about it. God may or may not be, but a doubt can always be created. “There is heaven,” “There is liberation” – it can all be doubted. Descartes said, “I will believe only in a thing which cannot be doubted, not something that can be proved, or argued in favor of, no. Something that cannot be doubted, something which is inevitable, indubitable… only then I will accept it.”

He searched and searched. However he too stopped at one point. He denied God, heaven, hell, and everything else, but he got stuck at one point – “Am I or not?” Descartes said, “This cannot be doubted, because even if I say ‘I am not,’ then too I am needed to be able to say this.” It is like a person who is in the house and who answers the caller, “I have gone out,” or “Right now I am not in the house. Come back in a little while and then I may meet you because by then I will be back home.” His very telling this will be the proof of his being at home. So the fact of my being is indubitable. This much is clear, that I am. Though what I am is not so clear. Am I a body, or a mind, or what? – This is not so clear.

This is what the Upanishads are in search of. One after another everything is eliminated, just as one would remove layer after layer of an onion. If you go on peeling an onion, finally nothing will be left of it in your hand. An onion is nothing but layers upon layers of skin – clothing over clothing – and there is nothing to be found if you go on undressing it. It is as if someone may have made a cloth-doll and we remove the cloths one by one. The first layer removed, the second layer is revealed; the second layer removed, the third layer is revealed; and so on, until all layers of cloths have finally been removed – and there remains no doll any more, just a nothingness in your hand.

So the biggest search of man is to find out if he too is nothing but an accumulation of many, many layers that we can go on peeling off and in the end there is nothing in our hand. If we go on denying and saying, “I am not the body,” “I am not the mind,” “I am not this,” “I am not that,” it may turn out to be the story of the onion and in the end nothing may remain of which one may say that “This is me.”

But the Upanishads say that even if it is so, yet it is necessary to know the truth; even if it is true that there is nothing within, yet it is worth knowing it, because the outcome of knowing the truth is very significant. But on searching deeply, however, it is found in the end that no, man is not just an accumulation of clothing, man is not just layers upon layers upon layers, there is something within the layers which is different. But we only come to know of that when by removing all the layers we arrive within ourselves. That element which remains in the end is called by the Upanishads sakshi, the witness.

This word sakshi is very beautiful and very valuable. The whole philosophy, genius and wisdom of the East is implied in this small word. The East has contributed no other more important word than sakshi, the witness, to the world. What does sakshi mean? Sakshi means the seer, the witness. Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the body?” Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the mind?” Who is this who goes on denying that “I am not this, I am not this?” There is an element of seeing, of watching, of the watcher within us which sees, which observes everything. This seer is the sakshi, the witness. What is seen is the world. The one who is seeing is who I am, and what is being seen is the world. Adhyas, the illusion, means that the one who is seeing misunderstands himself to be all that is seen. This is the illusion.

There is a diamond in my hand: I am seeing it. If I start saying that I am the diamond that is an illusion. This illusion has to be broken and one has to come, finally, to that pure element which is always the seer and is never the seen. This is a little difficult. The one who is the seer can never be seen, because by whom will it be seen? You can see everything in the world except yourself. How will you see yourself? – Because two will be needed for seeing, one who sees and the other who is seen. We can grab everything with a pair of tongs except the tongs themselves. That effort will fail. We may find it puzzling that when the tongs grab everything, why can they not grab themselves?

We see everything, but we are not able to see ourselves. And we will never be able to. Whatsoever you can see, know well that that is not you. Thus take one thing to be certain, that whatsoever you are able to see is not you. If you are able to see God, then one thing has become certain, that you are not God. If you have seen light within you, one thing is conclusive, that you are not light. If you have an experience of bliss within you, one thing is determined, that you are not bliss. Whatsoever has been experienced, you are not that. You are that which experiences.

So whatsoever becomes your experience, you are beyond it. Therefore it will be useful to understand one difficult point here, that spirituality is not an experience. Everything in the world is an experience, but not spirituality. Spirituality is reaching towards that which experiences all, but which itself never becomes an experience. It always remains the experiencer, the witness, the seer.

I see you: you are on one side; I am on the other side. You are there, the one who is being seen; I am here, the one who is seeing. These are two entities. There is no way of dividing oneself into two so that one part sees and the other part is seen. Even if it was possible to divide, then the part that would be seeing is myself, the part that would be seen would not be myself. The matter is finished.

This is the whole process or methodology of the Upanishads: neti, neti – neither this nor that.

Whatsoever can be seen, say that you are not that. Whatsoever can be experienced, say that you are not that. You can go on stepping backwards, until nothing remains that can be denied or eliminated. A moment comes when all scenes are lost. A moment comes when all experiences are dropped – all!

Remember, all! The experience of sex is of course dropped; the experiences of meditation are also dropped. The experiences of the world, of love and hate are dropped; the experiences of bliss and enlightenment are also dropped. Only the pure seer remains. Nothing is there to be seen; only emptiness remains all around. Only the watcher remains and the empty sky all around. In the middle stands the seer, the watcher, who sees nothing because everything has been denied and eliminated that could be seen. Now he experiences nothing. He has removed all experiences from his way. Now he remains alone, the one who was experiencing.

When there is no experience, there is no seeing; there is nothing seen and there is no object to be seen, and the witness alone remains. It becomes very difficult to express in language what really happens because we have no other word except ‘experience’ in our language, therefore we call it ‘self-experience’ or ‘self-realization’. The word experience is not right. We say “experience of consciousness” or “experience of the Brahma, the absolute,” but none of these expressions are right, because the word experience belongs to that same world which we have eliminated. The word experience does have a meaning in the world of duality, where there was ‘the other’ too. Here it has no meaning at all. Here only the experiencer remains, the witness remains.

The search for this witness is spirituality.

Remember: the search for God is not spirituality. In the ancient yoga sutras God is not discussed, not even mentioned. There was no need. Later, even when the sutras mentioned God, they called God a means in the journey of spirituality and not a goal. It is said God is useful in the spiritual practice, in the spiritual search, hence it is good to accept it, but it is only a means, a device, that’s all.

Buddha and Mahavira also denied God. They invented new devices. This device is not needed, they said. If God is nothing but a device, then other devices will serve the purpose as well.
But both Buddha and Mahavira cannot deny sakshi, the witness. They can deny God, they can deny everything else, but when it comes to sakshi, it is religion. If there is no mention of the witness, understand it well that the whole thing has nothing to do with religion. Everything else is secondary. Everything else may be useful, may not be useful, there can be differences of opinion about everything else, but not regarding the witness.

Therefore, if some day in this world a science of religion is created, there will be no mention of God, soul or Brahma. These are all local matters – some religions believe in them, some do not – but the sakshi will certainly be mentioned because it is not a local issue.

There can be no religion without the witness. So the witness alone is the scientific basis for all religious experiences – of all religious search and journeying. And it is on this and around this sakshi that all the Upanishads revolve. All principles and all indicators are for pointing out the witness.

Let us try to understand this a little further. It is not difficult to understand the meaning of the word witness, but it is a complex thing in actual practice.

Our mind is like an arrow, sharpened on one end. You may have seen an arrow: it cannot be shot from both its ends; an arrow will only go in one direction. It can’t travel in opposite directions simultaneously; it will go only towards its target in one direction.

So, when the arrow is on the bow and then it is shot, there are two aspects to be considered – when it leaves the bow on which it was set it begins to move away from it; and it begins to come closer towards the target, where it was not earlier. One state was that the arrow was on the bow, and far away on a tree was sitting a bird. The arrow was still on the bow and had not yet pierced the bird. Then the arrow left the bow, started moving away from it and coming closer to the bird. And then comes the state when the arrow has pierced the bird; the bow remains vacant and the arrow is in the chest of the bird.

This is what we are doing with our awareness the whole time. Whenever the arrow of our awareness leaves us, the bow within becomes vacant and the arrow, on reaching the object, is attached to it. A face looked beautiful to you; the arrow of your awareness is released. Now that arrow is not within you, the awareness is not within you. The awareness raced away and attached itself to the beautiful face.

There is a diamond lying on the road; the arrow is released from the bow. Now the awareness is not within you, now the awareness moves and, reaching the diamond, pierces its heart. Now your awareness is with the diamond and no longer within you. Now the awareness is somewhere else. So all the arrows of your awareness have reached out and pierced somewhere else – and somewhere else, and somewhere else. You have no awareness within you any more, it is always going out. An arrow can only go in one direction but awareness can be bi-directional – and when that happens, the witness is experienced. The arrow of awareness can go in both directions; it can be two-edged.

When your awareness is drawn somewhere, if you can manage only this much, then one day the witness will happen within you. When your attention is drawn outside – say a beautiful young woman passed by or a beautiful young man passed by, your awareness was caught there and now you have completely forgotten yourself, the awareness is no longer within. Now you are not conscious, now you have become unconscious because your consciousness has traveled to someone else, now your consciousness has become the shadow of that person or object – now you are no longer conscious.

Now, if you can do this one thing: you saw someone beautiful; your awareness was drawn there. If in that same moment you can be aware of the bow within from where this arrow has been shot, if you can simultaneously see them both – the source from where the awareness is shooting forth and the object where awareness is going to – if they can both come into your attention simultaneously, then you will experience for the first time what is meant by the witness. From where the awareness is arising, from where the awareness is shooting away – that source has to be found.

We see a tree – we see its branches, its foliage, its leaves and flowers, its fruits, but we are not able to see the roots. The roots are hidden in the darkness underneath. But the tree is taking its nourishment from the roots. Your awareness expands and travels all around, a big tree of the world is created, but the source from where the awareness emanates, that oceanic consciousness remains unnoticed. What is needed is that the roots are also seen at the same time; both the roots and the tree are seen simultaneously.

Understand it this way: when I am speaking, your awareness is on my words. Make this a double pointed arrow… it can become so right now, this very moment. When I am speaking, do not only listen to what I am saying, also remain aware simultaneously that you are listening. The speaker is someone else, he is speaking; I am the listener, I am listening. If even for a moment, now, here, you can manage both things simultaneously – listening as well as remembering the listener, this remembrance within that, “I am listening” – then there is no need to repeat the words. If you repeat the words, “I am listening,” you will not be able to listen at the same time; you will miss what I said. There is no need to form the words inside, “I am listening, I am listening.” If you did that, you would be deaf for that period of time to what I was saying. In that moment when you heard your own voice saying, “I am listening,” you wouldn’t hear what I was saying.

It is a simultaneous experience of listening to what I am saying and also being aware that you are listening. The feeling, the realization, the experience that you are the listener is the second aspect.

Achieving awareness of the second aspect is difficult. If you can manage it, becoming aware of the third aspect is very easy.

The third aspect is this: if the speaker is A, the listener is B, then who is the one that is experiencing them both, the speaker as well as the listener? That one is the third, and this third point is the witness. You cannot go beyond this third. This third one is the last point. And these are the three points of the triangle of life: the two are the object and the subject, and the third point is the witness of these two, the experiencer of these two, the seer of these two.

-Osho

From Finger Pointing to the Moon, Chapter Three

Finger Pointing to the Moon

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The New Man – Osho

What according to you is the most significant thing that is happening today in the world?

A new man is emerging. The image of the new man is not yet clear, but the horizon is becoming red and the sun will soon be there. The morning mist is there and the image of the new man is vague, but still a few things are very crystal clear about the new man.

And this is of tremendous importance because since the monkey became man, man has remained the same. A great revolution is on the way. It will be far more deep-going than the revolution that happened when monkeys started walking on the earth and became human beings. That change created mind that change brought psychology in. Now another far more significant change is going to happen that will bring the soul in, and man will not only be a psychological being but a spiritual being too.

You are living in one of the most alive times ever.

The new man has already arrived in fragments, but only in fragments. And the new man has been arriving for centuries, but only here and there. That’s how things happen. When the spring comes it starts with one flower. But when the one flower is there, then one can be certain: that spring is not faraway – it has come. The first flower has heralded its coming: Zarathustra, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Buddha, Jesus – these were the first flowers. Now the new man is going to be born on a greater scale.

According to me, this new consciousness is the most important thing that is happening today. I would like to tell you something about this new consciousness, its orientations, and its characteristics, because you are to help it come out of the womb – because you HAVE TO BE IT. The new man cannot come from nowhere; he has to come through you. The new man can only be born through your womb. You have to become the womb.

Sannyas is an experiment to clean the ground so that new seeds can fall in. If you understand the meaning of the new man, you will be able to understand the significance of sannyas too. And it is because sannyas is concerned with the new man that the old orthodoxies of all kinds are going to be against me and against sannyas, because this will be their end. If sannyas succeeds, if the new man succeeds, the old will have to go. The old can live only if the new man is prevented from coming.

It cannot be prevented now, because it is not only a question of the new man’s coming into existence, it is a question of the survival of the whole earth, of consciousness itself, of life itself. It is a question of life and death. The old man has come to utter destructiveness. The old man has reached the end of his tether. Now there is no life possible with the old concept of man but only death. The old man is preparing for a global suicide. The old man is piling up atom bombs, hydrogen bombs, in order to commit a collective suicide. This is a very unconscious desire. Rather than allowing the new man to be, the old man would like to destroy the whole thing.

You have to understand, you have to protect the new, because the new carries the whole future with it. And man has come to a stage where a great quantum leap is possible. The old man was other-worldly, the old man was against this world. The old man was always looking to the heavens. The old man was more concerned with life after death than life before death. The new man’s concern will be life before death. The new man’s concern will be THIS life, because if this life is taken care of, the other will follow of its own accord. One need not worry about it, one need not think about it.

The old man was too concerned with God. That concern was out of fear. The new man will not be concerned with God, but will live and love this world, and out of that love he will experience the existence of God. The old man was speculative; the new man is going to be existential.

The old man can be defined in the Upanishadic statement: neti-neti, not this, not this. The old man was negative – life-negative, life-denying. The new man will be life-affirming: iti-iti, this and this. The old man’s concern was THAT, the new man’s concern will be this, because out of this that is born, and if you become too concerned with that, you miss both.

Tomorrow is in the womb of today. Take care of today and you have taken care of tomorrow. There is no need to be in any way worried about tomorrow. If you become too worried about tomorrow you have missed today. And tomorrow will come as today – it always comes as today. If you have learned this suicidal habit of missing today, you will miss tomorrow also. You will go on missing. The old man was continuously missing, was miserable, sad. And because he was sad he was against the world, he blamed the world, he blamed samsara. He said, ‘It is because of the world that I am in misery.’ It is not so. The world is immensely beautiful, it is all beauty, bliss and benediction. There is nothing wrong with the world. Something was wrong with the old mind. The old mind was either past-oriented or future-oriented, which are not really different orientations.

The old mind was concerned with that which is not. The new man will be utterly in tune with that which is, because it is God, it is reality: iti-iti, this is it. This moment has to be lived in its totality. This moment has to be lived in its spontaneity, with no a priori ideas. The old man was carrying ready-made answers. He was stuffed with philosophy, religion and all kinds of nonsense.

The new man is going to live life without any a priori conclusion about it. Without any conclusion one has to face existence, and then one knows what it is. If you have already concluded, your conclusion will become a barrier. It will not allow you inquiry – your conclusion will become a blindfold. It will not allow you to see the truth – your investment will be in the conclusion. You will distort reality to fit your conclusion. That’s what has been done up to now.

The new man will not be Hindu, will not be Mohammedan, will not be Christian, will not be communist. The new man will not know all these ‘isms’. The new man will simply be an opening, a window to reality. He will allow reality as it is. He will not project his own mind upon it. He will not use reality as a screen. His eyes will be available; they will not be full of ideas.

The new man will not live out of belief, he will simply live. And remember, only those who can simply live, without belief, come to know what truth is. The believer or the disbeliever never comes to know what truth is. Their beliefs are too heavy on their minds. They are surrounded too much by their belief systems. The new man will not know any belief system. He will watch, he will observe, he will see, he will live, and he will allow all kinds of experiences. He will be available, he will be multi-dimensional. He will not carry scriptures in his head, he will carry only alertness awareness. He will be meditative.

The old man lived out of fear – even his God was nothing but a creation out of fear. His temples, mosques, gurudwaras, churches – they were all out of fear. He was trembling, he was afraid. The new man will live out of love, not out of fear, because fear serves death, love serves life. And if you live out of fear you will never know what life is, you will only know death again and again. And remember, the person who lives out of fear creates all kinds of situations in which he has to feel more and more fear. Yom fear creates situations, just as your love creates situations.

If you love, you will find so many occasions to be loving. If you are afraid, you will find so many occasions to be afraid. Love is going to be the taste of the new consciousness. Because fear was the taste of the old consciousness it created wars. In three thousand years man has fought five thousand wars – as if we have not been doing anything else – continuous fighting somewhere or other. This is a very mad state of affairs. Humanity’s past is insane.

The new man will become discontinuous with this insane past. He will believe in love, not in war.  He will believe in life, not in death. He will be creative, not destructive. His science, his art – all will serve creativity. He will not create bombs. He will not be political, because politics is out of hatred.

Politics is rooted in fear, hate, destructiveness. The new man will not be political. The new man will not be national; the new man will be global. He will not have any political ambition, because it is stupid to have political ambition. The new man is going to be very intelligent. The first signs of that intelligence are rising on the horizon. Those who have eyes – they can see it. The children are rebelling.

It is a great moment of rejoicing that all over the world young people are rebelling against all kinds of orthodoxies – whether the orthodoxy is that of church or state doesn’t matter. They are not ready to obey – not that they have determined to disobey, they are not determined to disobey either. They will meditate, and if they feel like obeying they will obey. If they feel like disobeying, they will disobey. They have no fixed ideology. ‘My country right or wrong’ – such stupid statements they cannot make. Sometimes it is wrong, sometimes it is right. When it is right, the new man will support it. When it is wrong… Whether it is one’s own country or not will not matter. It may be one’s own family, one’s own father, mother, but if it is wrong, it is wrong.

The new man will live not out of prejudices but out of spontaneous responsibility. The old man was a slave, the new man will be free, the new man will have freedom at the very core of his being. The old man was very serious, the old man was a ‘workaholic’. The new man will be playful – homo ludens. He will believe in enjoying life. He will drop words like ‘duty’, ‘sacrifice’. He will not sacrifice for anything. He will not be a victim to any altar – that of the state or of the religion, of the priest or of the politician. He will not allow anybody to exploit his life – ‘Go and die because your country is at war.’ His commitment is towards life, his commitment is not towards anything else. He wants to live in joy, he wants to rejoice in all the gifts of God, he wants to celebrate. Alleluia will be his only mantra. Jesus says, ’Rejoice, rejoice. I say unto you rejoice.’

Man has not rejoiced yet. Man has lived under a great burden of seriousness: Work for the country. Work for the family. Work for the wife. Work for the children. Work for your father and mother. Just go on working and working and then one day die and disappear into the grave. And then others will work. And it goes on and on. Nobody seems to have any time to enjoy life.

And I am not saying that the new man will not work. He will work, but that will not be his addiction.

He will not be a ‘orkaholic’, it will not be a drug, he will work because he needs a few things, but he will not continuously work for more and more. He will not be accumulative. He will not believe in having a big bank balance, and he will not believe in having a very high post; rather, he will want to sing a song, to play on the flute, on the guitar, to dance. He will not want to become famous, he will want to live, authentically live. He will be ready to be a nobody.

And that is already happening. The first rays are already available. It is still hidden in the morning mist, but if you search you will find it. The new children, the new generation, are a totally different kind of generation, hence the generation gap. It is very real. It has never been so – never before has there been any generation gap. This is the first time in the whole of human history that there is a gap. The children are speaking a different language from their parents. The parents cannot understand because the parents want them to succeed. And the children say, ’But what is the point of success if you cannot sing a song, and you cannot dance, and you cannot enjoy, and you cannot love? What is the point of being successful? Why? What is going to happen through success? Even if the whole world knows my name, what is that going to give me?’

The old generation believes in money. And you will be surprised that the belief in money is so deep that even those who renounce money – they also believe in money; otherwise there is no need to renounce it. And those who praise renunciation – they also believe in money. The more money you renounce, the greater you are. So the measurement is of money. Money remains the criterion. In the world if you have more money you are great. And even in the world of the monks: ’How much have you renounced?’ If you have renounced more money, then you are more important. Money remains important even there.

The new generation is not going to be money-manic. And remember, I am not saying it is going to be against money, it will use money. In the past money has used man, in the past man has lived in such an unconscious way that he thought he possessed things, but things possessed him. The new man will be able to use things. The new man will use money, will use technology, but the new man will remain the master. He is not going to become a victim, an instrument. This, according to me, is the greatest thing that is happening.

A few characteristics. The new consciousness is going to be counter to all orthodoxies. Any kind of orthodoxy, Catholic or communist, Hindu or Jaina – any kind of orthodoxy – is a kind of paralysis of the mind. It paralyzes. You stop living. It becomes a rigidity around you. You become a fanatic, you become stubborn. You become rock-like. You don’t behave like a liquid human being, you start behaving like a mule. That’s why for Morarji Desai I have another name: Mulish-jibhai Desai. One starts behaving in a mulish way, stubborn, dead set, no possibility of changing, no flexibility, no fluidity. But in the past that has been praised very much: people call it consistency, certainty. It is not. It is neither consistency nor certainty; it is simply deadness.

An alive person has to remain flowing. He has to respond to the changing situations. And situations are continuously changing. How can you remain fixed in your attitudes when life itself is not fixed? When life is a river how can you remain stubborn? And if you remain stubborn you lose contact with life – you are already in your grave.

The new consciousness will be non-orthodox, non-fanatic; it will be fluid. It will not react, it will respond. And the difference between these two words is great. Reaction is always rigid. You have a fixed idea, you react out of it. Before the question is raised, the answer is ready. Response is totally different. You listen to the question, you absorb the question, you see the situation, you feel the situation, you live the situation, and out of that very living your response arises. A responsible man cannot be stubborn, cannot be certain, cannot be rigid. He will have to live moment to moment. He cannot decide beforehand, he will have to decide every day, each moment. And because he has to move continuously with life and its changing challenges, he cannot be consistent in the old sense. His consistency will be only one: that he will always be in tune with life. That will be his consistency – not that he has a certain idea and he remains consistent with that idea and goes on sacrificing life for it.

There was a case against Mulla Nasrudin in the court and the magistrate asked him, ‘Mulla, how old are you?’

He said, ‘Forty.’

The magistrate said, ‘But this is strange. You surprise me, because five years ago you were in court, and that time also you said forty.’

Mulla said, ‘Yes, I am a consistent man. Once I have said something, you can believe me. I will never say anything else.’

This is one type of consistency.

The new man will find it ridiculous. But the old man has been consistent in this way: in his character, in his statements, in his hypocrisy. The old man used to decide once and for all. Psychologists say that almost fifty percent of your life is decided by the time you are seven years old – fifty percent! – and then you remain consistent with it. And life goes on changing – no wonder that you are left behind, that you start dragging, that you lose joy, that you lose the quality of dance. How can you dance? you are so far behind life. You are dead wood, you don’t grow. An alive tree grows, changes; as the season changes, the tree changes. An alive person grows, and to the very moment of death he continuously goes on growing. He never knows any end to his growth.

Psychologists say the average mental age of man is thirteen. This is the situation. This is how the old man has lived up to now. A thirteen-year mental age means: at the age of thirteen people have stopped growing. Yes, they go on growing old, but they don’t grow up. Growing old is one thing, growing up is totally different. Growing old is a physiological phenomenon; growing up means maturity, wisdom. And only those who go on flowing with life grow up.

The new man will not be obedient to stupid ideas that have been given from the past. And they may not have been stupid when they were born, they may have been relevant in those circumstances; but as circumstances change, things become stupid. If you carry them, if you go on persisting in your old fixed routines, you start behaving in an absurd way.

Now, look. Some religion is five thousand years old. That means five thousand years ago its rituals were born and since then they have remained fixed. How dangerous it is! How crippling! How can man be alive if these five-thousand-year-old rituals surround his soul?

The new man will be creative. Each moment he will find his religion, each moment he will find his philosophy. And everything will remain growing. He will not be obedient to the past, he cannot be – to be obedient to the past is to be obedient to death, because the past is dead; he will be obedient to the present. And in being obedient to the present, he will be rebellious against the past. To be rebellious is going to be one of his most prominent characteristics. And because he will be rebellious he will not fit in with a dead society, he will not fit in with a dead church, he will not fit in with a dead army. He will not fit anywhere where obedience is a basic requirement.

The new man is bound to create a new society around himself.

First consciousness becomes new, then society becomes new. There is going to be a long period in which the old will resist the new, will fight with the new, will try to destroy the new. But the old cannot succeed – time, the spirit of time, will not be in its favour. The old has to die. Just as the old body dies and makes space for some new child, so old societies, old orthodoxies, have to die. They have already lived overtime. They have lived too long!

The new consciousness will not be moralistic, will not be puritan; not that it will not have any morality, but it will have a different kind of morality – a morality that arises out of one’s own feeling for life, one’s sensitivity, one’s own experiences – not a morality learned from others, borrowed. The new man will not be a man of character in the old sense, because all character is binding. It creates an armour around you. The new man will be characterless in the sense that he will not have any armour. The new man will be characterless in the sense that he will not have a prison cell around him. Not that he will not have character, but he will give a new definition to character. He will not be a hypocrite.

The old puritanism, the old moralistic attitudes have created hypocrisy in the world; they have made man schizophrenic: on the surface one thing, deep within something else – almost the opposite.

The old man lived a double life. The new man is going to live in a unitary way. He will live a single life. Whatsoever is inside him will also be his outside. He will be authentic. Remember this word ‘authenticity’ – that is going to be the new man’s religion. That is going to be the new man’s truth, his temple, his God – authenticity. And with authenticity neurosis disappears. The old man was neurotic because he was constantly in conflict: he wanted to do one thing and he was always doing something else, because something else was required. He was taught to do something against himself; he was repressive. His own authenticity was repressed, and on top of it a bogus character was imposed.

We have praised these phony people too long. Now the time has come – their phoniness should be exposed. We have praised these mahatmas and saints so long, now we have to see their neurosis.

They were all psychologically ill, they were pathological. A healthy person is a whole person. His inside and his outside are the same. If he loves, he loves passionately. If he is angry, he is angry passionately. His anger has truth in it as much as his love has truth in it. The old man boils within and smiles on the outside. He lives without passion, without energy. He lives without any flame. His whole life is an exercise in phoniness and, naturally, he suffers. A long futile story is all that his life is ‘… a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.’

The new man will not be a tale told by an idiot, but will be a poem sung out of wholeness, will be a dance of immense joy for God’s gift of life and being, for the flowers and the trees and the birds, and the sun and the sand and the sea.

The new man will not look somewhere faraway for God, he will look here, close-by. Now will be his only time, here will be his only space.

The new man will be earthly. And by ‘earthly’ I don’t mean materialistic. The new man will be a realist. He will love this earth. Because we have not loved this earth and our so-called religions have been teaching us to hate this earth, we have destroyed it. It is a beautiful planet, one of the most beautiful, because one of the most alive. This planet has to be loved, this planet has to be rejoiced in. It is a gift. This body has so many mysteries in it that even a Buddha is possible only because of this body. This body becomes the temple of the greatest possibility: Buddhahood, nirvana. This body has to be loved. This earth has to be loved.

The new man will find his religion in nature – not in dead stone statues, but in living dancing trees in the wind. He will find his religion surfing on the sea, climbing on the virgin mountain. He will find his prayer with the snow, with the moon, with the stars. He will be in dialogue with existence as it is. He will not live with abstract ideas, he will live with realities. His commitment will be to nature, and through that commitment he will come to know super-nature. God is hidden here in this earth, in this very body. This very body, the Buddha. This very earth, the paradise.

The new man will read the scripture of nature. This will be his Veda, his Koran, his Bible. Here he will find sermons in the stones. He will try to decipher the mysteries of life, he will not try to demystify life. He will try to love those mysteries, to enter in those mysteries. He will be a poet, he will not be a philosopher. He will be an artist; he will not be a theologian. His science will also have a different tone. His science will be that of Tao, not an effort to conquer nature, because that effort is just foolish. How can you conquer nature? – You are part of nature. His science will be of understanding nature, not of conquering nature. He will not rape nature, he will love and persuade nature to reveal its secrets.

The new man will not be ambitious, will not be political.

Politics has no future; politics has existed because of the neurosis of humankind. Once the neurosis disappears, politics will disappear.

Ambition simply means you are missing something and you are consoling yourself that you will get it in the future. Ambition is a consolation. Today it is all misery, tomorrow there will be joy. Looking at tomorrow you become capable of tolerating today and its misery: today is always hell, tomorrow is heaven. You keep on looking at heaven, you keep on hoping.

But that hope is not going to be fulfilled ever because tomorrow never comes. Ambition means you are incapable of transforming your today into a beatitude; you are impotent. Only impotent people are ambitious: they seek money, they seek power. Only impotent people seek power and money.

The potential person lives. If money comes his way, he lives the money too, but he does not seek it, he is not after it. He is not afraid of it either.

The old man was either after money or afraid of money, either after power or afraid of power; but in both ways his whole focus was on power and money. He was ambitious. The old man is pitiable. He was ambitious because he was unable to live, unable to love. The new man will be able to live and able to love. And his here-now is going to be so beautiful, why should he be worried about tomorrow? His concern will not be with having more, his concern will be with BEING more – another very important distinction to be remembered. His concern will be with being more, not having more.

Having more is just a substitute for being more. You have more money, so you think you are more.

You have more power, so you think you are more. Deep down you remain the same beggar.

Alexander dies as empty-handed as any beggar.

Being more is a totally different dimension. Being more means getting in touch with your reality, getting in tune with your being, and helping yourself to fall in harmony with the universe. To be in harmony with the universe you become more. The more you are in tune with existence, the more you are. If the harmony is total, you are a god. That’s why we call Buddha a god, Mahavira a god – utter total harmony with existence, no conflict at all. They have dissolved themselves into the whole, they have become the whole – just as a dewdrop disappears into the ocean and becomes the ocean. They have died in their egos, now they live as existence itself.

The new man will have no use for sham, facade or pretense, he will be true, because only through truth is there liberation. All lies create bondages. Tell a single lie and you will have to tell a thousand and one to defend it – you will have to tell lies ad nauseam. Then there is no end to it. A single lie sooner or later will spread all over your being. It is like cancer.

Be truthful and you need not hide, you can be open. Be truthful and you need not protect yourself against existence, you can be vulnerable. In that vulnerability existence penetrates you, God reaches your heart.

Tell a lie and you are afraid. You will be afraid of God too, you will be afraid of facing him. You will be afraid of facing yourself. You will be continuously escaping from yourself, from others, from God.

You will be constantly hiding behind your pretensions. Hypocrisy will become your life style, and that’s where hell exists. Hypocrisy creates hell. Authenticity is the only joy – the ONLY joy, I say. And if you are not authentic you will never be joyous.

The new consciousness will not put up with double-talk. The new consciousness will hate this kind of thing with a passion. This hatred for phoniness is the deepest mark of the new man. The new man will be opposed to structured, inflexible and infallible systems, because life is a beautiful flow. It is not structured, it is freedom. It is not a prison, it is a temple. He will want organizations to be fluid, changing, adapting and human. Our states are inhuman, our armies are inhuman, our churches are inhuman. They dehumanize man. They reduce man into a thing because they don’t respect man’s freedom. The new man will respect his freedom and respect others’ freedom, too. The old man is constantly interfering, poking his nose into everybody’s affairs, trying to manipulate, criticizing, condemning, rewarding, punishing. The old man is continuously concerned with others: ‘What are you doing?’

I was staying in Bombay once. A Parsee woman came to me because just the day before I had criticized Satya Sai Baba and had called him a phony guru. She came to see me and she said, ‘I have come to tell you a few more things.’ She was thinking that I would be very happy because she had brought some information against Satya Sai Baba. She said, ‘He is a homosexual. And I know it from reliable sources.’ I said, ‘But why should you be concerned? Homosexual or heterosexual – that is his business. It is his life. Who are you? Why should you be bothered about it?’

She was very shocked when I said that. She had come feeling that I would be very grateful to her, because she was giving me such great information.

Why should you be concerned? Can’t you leave people to their own life? I criticize only when the other’s life is concerned; otherwise there is no question of criticism. What Satya Sai Baba is doing with his sexuality is his business, it is nobody else’s business.

But the old woman was constantly poking her nose into everybody’s affairs.

It happens here every day. The old kind of people come and they are very much in agony because some man is holding some woman’s hand. Why? – he is not holding your hand. And if those two persons have decided to hold hands, they have absolute freedom to do that. And if they are enjoying, who are you to interfere? If the man is holding some woman’s hand against her will, then maybe your help is needed; but if they both are willing then you should not be concerned at all. But this is the old consciousness. It is always trying to find ways and means to manipulate others, to be dominant over others.

The new consciousness will leave everyone to his own life. Unless somebody is harming others, he should not be prevented. Unless somebody is a danger to others, he should not be prevented.

Unless somebody is interfering in somebody else’s freedom, he should not be interfered with.

The old world remained without individuality. It hated individuality, it liked only sheep, crowds – people behaving in the same way with everybody following the same routine and the same structure.

The new man will allow all kinds of possibilities. The new man will love liquid structures. He will be human, he will respect human beings. His respect will be almost religious.

The new man will have to find new forms of community, of closeness, of intimacy, of shared purpose, because the old society is not going to disappear immediately. It will linger, it will put up all kinds of fight to the new society – as it always happens. It has so many vested interests, it cannot go easily.

It will go only when it becomes impossible for it to remain in existence.

Before it goes the new man will have to create new kinds of communes, new kinds of families, new communities of closeness, intimacy, shared purpose.

That’s why I am trying to create a small commune where you can be totally yourself – away from the structured and the rotten world – and you can be given absolute freedom. It will be an experiment, because the future is going to move on those lines. It will be a small experiment but of immense significance.

The new consciousness will not have anything to do with institutions like marriage. The new man will have a natural distrust of marriage as an institution. A man-woman relationship has deep value for him only when it is a mutually enhancing, growing, flowing relationship. He will have little regard for marriage as a ceremony or for vows of permanence which prove to be highly impermanent. He will love the moment and live it in its totality.

Marriage has no future. Love has a future.

In the past love was not a reality, marriage was a reality. In the future love is going to be the reality and marriage is going to become more and more unreal. In the past people were married to each other, hence by and by they started liking and loving. In the future people will love and like each other, only then will they live together. In the past to live together came first and, naturally, when you live together, a liking arises, a dependence arises. It was a need phenomenon. The husband needed the wife, the wife needed the husband, and then the children needed the parents to be together. It was, more or less, an economic phenomenon; but it was not out of love.

The future will know a different kind of relationship which is based purely on love and which will remain in existence only while love remains. And there will be no hankering for its permanence, because in life nothing is permanent; only plastic flowers are permanent.

Real roses are born in the morning and are gone by the evening. And that is their beauty: they are beautiful when they come, and they are beautiful when their petals start withering away. Their life is beautiful, their birth is beautiful, their death is beautiful, because there is aliveness. A plastic flower is never born, never lives, never dies.

Marriage has been a plastic flower in the past. The new consciousness can have no respect for marriage. It will have to create a new kind of intimacy – friendship. And it will have to learn to live with the impermanent phenomenon of love and of everything.

It needs guts to live with the impermanence of life, because each time something changes you have to change yourself again. One wants to remain fixed – it seems safer, more secure. That’s how the old man has lived. The old man was not adventurous; his whole concern was security. The new man will have the spirit of adventure; his concern will not be security, his concern will be ecstasy.

He will not believe, because belief is a search for security, he will explore. He may not have neat answers to every question, but he will accept every challenge to inquire, to explore. He will go as far as life can take him, he will try to reach to the stars; but he will remain open. He will not start with a belief, with a conclusion, he will start only with a quest, a question. To start with a belief is not to start at all. To start with a belief is just playing a game with yourself. You have already believed, how can you explore? To explore one has to be agnostic. And that is going to be the religion of the future: agnosticism.

One will be capable and courageous enough to say, ‘I don’t know, but I am interested in knowing.

And I am ready to go into any dimension, into any adventure.’ The new man will be ready to risk.

The old man was very businesslike, never ready to risk. Risk was anathema; security was his goal.

But with security you start dying. It is only in adventure, continuous adventure, that life grows to higher and higher plenitudes, that it reaches to the Himalayan peaks.

The new person will be a spontaneous person, unpredictable, willing to risk newness, often willing to risk saying or doing the wild, the far-out thing. He will believe that everything is possible and anything can be tried. He will not cling to the known, he will always remain available to the unknown, even to the unknowable. And he will not sacrifice for any future because he will not be an idealist.

He will not sacrifice for any abstract ideas, ideals, ideologies.

He will have a trust in his own experience and a profound distrust of all external authority. The new man will trust only his own experience. Unless he knows something he will not trust it. No external authority can help the new man. Nobody can say, ’I say so, so you have to believe. Because we have always believed, so you have to believe. Because our forefathers believed, so you have to believe. Because it is written in the Vedas and the Bible, you have to believe.’ The new man is not going to have anything to do with such nonsense, the new man will believe only if HE knows. This is real trust – trust in one’s own possibilities, one’s own potential. The new man will respect himself. To believe in external authorities is disrespectful towards one’s own being.

And, finally, the new man will like being close to elemental nature: to the sea, the sun, the snow; flowers, animals, birds; to life, growth, death.

This, according to me, is the most important phenomenon that is happening today. A new man is coming into existence. The first rays are already on the horizon. Prepare yourself to receive the new man. Get ready. Become a host to the guest who is just about to knock on your doors at any moment. And that’s what sannyas is all about: a preparation – getting ready to receive the new man.

It is going to be a great adventure to receive the new man. It is going to be risky, too, because the old will not like it.

Now you can understand why the orthodox mind is against me. I am preparing their graveyard, and I am preparing for something new. I am preparing a garden for the new. You are to open your hearts for the new. Uproot all the weeds of the old, drop all the conditionings that the old has given to you, so you can receive the new.

And remember, the days of the messiahs are over. Don’t wait for Christ’s coming again, and don’t wait for Buddha’s coming again. Nobody comes again, at least not Buddha and Christ. Those who come again are the people who live without learning anything from life. Buddha has learned the lesson; he will not be coming again. Christ has learned the lesson; he will not be coming again. Don’t wait for any messiah to come; wait for a new consciousness, not for a messiah to deliver you.

That is what the old man used to believe – somebody will come. Hindus think Krishna will come: ‘When things are really dark and difficult and dismal, Krishna will come and deliver us.’ All nonsense!

All holy cow dung! A new consciousness is going to deliver you, not some person – Buddha, Krishna, Christ. They were here and they could not deliver you. No single person can do it – it is impossible. Only a new consciousness can deliver man from his bondage. And the new consciousness can come only through you. You have to become the womb, you have to accept it, receive it, prepare yourself for it.

Sannyas is nothing but getting ready for something immensely valuable, so that when the gift comes you are not fast asleep, so that when the new consciousness knocks on your door you are ready to embrace it.

-Osho

From The Secret of Secrets, Vol. 1, Chapter 14

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 Light You Seek – Osho

The light that you seek is within you. So the search is going to be an inward search. It is not a journey to some goal in the outer space; it is a journey in the inner space. You have to reach your core. That which you are seeking is already within you. You just have to peel the onion: layers and layers of ignorance are there. The diamond is hidden in the mud; the diamond is not to be created. The diamond is already there — -only the layers of mud have to be removed.

This is very basic to understand: the treasure is already there. Maybe you don’t have the key. The key has to be found, but not the treasure. This is basic, very radical, because the whole effort will depend on this understanding. If the treasure has to be created then it is going to be a very long process; and nobody can be certain whether it can be created or not. Only the key has to be found. The treasure is there, just nearby. A few layers of locks have to be removed.

That’s why the search for truth is negative. It is not a positive search. You are not to add something to your being; rather you have to delete something. You have to cut something from you. The search for truth is surgical. It is not medical; it is surgical. Nothing is to be added to you; rather on the contrary, something has to be removed from you, negated.

Hence, the method of the Upanishads: neti, neti. The meaning of neti, neti is: go on negating until you reach to the negator; go on negating until there is not any possibility to negate, only you are left, you in your core, in your consciousness which cannot be negated — because who will negate it? So go on negating, “I am neither this nor that.” Go on. “Neti, neti….” Then a point comes when only you are, the negator; there is nothing else to cut anymore, the surgery is over; you have come to the treasure.

If this is understood rightly, then the burden is not very heavy; the search is very light. You can move easily, knowing well all the time on the way that the treasure may be forgotten, but it is not lost. You may not be able to know where exactly it is, but it is within you. You can rest assured; there is no uncertainty about it. In fact even if you want to lose it you cannot lose it, because it is your very being. It is not something external to you; it is intrinsic.

People come to me and they say, “we are in search of God.’ I ask them, “Where have you lost him? Why are you seeking? Have you lost him somewhere? If you have lost him somewhere, then tell me where you have lost him; because only there will you be able to find him.” They say, “No, we have not lost him.” Then why are you seeking? Then just close your eyes. Maybe because of the search you cannot find him. Maybe you are much too concerned with seeking; you have not looked at your own inner being: that the king of kings is sitting there already, waiting for you to come home. And you are a great seeker so you are going to Mecca and Medina, Kashi, and Kailash. You are a great seeker. You are going all over the world, except one place — where you are. The seeker is the sought… when one is quiet and still.

Nothing new is achieved. One simply starts understanding that looking out was the whole point of missing. Looking in, it is there. It has always been there. There has never been a single moment when it was not there — and there will never be a single moment — because God is not external, truth is not external to you: it is you glorified; it is you in your total splendor; it is you in your absolute purity.

-Osho

Excerpt from Yoga: A New Direction (previously titled Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, V.5), Chapter Five

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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Ah, This! – Osho

 In the question “Who am I?” What does “I” mean? Does it mean the essence of life?

“Who am I?” Is not really a question because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. It is used as a mantra. When you constantly inquire inside, “Who am I? Who am I?” you are not waiting for an answer. Your mind will supply many answers; all those answers have to be rejected. Your mind will say, “You are the essence of life. You are the eternal soul. You are divine,” and so on and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected: NETI NETI — one has to go on saying, “Neither this nor that.”

When you have denied all the possible answers that the mind can supply and devise, when the question remains absolutely unanswerable, a miracle happens: suddenly the question also disappears. When all the answers have been rejected, the question has no props, no supports inside to stand on any more. It simply flops, it collapses, it disappears. When the question also has disappeared, then you know. But that knowing is not an answer: it is an existential experience. Nothing can be said about it, or whatever will be said will be wrong. To say anything about it is to falsify it. It is the ultimate mystery, inexpressible, indefinable. No word is adequate enough to describe it. Even the phrase “essence of life” is not adequate; even “God” is not adequate. Nothing is adequate to express it; its very nature is inexpressible.

But you know. You know exactly the way the seed knows how to grow — not like the professor who knows about chemistry or physics or geography or history, but like the bud which knows how to open in the early morning sun. Not like the priest who knows about God; about and about he goes, around and around he goes.

Knowledge is beating around the bush: knowing is a direct penetration. But the moment you directly penetrate into existence, you disappear as a separate entity. You are no more.

When the KNOWER is no more then the knowing is. And the knowing is not ABOUT something — you are that knowing itself.

So I cannot say, what “I” means in the question “Who am I?” It means nothing! It is just a device to lead you into the unknown, to lead you into the uncharted, to lead you into that which is not available to the mind. It is a sword to cut the very roots of the mind, so only the silence of no-mind is left. In that silence there is no question, no answer, no knower, no known, but only knowing, only experiencing.

That’s why the mystics appear to be in such difficulty to express it. Many of them have remained silent out of the awareness that whatsoever you say goes wrong; the moment you say it, it goes wrong. Those who have spoken, they have spoken with the condition:

“Don’t cling to our words.”

Lao Tzu says: “Tao, once described, is no more the real Tao.” The moment you say something about it you have already falsified it, you have betrayed it. It is such an intimate knowing, incommunicable.

“Who am I?” functions like a sword to cut all the answers that the mind can manage. Zen people will say it is a koan, just like other koans. There are many koans, famous koans.

One is: “Find out your original face.” And the disciple asks the Master, “What is the original face?” And the Master says, “The face that you had before your parents were born.”

And you start meditating on that: “What is your original face?” Naturally, you have to deny all your faces. Many faces will start surfacing: childhood faces, when you were young, when you became middle-aged, when you became old, when you were healthy, when you were ill…. All kinds of faces will stand in a queue. They will pass before your eyes claiming, “I am the original face.” And you have to go on rejecting.

When all the faces have been rejected and emptiness is left, you have found the original face. Emptiness is the original face. Zero is the ultimate experience. Nothingness – or more accurately NO-THINGNESS — is your original face.

Or another famous koan is: “The sound of one hand clapping.” The Master says to the disciple, “Go and listen to the sound of one hand clapping.” Now this is patent absurdity: one hand cannot clap and without clapping there can be no sound. The Master knows it, the disciple knows it. But when the Master says, “Go and meditate on it,” the disciple has to follow.

He starts making efforts to listen to the sound of one hand clapping. Many sounds come to his mind: the birds singing, the sound of running water…. He rushes immediately to the Master; he says, “I have heard it! The sound of running water — isn’t that the sound of one hand clapping?”

And the Master hits him hard on the head and he says, “You fool! Go back, meditate more!”

And he goes on meditating, and the mind goes on providing new answers: “The sound of wind passing through the pine trees — certainly this is the answer.” He is in such a hurry! Everybody is in such a hurry. Impatiently he rushes to the door of the Master, a little bit apprehensive, afraid too, but maybe this is the answer….

And even before he has said a single thing the Master hits him! He is very much puzzled and he says, “This is too much! I have not even uttered a single word, so how can I be wrong? And why are you hitting me?”

The Master says, “It is not a question of whether you have uttered something or not. You have come with an answer — that is enough proof that you must be wrong. When you have REALLY found it you won’t come; there will be no need. I will come to you.”

Sometimes years pass, and then one day it has happened, there is no answer. First the disciple knew that there was no answer to it, but it was only an intellectual knowing. Now he knows from his very core: “There is no answer!” All answers have evaporated. And the sure sign that all answers have evaporated is only one: when the question also evaporates. Now he is sitting silently doing nothing, not even meditating. He has forgotten the question: “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” It is no more there. It is PURE silence.

And there are ways…there are inner paths which exist between a Master and a disciple.

And now the Master rushes towards the disciple. He knocks on his door. He hugs the disciple and says, “So it has happened? This is it! No answer, no question: this is it. Ah, this!”

-Osho

From Ah This!, Chapter Two

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 online from Amazon.com and in the U.S. from OshoStore-Sedona and Osho Here and Now.