Blessed are Those who Doubt – Osho

Can you say something about doubt and negativity? What is the difference?

The difference between doubt and negativity is great. They look alike; on the surface they have the same color, but deep down the difference is unbridgeable. First, doubt is not negativity; neither is it positivity.

Doubt is an open mind, without any prejudice. It is an inquiring approach.

Doubt is not saying anything, it is simply raising a question. That question is to know, to find what the truth is.

Doubt is a pilgrimage.

It is one of the most sacred values of human beings.

Doubt does not mean no. It simply says, “I do not know, and I am prepared to know. I am ready to go as far as possible, but unless I myself come to know, how can I say yes?”

Negativity has already said no. It is not inquiry. It has come to a conclusion, the same way somebody has come to the conclusion to say yes. One man says God is; his statement is positive. The other says there is no God; his statement is negative. But both are sailing in the same boat, they are not different people. They have not inquired. Neither the theist has doubted nor the atheist has doubted; both have accepted borrowed knowledge.

Doubt says that, “I myself would like to know, and unless I know for myself, it is not knowledge. Only my experience is going to be decisive.” He is not arrogant, he is not denying anything. He is just open for inquiry.

Doubt is not disbelief – that’s how religions have been confusing people. They confuse doubt with disbelief. In fact, disbelief and belief are exactly the same. Both accept knowledge from others, from books, from masters. And remember, anything that you do not know, yet you have started believing or disbelieving in it… you have missed a great opportunity for inquiry. You have closed the doors already, by yes or by no. You have not traveled.

It is easier to say yes, it is easier to say no, because there is nothing you have to do.

But to doubt needs guts.

To doubt needs courage to remain in the state of not-knowing, and go on questioning everything till the moment you yourself arrive at the reality. When you come to the reality there is no negativity, no positivity. You simply know – it is your experience. I will not say it is positivity because positivity always has the other pole of negativity. An experience goes beyond both; the whole world of polarities is transcended. That is true wisdom.

Doubt is the way to truth.

No or yes are not ways, they prevent you.

It will look very strange, that yes does the same thing as no. In dictionaries they are opposites, but in reality they are not. They look opposite only, but both have not asked the question. Both have not tried to find out what the case is.

The communist believes, exactly as the catholic believes. The communist believes that there is no God. You can call it disbelief, but it is his belief. He has not inquired, he has not meditated; he has done nothing to find out that there is no God. The theist says there IS God. He has also done nothing. Both have chosen without moving an inch towards truth. That’s why a very strange thing happens: the person who is a theist, a believer, can become a disbeliever, an atheist, in a single moment; and vice versa.

Before the revolution in Russia, Russia was one of the most theistic, religious countries of the world. Millions of people in Russia could have sacrificed their life for God. After the revolution, when the authority changed, when the priest changed, when The Holy Bible was replaced by the holy Das Kapital, within ten years the whole country became atheist.

It was amazing! People who had believed their whole life that there is God started disbelieving. Even communists could not understand that these people are the same people who could have died for God – and now they are ready to die for no-God.

Nobody has analyzed the situation up to now, what happened there. This is the analysis of the fact: negativity and positivity are both belief systems.

Doubt is against both. Doubt is the insistence of the individual that he wants to taste, to experience the truth. He is not ready to accept it from anybody else, this way or that.

They are very, very rare people who doubt.

But let me say to you: Blessed are those who doubt, because they shall inherit the kingdom of truth.

It is arduous to doubt, it is risky, it is dangerous. One is going into the unknown, with no preparation, with no prejudice. He is entering into the dark hole, not even believing that there will be the other end of the tunnel, and he will again come out of Darkness. There is no belief; he simply takes the challenge.

There is only a quest, a question.

He himself becomes a question.

It is very consoling to have the answer, and if it is freely available, as it is…. Jesus says, “Just believe in me and you need not bother: I will take care. I will choose you at the day of judgment. I will recommend you to God: ‘These are my people – they should be allowed in paradise.’ All that you have to do is believe.”

A real shortcut – simple belief. That’s why thousands of people around the world have believed, and thousands of others have disbelieved. Their sources are different but the basic approach is the same.

In India there has been a very ancient philosophy, charvaka. That philosophy says there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no punishment for your bad actions and no reward for your good actions. And thousands have believed in it. It is negative, absolutely negative, but very comfortable. You can steal, you can murder, you can do anything you like; after death nothing survives.

In many ways the West has lagged behind the East, particularly as far as religion, philosophy, culture, are concerned. Charvaka is a five-thousand-year-old ideology; Karl Marx just in the last stage of the previous century said there is no God. He was not aware of charvaka, he thought he had come to a great discovery. For five thousand years charvakas have already been saying that; but they had not inquired.

The man who created the philosophy was Brihaspati – must have been a man of charismatic personality. He convinced people that you can do anything you want to because the thief, the murderer, the saint, all fall: dust unto dust. And after death nothing is left; the saint disappears, the sinner disappears. So don’t bother at all about afterlife, there is none.

This is not inquiry, because charvakas and their master Brihaspati have never gone beyond death. According to their philosophy, if they had gone they would have not come back – so on what grounds do they say that there is nothing left? Nobody has visited the land. But it is very easy to believe. His famous statement is worth quoting.

Brihaspati says, “Rinam kritva ghritam pivet:” “Even if you have to borrow money, borrow it, but drink ghee as much as you can” – because after death you are not going to be questioned, punished. The person who had given you money cannot drag you into the court of God; there are no such things. His whole philosophy is simply, “Eat, drink and be merry.” You can believe in it – the theists will call it disbelief.

And that’s what Karl Marx did for the communists, he said that there is no soul, no consciousness. It is a by-product of matter, so when the body falls apart, nothing is left. This became a very dangerous attitude, because communists could kill people without thinking twice.

Their belief is that by killing you are not committing any sin. There is nobody inside a person; there is no inside. A man is chemistry, biology, physiology – but there is no soul. Joseph Stalin could kill almost one million people after the revolution without feeling even a slight doubt about what he was doing.

In Soviet Russia man has been reduced to a mechanism. You can kill – nothing is killed, because there was nobody in the first place. It is just like a clock functioning. It moves, it shows you the time; that does not mean that there is somebody inside. You can take the clock apart and you will not find anything.

I have heard…. Once Mulla Nasruddin’s clock stopped. It was an old clock, and some day everything has to stop. He opened the clock and found there a fly, dead. He said, “Now I know the clock is dead – this is the clock’s soul!” He was just going to bury the clock in the garden when his wife caught hold of him.

She said, “What are you doing? Have you gone mad? Clocks are not buried; graves are not made for them!”

Nasruddin said, “Those people have never known what I have come to know. The clock stopped; certainly I thought it was dead. I looked at it, opened it, and found its soul dead. This is the soul” – he was holding the fly in his hand; he said, “This is the soul.”

The wife said, “You are simply an idiot, and you will always remain an idiot! Bring that clock out. Perhaps it needs oiling, some repair work – it is an old clock. And clocks don’t die, because to die first one has to live: clocks don’t live!”

But that’s what Karl Marx has preached to the communists, that man is also just like a clock. And now almost half the world believes in Karl Marx. Strange – these same people had believed in God. Russians, Chinese, Indians, Mohammedans – all kinds of people change their yes to no. To change yes into no is so easy because they are not different. Basically they give you a consolation without the arduous journey to truth.

I have asked many communists, very old communists…. In India, S.A.Dange was a member of the international communist party along with Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin. He was an eyewitness of the Russian revolution. I asked him, “Have you ever meditated?”

He said, “Meditated – for what? Why should I meditate?”

I said, “If you have never meditated, then you don’t have the authority to say that there is no soul, no God, no consciousness. Without going inside yourself, how can you say that there is nobody? And see the absurdity of it: who is saying that there is nobody? Even to deny you will have to accept that there is somebody. Even to say that there is nobody, somebody has to be assumed.”

The same is the situation of religions.

Nobody has encountered God – no Christian, no Hindu, no Mohammedan – but they have all said yes because the crowd in which they were born was the crowd of theists. To say no amongst that crowd would have created difficulties for them. Yes was simply the accepted rule of the game. They have worshipped, they have prayed, not knowing why they were doing it. But everybody else is doing it so it must be right.

When the crowd changed – for example in Russia, the same people who were so certain of God became uncertain. It took ten years to change from one certainty to another certainty… an interval of uncertainty, but uncertainty is not doubt.

Doubt is simply a question, and doubt says, “I want to know.”

It has no ideology.

Doubt is absolutely pure quest.

You have asked, “What is the difference between doubt and negativity?”

Negativity and positivity are both the same.

Doubt is different from both.

It does not make you a theist, it does not make you an atheist.

Positivity makes you a religious believer, a theist; negativity makes you an unbeliever, irreligious, an atheist.

Doubt does not make you anything. It simply makes you an inquirer.

And that is the dignity of man.

I teach you doubt because I know if you can doubt to the very end you will realize the truth of your own being, and simultaneously the truth of the whole existence. And that will be liberation, that will be freedom.

Doubt is neither Christian nor Hindu, nor American nor German. Yes may be Hindu, yes may be Mohammedan, yes may be Christian; no may be communist, no may be fascist – but doubt is simply a quest, an individual quest.

Yes and no both belong to the crowd.

Doubt makes you assert your individuality.

You start finding your path on your own. You don’t accept the maps given you by others.

In India I have seen in Jaina temples, maps hanging which show seven hells, seven heavens, and the ultimate, moksha. Between seven hells and seven heavens is the earth. They show you exactly who goes where, what route he follows, what sufferings he comes across.

Even in my childhood I used to ask the priest, “Do you know where Constantinople is?”

He said, “Constantinople? That has nothing to do with religion.”

I said, “That has nothing to do with religion, but it has something to do with maps. You don’t know Constantinople and you know seven heavens, seven hells? Just be kind enough to tell me, how many have you visited? Who has made this map?” And for thousands of years Jainas have believed in this map.

People who had no idea that the earth is round were able to know how many hells there are, how many heavens there are; and each according to his action goes to a certain space, certain place. They had no idea of the earth they were living on but they had ideas about things which are just fictions.

Now slowly, slowly those maps are disappearing from the temples, because even followers have started asking embarrassing questions. But it continues. One small sect in India is that of Radhaswamis. They divide the whole existence into fifteen parts; the earth is the lowest.

I have been to their temple in Agra. They are very egoistic people; they have been trying for almost one hundred years to make the temple better than the Taj Mahal. They have poured immense amounts of money into it, but only one story is complete. They have done tremendous work. Certainly if they succeed in making all the three proposed stories, the Taj Mahal will look very pygmy before that temple.

The Taj Mahal is also in Agra, and Radhaswamis originated in Agra; their founder was there. And from all over the world tourists come to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Radhaswamis wanted to make something so that the Taj Mahal becomes secondary. And seeing what they have done – it is only one-third complete in one hundred years, but even that much is enough to show you they have transcended the Taj Mahal already.

In their temple, this half-built temple, they have engraved in golden letters the fifteen levels of existence. And they have marked – for example, Jesus Christ has only reached up to the sixth. A long journey is still ahead for that poor carpenter carrying his cross. How many times he will be crucified, nobody knows.

Mohammed is still on the fourth, Moses on the fifth, Mahavira on the seventh, Buddha on the ninth. And their own master is on the fifteenth.

When I had gone to visit their temple, their priest welcomed me, he showed me everything. He showed this description of fifteen stages and he said, “What do you think about it?”

I said, “There is no question of thinking, I know your master is on the fifteenth.”

He said, “How do you know?”

I said, “Because I am on the sixteenth – and he is trying hard, but I go on pushing him back. I won’t allow anybody else to be on the sixteenth.”

He was very much shocked, but I said, “If you can just imagine fifteen, what is the trouble? On what authority do you put Buddha under your master? On what authority do you put Jesus… what grounds have you got?”

They said, “Our master said it.”

So I said, “I am a master, and I say to you, make a place also for me on the sixteenth. And of course your master could only talk about the fifteenth because he has never entered the sixteenth. I will not allow him to enter! I am alone there.”

These are your theists who simply believe.

It is cheap to believe, it is cheap to disbelieve.

But it is really a dangerous journey to know.

I would like my sannyasins neither to be negative nor to be positive, but open, available, with a quest, a question mark, and to go on searching.

Many times your mind will say it is good to believe – because the journey is arduous, and one never knows where one is going, whether one is going to find anything or not. But don’t listen to the mind.

Mind has created all these “yes” philosophies, “no” philosophies.

Doubt has never created any philosophy; doubt has created science.

And doubt is going to create religion.

They are exactly the same – the same application of doubt in different fields. About objects, the outside world that spreads to millions of stars, doubt has given tremendous insight just within three hundred years. You are carrying another world within yourself, which is in no way smaller than the world you see outside; perhaps it is bigger.

Why do I say that perhaps it is bigger? I am including the word ‘perhaps’ so that you should not believe. I know it is bigger, for the simple reason that you know the stars, you know the sun, you know the moon – but the moon does not know you, the sun does not know you. The stars are great, the universe is vast, but you are the only knower. You have something more than the whole universe.

That’s why I say inside you are carrying something bigger than the universe, more than the universe. Just inquire.

One of the most beautiful men of this century was Maharishi Raman. He was a simple man, uneducated, but he did not accept the ideology, the religion in which he was born. When he was only seventeen years of age he left his home in search of truth. He meditated for many years in the hills of Arunachal in south India, and finally realized himself.

After that his whole teaching consisted only of three words, because those three words had revealed to him the whole mystery of existence. His philosophy is the shortest. What are those three words? Whoever came to him – because as he became slowly, slowly known, people started coming to him from all over the world – his whole teaching was to sit silently and ask only one question: “Who am I?” and go on asking that question.

One day the question will disappear, and only you will be there. That is the answer.

Not that you will find the answer written somewhere; you will find yourself. You just go on digging with this question – this question is like digging – but do you see the question? It is a doubt: Who am I? It does not accept the spiritualist who says you are a soul. It does not accept the materialist who says there is nobody, don’t waste time; eat, drink and be merry. He doubts. Those three words are followed by a question mark: Who am I?

And he says this is enough. If you can go on and on and on patiently, one day the question suddenly disappears and what is left is your reality. That is the answer.

And the moment you know yourself you have known everything that is worth knowing.

-Osho

From From Death to Deathlessness, Discourse #24

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

Resources to Nourish Our Inner World

During these extraordinary times when many of us are self-isolating or in quarantine we have a unique opportunity to gather our energies and explore and nourish our inner world.

We are extremely fortunate that there are so many resources at our fingertips, here are a few.

Enjoy and Be Well!

Reading:

Osho reading library

OshoWorld discourse PDF’s

Osho Books hardcopy

Ramana Maharshi resources

O-Meditation Sangha posts

O-Meditation downloads

Listening:

Osho.com audio downloads

OshoWorld audio downloads

O-Meditation downloads

The entire J. Krishnamurti audio collection

Meditating:

Osho Active Meditation CD’s

Osho Book of Secrets Meditations

Osho No-Mind Meditations

 

The Enlightenment of Major Chadwick

Bearded Chadwick standing behind his ‘Guru’

Once, I asked Chadwick, “Are you realized?” I have put this question to all of the old devotees like Muruganar, Cohen, Osborne, Sadhu Natanananda, Devaraja Mudaliar and others. None of them either said yes or no – all smiled. When I asked him whether he was realized, he did not say yes or no. Instead, he told me, “I will tell you what happened. After many years of my stay with Bhagavan – four or five years, I committed the mistake of trying to evaluate how much I have progressed spiritually. This is a thing any seeker should not do. I felt that I have not progressed. Many who saw me in Ramanasramam, looked at me like I was a sage or a saint saying, “Oh! He is so fortunate. He is so close to Bhagavan. He meditates so much. He is already in that state.” This created a contradiction in me as I personally felt that I was not progressing spiritually. However, having left the material life I could not go back to a worldly life either. I felt caught between the devil and the deep sea. I was sorrow stricken. I ran to Bhagavan’s hall. He was alone. I told him, “Bhagavan, this is my plight. I am neither here nor there and this causes much sorrow in me.” Bhagavan looked at me compassionately and said, “Chadwick, who says all this?” Immediately, there was a current like shock in my body and I literally ran to my room, shut the doors and went into a neutral state. I was not bothered whether I was spiritually maturing or whether I would be able to stay in the world. I was in a neutral state of silence. A few days passed like that wherein I was neither happy nor worried.” The only luxury that Chadwick allowed himself was taking his bath in a bath tub which he had in the verandah of his cottage. One day, shortly after the above incident, something happened unexpectedly. As Chadwick told me later, “I was taking my bath and very honestly Ganesan, I was not in a spiritual state or in a prayerful mood when it suddenly dawned – the ‘I AM’!” He experienced it – not just as words. He was so ecstatic that he did not even dry himself. He just wrapped a towel around his waist and ran to the Old Hall from where a few days back he had run away. Fortunately, this time too, Bhagavan was alone. In this spiritual ecstasy of experiencing the ‘I AM’, where there was no Chadwick, just the ‘I AM’, he asked Bhagavan, “Bhagavan, is THIS it?” Chadwick recounted, “Bhagavan gave me the most glorious smile, and then confirmed, “Yes, Chadwick, THIS is THAT!” I then asked him, “Bhagavan, is it so simple?” Bhagavan replied, “Yes it is that simple.” Since then, I’ve never had any doubt.”

-Sri Ganesan

From Ramana Periya Puranam

It is a ‘Releasement’ – Osho

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

There is an inmost centre in us all,

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross flesh, hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error; and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.

Yes, these words of Robert Browning are right, absolutely right. Truth is not something outside. Truth is not an object that you have to find, search for, seek. Truth is your subjectivity: truth is the one who is seeking; truth is not the sought, but the seeker himself. To think of truth as something outside is to miss from the very beginning; and once you take a wrong step, you go on taking more and more wrong steps because one step leads to another. It is a chain.

The first step is the most important step. In fact, it is almost half the journey. If the first step is right, you have already arrived; you have moved in the right direction.

Truth is not without but within. And everybody has been seeking it without, hence everybody is missing it. And it is not only true about truth but about all search as such. Bliss is within, so is beauty, so is love, so is joy. All the values that one wants to attain to are within one’s own being.

These words of Robert Browning are of immense significance: 

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

And man has believed down the ages in some truth which is somewhere in heaven far away. And one has to travel to it, and one has to go on a long, long pilgrimage. There is bound to be great effort – practicing, cultivating, preparing – and truth is all the time waiting for you within yourself.

All the beliefs mislead you because all the beliefs are based on the false idea that truth is an object. People come to me and they ask ‘Where is God?’ And they think that they are asking a very relevant question – as if God can be somewhere. They have not looked into the problem deeply. First they have to search into this questioning itself.  Who is the one asking for God? Who is this one searching for God? One should start from the very start. ‘Who am I?’ is the only significant question one can ask. And once this question is solved, all other questions are solved because God is found.

Raman Maharshi used to give only one meditation to everyone, whosoever would come to him: just to go on and on pondering, observing, watching, witnessing one thing – to let this question become so utterly your existence that it persists even when you are asleep – Who am I? And it has not to be repeated like a mantra. If you repeat it like a mantra you will have missed the point; it is not a mantra, it is an inquiry, and the greatest inquiry there is. It has not to be used as a meditation technique; it has to become your very life. Walking, let the inquiry be there – ‘Who is walking?’ Listening right now, let the inquiry be there – ‘Who is listening?’ And finally the inquiry has to penetrate to such profound depths that when you ask ‘Who am I?’ the inquiry is there – ‘Who is asking this question?’

Move to the innermost centre of your being. This inquiry is a movement withinwards. And this single question can solve all the problems; it is a master key: it unlocks all the locks.

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

Your belief is not going to change the nature of things. You can believe that a rose flower is a lotus – and you can believe stubbornly, you can believe blindly and madly – but the rose remains a rose; just by your belief it is not transformed into a lotus. Yes, you can remain in a kind of illusion, you can remain hallucinating, you can even start seeing it as a lotus. Belief creates dreams, but it cannot create reality. Belief cannot deliver reality to you because all belief is a hindrance. Belief basically means that you have believed before knowing; you are deceiving yourself. All believers are deceivers: they have lied to themselves. They have not known God, and they have started believing in a Christian God or a Jewish God or a Hindu God. They know nothing; they have not experienced anything.

Once a man came to me. He had listened for ten days, and then he came to me. He was crying, and he was an old man. And he said ‘You have destroyed all that I have believed, and now I am at a loss. For almost thirty-five years I have practiced a certain kind of life. I have done all that possibly can be done. And I was living in a beautiful dream, and you have shattered it all. I was thinking that I had started seeing God. I had great visions of God, and now they all have disappeared.’ And he was crying like a small child whose toys have been taken away, he said ‘Now, help me to start again!’  And I had to laugh even though he was crying, I said ’Start again? Then you will be getting trapped into another illusion. What do you mean by starting again?’ He said ‘My old beliefs are destroyed; now, give me new beliefs. That’s what I mean.’

People go on changing beliefs, but that never brings a radical revolution; it cannot bring. A Hindu can become a Mohammedan – nothing changes; just you have changed your dream. A Christian becomes a Buddhist – nothing changes; deep down everything remains the same. Unless you drop believing nothing is going to change, because belief is a deception. Belief means that you don’t know and yet you think you know. And the less you know, the more stubbornly you believe – naturally, you have to complement it. The less you know, the more arrogant, the more dogmatic, more violent you are in your belief – ready to fight, kill and be killed because you are afraid. If somebody brings light to you, and you come to SEE that your belief is just a belief and nothing else, then all that you have invested in it has gone down the drain, then your life has been a stupid life. The life of a believer is a stupid life, it is unintelligent.

Robert Browning is right. He says ‘whate’er you may believe.’ Your beliefs cannot make any change. Truth is as it is. Truth is not an object; you cannot believe in it, you cannot worship it, you cannot pray to it. Truth is your hidden reality. You are part of it, it is part of you; there is no separation between you and truth. And the first door to be opened has to open within you, then all the doors open. I am not saying that truth is not there without, but once it is known within, then you will know it without. There is no other way. Once you have seen it within yourself, then you will see it in a tree, in a mountain, in a star – in everything. Because now you have tasted the centre; now the centre is everywhere. Now you have known the inside of things. God is the inside of things.

But the first approach, the first acquaintance, has to happen within you because that inside which exists within you is the closest inside. How can you penetrate into the inside of a tree? It is very, very far away. You have not even penetrated your own inside – where you already are.

It happened…

Leo Tolstoy had gone for a morning walk with Chekhov. They came across a beautiful horse in the woods, and Tolstoy started talking about the horse. And he talked in such a way that Chekhov could not believe it. He said “What are you saying? You are talking as if you know the very inside of the horse!” – because Tolstoy was talking about ‘this morning, these birds, these trees, this sun, this sky, these clouds…’ and how the horse was feeling about the clouds, and how he was feeling about the trees and the smell of the wet earth; how the horse was feeling about the grass and the flowers and the sun. And he was saying it as if it were directly from the horse’s mouth. Checkhov himself was a great artist, a great novelist, a great genius, but he had never visualized how the horse would feel. And Tolstoy was saying it so deeply, profoundly, that he said “Leo Tolstoy, I feel as if you had once been a horse in your past lives!” Tolstoy started laughing, and said “No, but the day I came across my own inside, I came across everybody’s inside. Before that, I knew myself as the body – I knew myself as if from the outside.”

Have you any acquaintance with yourself from the inside, or do you only know that which the mirror says about you? That is as if you were standing outside yourself and looking from there. You know all that people say about you. Somebody says that you are beautiful, and you think you are beautiful; and somebody says that you are ugly, and you start feeling miserable; and somebody says that you are intelligent, and you are flying high; and somebody says that you are stupid, and you are shattered. Again, this is nothing but a mirror: others’ opinions cannot be more than mirrors. But have you never seen yourself from the inside? And there you are; there you have always been, you are abiding there. And if you cannot know this space that you are abiding in, how can you know the inner reality of a tree or a mountain or a star? And how can you know the inner reality of the totality?

God is inside of totality. But to enter into that, one has to enter within one’s own door.

Truth is within ourselves; it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe.

There is an inmost centre in us all

Where truth abides in fullness… 

True, absolutely true. And sometimes it happens that poets come very close to the mystics. Poetry comes closer to religion than anything else. Poetry is a glimpse into truth; mysticism is living there. Poetry is like the Himalayas seen from far away – those sunlit peaks, those virgin snows; religion is living there as those sunlit peaks, as that virgin snow. Poetry is a distant vision of truth; mysticism, or religion, is becoming one with it, knowing it as one’s innermost centre. But poetry comes closest. 

Where truth abides in fullness…

Nothing is lacking in you, nothing has to be added to you. You are born perfect, because you are born of perfection. You are perfect, because the perfect is breathing within you, living in you. You are an extension of perfection. If God is perfect, then nothing can be imperfect, because all is his expression. How can it be imperfect? So, there is no need to seek perfection, there is no need to improve upon yourself. All that is needed is to know who you are, and in that very knowing one comes to feel the completion, the perfection. One has not to become perfect; one already is. And because we are trying to become perfect we are becoming more and more ridiculous.

Down the ages man has tried to become more and more perfect, and the only result is that man has become more and more ugly. The very effort is absurd. In trying to become perfect people have become guilty. In trying to become perfect they have become pathological.

In trying to become perfect, and failing again and again – and they have to fail because they are already perfect… You cannot attain to that which you already have, so the effort is doomed to fail. And when you fail again and again and again,, naturally, a great sadness settles; one feels utterly depressed. All hope disappears, and all joy with it. Life becomes an ugly evil; one has to bear it somehow. Life becomes sin. If you are trying to become perfect, life will become sin, because you will fail, you will condemn yourself, you will hate yourself – and a man who hates himself has gone as far away from himself as it is possible to go. 

There is an inmost centre in us all

Where truth abides in fullness; and around,

Wall upon wall, the gross Flesh hems it in,

This perfect, clear perception – which is truth.

Truth is not a thing but the clarity of perception. It is not that you will have to see something; it is only the clarity of seeing that is truth. All objects disappear, all content disappears, only a clarity remains. Everything becomes transparent – you can see, you can see totally; nothing is hidden from you. That perception is truth.

Truth is not an object but an awakening in you. Let me emphasize it again and again that truth is within not without; it is an awakening within you; it is an awareness within you; it is intelligence functioning at its optimum. You cannot see truth; it is not a thing. You cannot grasp truth; it is not a thing. You cannot give or take truth; it is not a thing. It is your inner eye, your inner perception – what the Hindus call the third eye.

To be alert and awake is to be true. So, let us define. Untruth is unconsciousness, and truth is consciousness. Untruth is living like a somnambulist; truth is living like a Buddha, alert, watchful, witnessing.

A baffling and perverting carnal mesh

Binds it, and makes all error; and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without. 

The splendor is within you. It is just like a fountain hidden behind a rock, and because of the rock it cannot flow. Remove the rock, and the fountain starts flowing. This insight is also of tremendous significance. And I say ‘hidden behind a rock’ not ‘behind rocks’ because there is only one rock. Somebody thinks it is because of greed that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce greed. Somebody else thinks it is because of anger, violence that he cannot attain to truth, so one has to renounce anger, violence. Somebody else thinks it is because of money, possessions, so one has to renounce all possessions. Somebody else thinks it is because of sex, love, attachment, so one has to renounce that. And people think that there are so many rocks: anger, sex, sadness, possessiveness, greed, etcetera, etcetera. No, there are not rocks; there is only one rock, and that rock is unawareness. Everything else is a by-product of that unawareness. It becomes greed, it becomes sex, it becomes anger; it can take many forms. But basically it is only one thing: forgetfulness, unawareness.

We have become completely oblivious of who we are.

… and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.

Don’t search for any light outside. The last words of Buddha were “Be a light unto yourself. Be a lamp unto yourself.” Don’t search for light anywhere else; the light is already there, the fire is already there. Just probe a little deeper into your being, enquire. Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire… just probe deep inside, and you will find the spark again. And once you have found a single spark inside yourself, you will become a flame soon, you will be a fire – a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms, a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.

It is because of this that Martin Heidegger uses the word ‘releasement’ instead of ‘enlightenment’. His word is beautiful. It is a releasement: something is already there; it has only to be released. Just like the seed sprouting, becoming a big tree, and then comes the spring… and there is great joy, and the tree bursts forth into thousands of flowers. But they were all hidden in the seed, the small seed. The seed has been carrying the blueprint for all that: the colour, the shape, the fragrance – all was hidden in the seed. The tree is not anything new. The seed was unmanifest; the tree is its manifestation. It is a releasement.

I like Heidegger’s word, it is beautiful. It is a releasement: enlightenment is a releasement.

You are already that. You have never been other than that. Remember, remind yourself, shake yourself into awareness. Use all the opportunities of life as triggering points, as occasions, so that you can become alert and aware of who you are.

These words of one of the great Greek mystics, Plotinus, will be of help. ‘You do not really go away from It, for It is there; you do not “go” anywhere but remain present to It, yet you turn your back on It.’ Or as Raman Maharshi used to say ‘Enlightenment is simply to admit that you are already enlightened.’

Just to admit… Yes, Raman is stating the simple fact: it is only admitting. You are enlightened; you consist of it. You are made of light; light is the stuff’ that you are made of. Then why can’t you admit it? Why can’t you recognize it? And rather than recognizing it, you do a thousand and one other things: you search for God, you go to the Himalayas, you move to the monasteries, you torture yourselves, you become masochists in the name of religion, you destroy yourselves, you slowly, slowly commit suicide. You do everything, but just a simple thing you never do: you don’t admit. Why can’t you admit it? And nothing is being taken away from you. In recognizing the fact, all is gained, nothing is lost. But you have become too attached to your chains, you have become too attached to your misery – you have started thinking that this is you.

It is like an emperor who has fallen asleep and dreams that he has become a beggar. And in his dream he has a begging bowl and rotten rags, and somebody is trying to snatch the begging bowl from him. And he will fight; he will fight to the very bitter end. It is a question of life and death – somebody trying to snatch his begging bowl? He will give a great fight; he is not going to give it easily – that’s all that he has.

That’s what has happened. Misery is all that you have. You cannot admit that you are enlightened because then you will not be able to afford misery any more. So, many times you come to the brink, many times the recognition is very close by – you see the point – but you withdraw, you immediately start getting as far away from it as possible. You withdraw, you turn back. You have become too attached to your misery: that looks as if that is your kingdom.

This is my observation: listening to thousands of sannyasins, one thing seems to be absolutely certain: that nobody wants to renounce his misery. People are even ready to renounce their little bits of happiness; they are ready. This is strange, but this is how it is. If I say to them ‘Renounce your wife, renounce your children, renounce your home’ they are ready, they say ‘We are ready to go with you, Osho, wherever you say. We can renounce.’ But if I say ‘Renounce your misery, renounce your chains’ then immediately I see that they cannot gather that much courage. They cling to it, they will fight for it.

Raman is simply saying that all that is needed for enlightenment is to admit that you are enlightened. Just think of it. Just for a moment meditate over it. Can you admit that you are enlightened? And immediately you will see that it is difficult, because if you admit that you are enlightened then there will be trouble. And the trouble will be: you cannot be angry, and you cannot be sad, and you cannot fight with your wife or with your husband, and you cannot be possessive. All is lost, and that has been your whole life. Now, this is too much, you will say ‘How can one become enlightened so suddenly? First I will have to practise.’ That is only a way of postponing. You are saying ‘I cannot deny the truth of what you say, but I cannot admit it right now either. Yes, you are right, you must be right; but I have to prepare myself for it.’ And this is how you have been preparing for so many lives.

You missed Buddha, you missed Yoka – you can miss me too.

And you are always preparing, and you are always postponing, and you say ‘Yes, we understand what you are saying.’

Many times you are almost enlightened, and then immediately you shrink back. I say ‘almost’ because you can still shrink back, that’s why I say ‘almost’. Just one step more… but then fear grips you, you become so frightened. Then what will happen to your whole past and all your investments?

You will think that this should not be so – what investment can there be in misery? There is; people remain miserable because through misery they gain sympathy, at least sympathy. If they cannot get love, they can get sympathy, they can get attention.

And you are too attached to attention. Things are complicated then. You are too attached to attention – people should pay attention to you – and you don’t know what else to do. If you are miserable, they pay attention. If you are ill, they take care of you. If you go mad, everybody is kind to you. Just see the point why so many people go mad and when they go mad. There is a perfect timing to it. Whenever they are passing into some crisis, through some crisis, and they need attention, love, sympathy, care, they immediately choose madness. It is a choice – unconscious, but still a choice.

If they remain sane, everybody is hard. If they remain sane then the world is too much; then the wife is hard, the children are hard, the boss is hard – everything is hard. And they are tired. But if they are insane, if they have a certificate to say that they are mad, if the psychiatrist says that they are not in a position that anything should be expected from them, they can relax. Now nobody expects anything from them, and they can expect everything from everybody else.

Thousands of people who live in madhouses have only learned a trick; this is their way of life; they have learned a style. They are not all mad; they have just found a beautiful way of life where care has to be taken of them by others – they need not worry.

Just look into all the investments that you have put into your misery. You hanker for love, and your husband never sits by your side. You hanker for love, and your wife never comes and massages you. Now, you have a headache, and she comes and she is all love. Just see the point: the headache has become a need; because love is not freely available so you start paying for love with your headache. Whenever you need love, when there is starvation, when you feel that love will be nourishing, suddenly your mind triggers the mechanism – the headache comes.

And I am not saying that you are just pretending, I am not saying that you are pretending – a real headache comes; there is no pretension in it. I am not saying that you are just deceiving your wife, no; you are deceiving your wife and yourself too. The headache is real, but you have learned a trick.

Whenever love is starved, a mechanism triggers itself; it is autonomous. It immediately brings some illness to you, and with illness, love comes. Your wife becomes your mother – you always wanted her to be your mother. You have been in search of a mother not in search of a wife. Every man is in search of a mother. Every woman is in search of a father.

It is difficult to accept it, but it must be so because people’s mental age remains hanging somewhere near about thirteen – nobody grows psychologically more than that. Now, what more can you expect of a thirteen-year-old boy or girl? Psychologically that is the average age, so even the man who is seventy or eighty remains interested in the breasts of women – why? For what? He is still childish. Those breasts symbolize the mother; they are symbols. He is still hankering for a mother, for a warm womb – somebody to encompass him. But the only way seems to be to be ill, to be miserable, to be sad. And it seems that the prize is worth it; that’s why you can’t agree with Raman Maharshi that all that is needed for enlightenment is just a recognition. One has to admit that ‘I am enlightened.’ But from that admission your life will never be the same again; you cannot afford those toys you have been playing with.

-Osho

From The Sun Rises in the Evening, Chapter Three

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.

Find Out Who You Are – Jean Dunn

Jean Dunn speaks about life with Nisargadatta Maharaj. This interview was recorded by Malcolm Tillis in 1981, while Jean was living in Bombay, India.

Jean Dunn: I am just a normal person of fifty-nine who has been searching all her life until, ten years ago, she heard of Ramana Maharshi. She visited his ashram, went back to the States, then returned to India, where she has been living for the past four years. Two years ago she met Nisargadatta Maharaj, and he became her guru.

Did he give you some form of initiation?
He gave me a mantra and initiation.

How did you first hear about him?
At Ramana Maharshi’s ashram. Many people come to see him; ­there seems to be a tie.

Is it because of the similarity of Self-Inquiry?
It’s no longer that. Maharaj has had cancer of the throat for the past year, so his teachings have been polished; he is saying he’s no longer the consciousness, he observes the consciousness—he’s the Absolute. His teachings are now on that line.

Can you tell me something about his book, I Am That?
It’s in the form of questions and answers. The fifth edition is just coming out. It came out in two volumes in 1973, having been collected and edited by Maurice Frydman, who in late life became a disciple of Maharaj. There has been no further book published. Last year I asked Maharaj—I had been recording all his question and answer periods—if he wanted me to put them together for a book. He said yes. So Seeds of Consciousness will come out this year. Another volume will appear later: Beyond Consciousness.

In spite of his illness he gives darshan every day?
He is in much pain at times but manages to talk twice a day. He is one of the hidden saints, so he only draws a few people at a time. His teachings aren’t for the general public—we are blessed to listen to him.

How does he usually teach?
Up until his illness, it was by questions and answers. Now he will no longer teach the ABCs—he doesn’t have the physical strength; ­ he tells us the position, then it’s up to us.

He seemed to insist that I ask questions.
He wants questions to come out; then there will be silence so that remaining questions will be answered within yourself.

His following is mainly Western, by what I saw.
Westerners are in predominance; thousands have seen him—some for a few days, some stay for months. Some he makes leave at once. He says he doesn’t know why he sends people away, although they want to stay.

Are you living in India on a permanent basis?
Yes, I have a residency permit. I have finished work on the second book; the work is complete. Everything he has to say has been said.

Do you ever miss Western society, your home life?
Never.

Can you say something about your personal relationship to your guru?
There are no words to describe that . . .

Do you have an aim in life? For instance, to become one with him?
My aim in life is to lose an aim in life—that’s his teaching. There’s no purpose to this life; it’s just entertainment. That’s all.

That sounds rather Krishnamurthi-esque.
Many of Krishnamurthi’s followers come here—ten came recently.

How did Maharaj attain enlightenment?
You will find that in the first part of I Am That. I can tell you this: the first time he met his guru— his friend insisted on taking him; he even had to buy the garland to present to the guru—he never wanted to go.

Was he very young then?
He was in his thirties. The bidi (Indian cigarette) shop at the corner belongs to him; his son runs it. He had eight shops, but when his guru died, he left everything—his family and business. He wandered for months all over India, until he met a fellow disciple who convinced him it was better to live in the world. He returned to Bombay, but all the shops had gone except this one. He didn’t want anything; all worldly ambition had gone. When people started coming to him, he built that upstairs room.

It’s minute. What are the dimensions?
Oh, about nine by twelve. I’ve seen that room crowded, mostly by Westerners. He says Indians are not ready for his teachings.

Do you think it was because he didn’t want personal publicity that he appeared to be annoyed with me?
That’s correct. I feel sure that was the idea. He doesn’t want disciples—if they come, it’s fine; if not, that’s also fine. He gains nothing. He has reached the peak because he isn’t enamored of any­thing the world can offer.

Does he ever talk about other gurus and their methods?
He talks about the self-styled gurus who propagate their own con­cepts; but there’s nothing wrong with that at that level.

Does he admire any living teachers?
As far as I know, J. Krishnamurti. In the past, Ramana Maharshi. The other day he said, “Krishnamurti, Ramana and myself are one.”

Does he advocate a vegetarian diet?
That pertains to the body; he doesn’t teach anything to do with that. All he wants you to do is find out who you are.

His followers can drink and indulge in free relationships?
Whatever comes naturally to each person, he should do.

He gives no ethical guidance?
No. As long as you think you are a person and this world is real, then you live by certain rules. Once you understand the complete thing, your life lives itself … There are no rules, no good, no bad—I should do this, I shouldn’t do that. If you think about it, all this is taking place in this life span, in this span of consciousness, and when this consciousness goes, what difference does it make?

Does he not advise detachment from worldly activities?
This comes naturally. The main and only thing he teaches is to find out who you are. The closer you come to this, the more detached you become from the world; that will happen naturally. You can’t do anything to make that happen. This idea of doing something is an ego idea “I” can accomplish. Maharaj says the consciousness drags you there by the ear because it wants to know about itself, your true nature.

What has he said about leaving the body at physical death?
For him, it will be a great festival— he’s looking forward to it. For those thinking they are the body, it will be a traumatic experience. For an enlightened person, it’s a joyous time.

When he gives you meditation, does he ask what you see inside?
There has to be somebody to see something! (laughter) . . . No, he doesn’t. Visions and experiences take place in consciousness; they have no meaning whatsoever. Before you were born, did you know anything about this world? When you die—will you know anything about this world? You didn’t know you existed—you exist as the Absolute, but you aren’t aware of your existence. When this con­sciousness comes, spontaneously, you know “I am.” You grab a body and become identified with that. He wants you to go back, back, away from this into your true nature. Right now it’s consciousness; the longer we abide in that consciousness only and observe it, we see that everything we see is not ours—there’s a “you” seeing this.

But what does he teach about God?
Without me, there’s no God.

Really?
Yes.

And he’s teaching that?
Yes. Was there a God before you were? Without you, is there a God?

What brought me back into this body?
Do you remember a previous body?

Many people have that recollection. Are you saying we have never taken birth before?
There’s no “we”; there’s no entity; there is universal consciousness, which is continually expressing itself through these bodies.

Maharaj doesn’t believe in karma and reincarnation?
Correct.

Ramana Maharshi taught that, surely?
They will talk to you on this level if this is your level. But if you un­derstand what I’m saying—there’s only universal consciousness ex­pressing itself; there’s no individual—then he will bring you there. He will no longer speak of this. If you die with concepts, these concepts take another form, but they will not be you— you don’t know what that form will be. Concepts will come again until they are all gone.

What does Maharaj teach about selfless service, helping others?
On their level, it’s good. But his teaching is that there are no others, no individual entities; everything happens spontaneously; there’s no doer. He teaches: Let this life live itself and understand you are not this.

We are not “this” then we are “that.” What is “that”?
“That” is consciousness right now.

Right now? What will it be when we leave the body?
The Absolute.

Then what comes back?
Consciousness is continually renewing itself. You throw a piece of food into a corner; within a few days, worms will come—life, con­sciousness. The same consciousness in that worm is in you. It’s not “my” consciousness, “your” consciousness; it’s one universal con­sciousness, and that universal consciousness is you.

At our level of understanding, aren’t all these concepts? Didn’t you find these theories confusing at first?
The first day I came to Maharaj, he said, “My beingness is a product of food . . .  and the same consciousness in the donkey was in Sri Krishna.” I went to get a reservation back home; none was available, so as something inside knew this was true, I went back. He had jerked the rug from under my feet, and he kept on doing this until I lost any place to put my feet. He forces you to let go of all concepts.

Does he often send people away who come to see him?
Often. He never knows why, though. Every moment watching him is like a spectacular movie; every person’s need is taken care of­. I’ve watched that happen. You can sit quietly, but questions you have inside will be answered. Everything happens according to your need. There’s no him; he has no purpose of his own: that’s why this can happen. There’s no ego there to bump against.

Living so close to an enlightened being can’t be easy.
It’s not easy if you have any ego left.

Can you say something about the positive side?
There are no words for it; everything is taken care of automatically. There’s no “you” to thank God for anything anymore. You let go of everything. There’s no you, no separate entity; everything is hap­pening spontaneously. It’s like there’s a quiet space where you are, yet everything is happening around you.

What work did you do in America?
I worked on newspapers.

Is there a reason why people get involved with imperfect teachers?
We as human beings think there’s a reason for everything; there are no reasons, no causes—it’s a causeless happening. As long as we are on this human level and think there’s a cause, we will be able to come up with one. If some people are taken for a ride by false gurus, you can say this is happening to them to get rid of something­—whatever happens is perfect. We are just to understand there’s no personal consciousness; everything is impersonal, you see.

But when we meet a perfect teacher, it’s our consciousness which recognizes that, surely?
Yes.

Then our lives change.
Yes.

That’s the new life?
Correct.

That’s part of the divine plan requiring no effort?
No effort.

To round off, could you say what are the benefits gained from coming into contact with your guru.
I’ve gotten rid of the idea there’s somebody going to benefit from something . . . (much laughter)

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.

Does the World Say that it Exists? – Ramana Maharshi

 

Ramana_Maharshi_faceDr. Bernhard Bey, an American Chemist who had interested himself in Vedanta for the last twenty years, now in India, came on a visit to the Master. He asked: “How is abhyasa to be made? I am trying to find the Light.” (He himself explained abhyasa as concentration = one-pointedness of mind.)

The Master asked, what was his abhyasa till now.

The visitor said he concentrated on the nasal base, but his mind wandered.

M.: Is there a mind?

Another devotee gently put in: The mind is only a collection of thoughts.

M.: To whom are the thoughts? If you try to locate the mind, the mind vanishes and the Self alone remains. Being alone, there can be no one-pointedness or otherwise.

D.: It is so difficult to understand this. If something concrete is said, it can be readily grasped. Japa, dhyana, etc., are more concrete.

M.: ‘Who am I?’ is the best japa.

What could be more concrete than the Self? It is within each one’s experience every moment. Why should he try to catch anything outside, leaving out the Self? Let each one try to find out the known Self instead of searching for the unknown something beyond.

D.: Where shall I meditate on the Atman? I mean in which part of the body?

M.: The Self should manifest itself. That is all that is wanted.

A devotee gently added: On the right of the chest, there is the Heart, the seat of the Atman.

Another devotee: The illumination is in that centre when the Self is realised.

M.: Quite so.

D.: How to turn the mind away from the world?

M.: Is there the world? I mean apart from the Self? Does the world say that it exists? It is you who say that there is a world. Find out the Self who says it.

-Ramana Maharshi

From Talks with Ramana Maharshi, Talk 81, 15th October, 1935