Zen is a Brave Step – Osho

The first question:

From what I heard you say last night about reincarnation, I understand that even individuality is superficial.

Reincarnation was a consolation for me, that “my essence” or “soul” would continue. But now I understand that nothing of me will continue.

In witnessing, do we all “plug in” to the same witnessing energy? Don’t I even have my own witness?

The ultimate truth hurts very much.

Finally, everything is gone, including me and you. What remains is a pure consciousness.

It is not that you are plugged into it, you are no more.

The dispersion is so intimate and so ultimate that first your personality has to disappear, then your individuality has to disappear, then what remains is pure existence. It makes one feel a little worried and concerned, because you don’t know the experience of not being.

Just think for a moment . . . Before this life you were not. Was there any trouble? Any anxiety?

After this life you will not be again. What is the fear? There will be silence and peace, in the same space where anxiety, tensions and anguishes flourished. They all will have melted just the way a dewdrop disappears into the ocean.

Hence, Zen does not teach you self-realization. Self-realization is a much lower goal. Zen teaches you the ultimate: no-self realization, or realizing that disappearing into the whole is the final peace.

Your very being is an anxiety. At whatever level you are, some anxiety will remain. You are anxiety, and if you want anxiety to disappear, you have to be ready to disappear yourself.

The second question:

In my witnessing I have experience nothing – by that, I mean that there was nothing discernable other than the simple state of conscious waiting. I have witnessed events of the mind, body and emotions, and I have observed out-of-body experiences, but I don’t have the clarity to understand the nature of these things.

What is the nature of no-mind apart from mind? Is it a receptive, passive mind as opposed to an active mind? Or is it truly non-mind? And how does consciousness receive and recognize information if it has no mind-brain to perceive it?

You have asked too many questions in one question.

The first thing to remember is that when I say witness, in the beginning you witness things of the body, of the mind, of the heart, emotions, thoughts . . . layer upon layer you go on witnessing. And finally, you find just a pure mirror, the witness itself. I call it a pure mirror because it is witnessing nothing. This nothingness is your very nature.

Out of this nothingness arises everything, and into this nothingness dissolves everything. And if you are ready to be nothing – even while you are alive – your life will have a flavor of peace, silence, and grace.

All your educational systems and all your cultural beliefs, force you to be ambitious, to be somebody. But to be somebody means creating anxieties in a silent pool, ripples and waves. The greater the ambition, the more tidal is the wave of anxiety. You can become almost insane desiring. Trying to be somebody, you are trying the impossible, because basically you are nobody.

Zen has an absolutely unique perception into the nothingness of everyone. It does not teach you any ambition, it does not teach you to be someone else. It simply wants you to know that in the deepest part of your being you are still nothing, you are still carrying the original purity which is not even contaminated by an idea of “I.”

So while you are witnessing, you say, “I have experienced nothing.” If you have experienced nothing, you should not be there. Experiencing nothing means you are not, nothing is – simply waves in the water, coming and going.

It is not that you witness nothing. You are creating another small “I,” but it contains the whole world of ambitions. Experiencing nothing simply means you are not. And there comes a tremendous joy, because the whole energy that was involved in anxieties and desires and tensions, is released in a dance, in a blissfulness, in a silence, in a tremendous insight, but it does not belong to any “I” – a  pure white cloud without any roots, floating in freedom, without any reason and without any direction. The whole existence has become its home. It no longer separates itself. This inseparation is the ultimate blossoming of buddhahood. To know that you are not is the greatest knowing.

You ask in your question if there is no one who perceives all this. That no one is not yet no one if it perceives anything. When there is nothing left, there is no perceiver, everything is dissolved into existence.

Zen is the only existential religion in the world. Every religion thrives on your desire to be separate, to be individual, to be special, to be self-realized, to be a saint. Those are all cowardly desires.

Zen is a brave step.

It cannot be transcended by anything more courageous.

A quantum leap into nothing and silence . . .

If you start asking who is silent, you are not silent. If you start asking who is perceiving all this, who is witnessing, you have not yet come to the nothingness I am indicating to you.

And it is such a small thing to understand what you have gained by being – troubles. Zen shows you the way of non-being, the way out of all troubles, the way of silence.

Meditation comes to its flowering when there is nobody. This flower of nobodiness, of nothingness, is the ultimate expression of existential heights. Otherwise, you remain a small someone, somebody, confined. Why not be the whole? When it is possible to drop into the ocean, why remain a dewdrop and be afraid of many kinds of death, of the sun which will evaporate you . . . ?

Why not take a small jump into the ocean and disappear? Why not be the ocean itself? It is another way of saying it. When I say, “Be nothing,” I am simply saying, “Why not be everything?”

Disappear into the existence. You will blossom into flowers, you will fly with the birds; you will become clouds, you will be oceans, you will be rivers, but you will not be somebody special with an “I.” The “I” is the trouble, the only trouble, and then it creates many troubles around it.

The whole experience of Zen is the experience of getting into a state of no-I, no-self, and then there is no question – nobody is to ask, and nobody is to answer.

The third question:

It has been said that duality is the nature of mind. But by saying “mind” does that mean only the analytical processes which occur mainly in the left brain? Does that mean that activity such as music, beauty, wholeness and synthesis also arise from an inevitable intrinsic dualism of the mind itself?

Everything that arises out of the mind is bound to be dual. It may be arising from the right side of the mind or the left side of the mind, it does not matter.

There is a music which does not rise from the mind. That music is absolutely soundless, and is heard only by those who have come to be nothing. There is a beauty known, there is a dance experienced only by those who have gone beyond the duality of the mind. Meditation can be defined as going beyond the duality of the mind.

Whatever comes out of the mind is going to be ordinary; it may be music, it may be mathematics. One arises from the right side; one arises from the left side – that does not matter. Your music and your mathematics, your philosophy and your poetry, all are very superficial.

But there is something in you which is never heard, never can be said, never can be conveyed, but can only be lived. This nothingness I am talking about is a living experience of being no one. Out of that nothingness, a life arises full of music, but the music is soundless; full of beauty, but the beauty is formless; full of joy, but the joy is indefinable; full of dance, but there is no movement.

A meditator knows something that mind is not capable of knowing about. The mind only knows the superficial, and the superficial is always dual; it is divided for and against.

Nothingness is non-dual, it is not divided. It is just pure silence, but a very alive silence. And if out of that silence anything happens, that has a beauty and a truth which anything created by the mind cannot be compared with.

A man of silence – he may not even do anything, but just his silence is a blessing to the whole existence. His silence is a music only heard by those who have gone deeper and beyond the mind.

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

Sekishitsu was a disciple of Choshi. On a visit to Sekito, the monk Sekishitsu, became enlightened. After his enlightenment, Sekishitsu went back to his master, Choshi. Chosi had also been a disciple of Sekito.

Choshi said, “Did you reach Sekito?”

Sekishitsu replied, “Yes, I did, but was not introduced.”

Choshi said, “Who did you receive precepts from?”

Sekishitsu replied, “Not from him.”

Do you see the mysterious way Sekishitsu is replying? When asked, “Did you reach Sekito?” he said, “Yes, I did, but was not introduced, because neither has he a form nor have I a form. Neither has he a name nor have I a name. There is no possibility of introduction.”

Choshi said, “Who did you receive precepts from?” – then from whom have you received the teachings?

Sekishitsu replied, “Not from him – I have received, but I have received from a nothingness. To me, my master was not a man of words. We met beyond the words. We looked into each other’s eyes and something transpired. But he has not said a single word; that is why I cannot say that I have received any teachings from him. Of course, being with him I have become enlightened.”

Sekishitsu became enlightened just by seeing Sekito. Nothing was verbally said to him; neither did he become a disciple, nor did he become initiated. Just watching Sekito… just seeing that pillar of silence, that nothingness – and he simply disappeared as a being, himself; he became a nothing. And without saying a word, he left Sekito and went back to his master, Choshi.

Choshi became enlightened also in the company of Sekito. That is why he is interested in asking what has happened: “Did you reach Sekito? – because you look as if you have not only reached him, but you have found him. You have penetrated his being; you are carrying his fragrance. What is the matter? Did you reach Sekito?”

Sekishitsu replied, “Yes, I did, but was not introduced. Nothing was said by him, and nothing was said by me.”

Choshi said, “Then from whom did you receive the precepts? You seem to have realized the purity of consciousness. You cannot deceive me; I can see you are no more. How did it happen? Who told you the precepts – the techniques, the methods, the disciplines?”

Sekishitsu replied, again in a roundabout way, “Not from him.”

Choshi then said, “If you were like that there, what will you be here? If you have not received the teachings, the disciplines, the precepts from a great master, Sekito, what kind of person are you going to be here? If you were like that there, what will you be here?”

Sekishitsu said, “Not much difference. I will be the same. Neither time makes any difference, nor space makes any difference. I was no one there, I will be no one here.”

Sekishitsu said, “Not much difference.”

Choshi could not understand this roundabout way of talking; he was a simple man of Zen. He said, “That is too much if you are going to be the same here too. Here you have to follow the precepts; here you have to meditate. Here you have to enter into the world of Zen.”

But Choshi was not a great master of Zen, he was a man of Zen. He has understood nothingness, but he was not capable of conveying it. He said, “That is too much if you are not going to be any different here.”

Sekishitsu said, “My tongue has no color yet.” He is saying, “Don’t be worried. I am as pure as a child. I have not been programmed by anyone. I am a tabula rasa, a clean slate. My tongue has no color yet.”

Choshi replied, “You noisy novice” – because according to Choshi, this young man was just a novice. He could not penetrate and see in this novice the transformation that had happened in the companionship of Sekito.

He was an ordinary man of Zen who had followed precepts, principles, step by step. He could not understand this quantum leap – a pure jump. That was too much. He thought, “This man is too noisy. I am asking simple questions; he goes on in a roundabout way. Go away!” And Sekishitsu immediately went away.

This anecdote is very strange. Its strangeness is that it is not necessary that a man of Zen will be able to understand another man of Zen. Of course, a master will be able to understand all kinds of Zen people, but a master is multidimensional, and a man of Zen is only one-dimensional. He has followed a certain path, and he thinks only by following that path does one reach to the nothingness he has reached.

If one has to reach nothingness, any path will do. There are as many paths as there are people to travel. But to understand that, a great master is needed.

There have been enlightened people, but still they could not understand other enlightened people for the simple reason that they have followed a certain path and the other fellow has not followed that particular path. They have become too conditioned by the path. They cannot see that when you are going into nothingness, every path is the right path.

When you are going somewhere, every path is not the right path, but when you are going nowhere, every path is the right path. But to understand that every path finally leads into nothingness, needs a multidimensional consciousness.

There are masters, and there are mystics, and this is the difference: the mystic can understand only one-dimensionally; the master has a wider view, a bird’s-eye view. He can look from above and see that all paths are leading to nowhere.

Choshi could not understand Sekishitsu. Sekishitsu left him immediately; this was not the right place for him. He had already gone beyond the paths and the precepts and the scriptures.

Kyorai wrote:

Immobile haze.
Moon, Spring, sleep.

He is saying this is what life is: “Immobile haze. Moon, spring, sleep” – simple, no complication.

A sannyasin lives a life of such simplicity: the moon, the spring, the sleep – and he is fulfilled. A little immobile haze, and then arises the moon, then comes the spring – there are flowers – and then the sleep.

If you can conceive life in such simple terms – a little dance, a little love, a little playfulness, a little laughter, a little music, and then comes the eternal sleep, life becomes just a small drama. Soon the drama will be over. The acceptance that the drama will be over, that we are just players in a game which is not going to last forever – we will have to vacate the place for other players – then life becomes very simple, without any complexity and without any competition. One lives silently, peacefully, and prepares himself for the eternal peace, the eternal silence, the eternal sleep.

Maneesha’s question:

Beloved Osho,

Fritjof Capra contends that, “Modern physics goes far beyond technology. The way – or Tao – of physics can be a path with a heart, a way to spiritual realization.”

Do you agree?

Maneesha, the question is not of agreeing or not agreeing, because all agreements and disagreements are of the mind. I know that Capra is simply guessing. He is a man who knows modern physics and a little bit of the philosophy of Tao. And it is a very small thing to create a physics of Tao, or a Tao of physics, because the word tao simply means the way, and modern physics certainly has gone beyond technology. It has moved beyond the boundaries of mind, and is in a tremendous chaos. As far as mind was concerned, things were clear. But now, modern physics has come to a point where mind cannot make any sense. Capra himself, being a physicist, started learning about Tao in the effort to understand the chaos that modern physics has entered into, and that perhaps Tao may help.

But he is not a man of Tao, he is still an intellectual trying to make some definitions, trying to make something out of the chaos. He is still thinking of spiritual realization, and there is no spiritual realization because there is no spirit as such.

There is a dispersion into nothingness. You cannot call it realization. It can be called derealization, but it cannot be called realization. Nothing is realized. Even that which was there is no more – only silence prevails.

I know the chaos of existence is ultimate. Every effort to bring it into a system is bound to fail. Philosophies have failed, science has failed. More efforts will be made, but I can predict with absolute authority that no system is going to explain this vast existence. It is bound to remain a mystery.

Religions have tried in their own way, but failed. Philosophies have failed. Science came with great systematic logic, and in the beginning of this century science was absolutely certain that it was going to succeed and explain away the whole mystery of existence, bring it down to rationalization. But on the contrary, the opposite has happened.

As science has approached deeper into reality, all its old concepts have become invalid. Now Aristotelian logic is no longer logic, and Euclidean geometry is no longer geometry. Now, science is at a point where everything again has become mysterious – no explanation, and no reason. But the effort continues.

My approach is totally different. I want you to know that chaos is the very nature of existence, you cannot make it a cosmos. You cannot make it a system, either by Tao or by Zen. You cannot make it an explained system where everything is knowable.

I have always divided existence into three segments: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.

That which is unknown will become known tomorrow.

That which is known today was unknown yesterday. But the known and the unknown are a very superficial part. Beyond both is the unknowable. That unknowable is a chaos; it is irrational, illogical. There is no way to bring it into explanations, no way to make a science of it, or a philosophy of it. This chaos I have called nothingness. You can enter into it, you can be one with it, you can rejoice in it, but don’t try to conceptualize it.

So it is not a question, Maneesha, of my agreement or disagreement with Fritjof Capra. I know existence is a chaos, and will remain always a chaos. All efforts of man are bound to fail in systematizing it. It is not a system; it is not mechanics. Hence, I always have loved Gautam Buddha’s statement. Asked, “What is truth?” he replied in a very strange way. He said, “Whatever works.” He did not define truth, he simply said, “Whatever works is true.”

And more than that, even today we don’t know. We don’t know what electricity is, we only know how it works; we don’t know what it is. There is no way to know it, and there is no need.

Let existence function.

Use it, love it, rejoice in it. There is no need to systematize it; all systems are bound to fail. Zen is not a system; it is a path towards the chaos.

Go dancingly in without bothering and worrying what it is.

Rejoice in it!

What is the point in thinking what is music?

Love it, listen to it, create it.

What is the point of finding the definition of dance?

Dance!

But still very few people are of the age, mature enough to recognize this immense chaos without fear, and to use it as much as you can. Love it, live it, and drop the childish idea that you have to understand it. What are you going to do by understanding it? And in the first place, understanding is not possible.

Mind is too small, and existence is too vast – without any boundaries. There is no possibility that there will ever be a system which explains everything. And that will be a very fatal day if some system explains everything – life will lose all joy.

People are trying to explain everything. Then love becomes just chemistry, biology, hormones. Do you ever think about love as hormones, as biology, as chemistry? And the moment you think about chemistry, biology, hormones, love loses all mystery. And certainly, love is more than chemistry, biology, or hormones can explain. They may explain sex, but they cannot explain love.

Love need not be sexual. In fact, at the highest point even sexuality transforms into love . . . love unexplained, irrational, a chaos. You can experience it, but you cannot explain it.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #6

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 Sky of Completion – Osho

I heard you say that we sometimes carry other people’s wounds.

What does this mean?

Is another person’s wound simply their thought pattern that we adopt? If we can so easily accept someone else’s wound then why is it so difficult to accept our own buddhahood?

It is a very complicated question, but if you are ready to understand I am willing to answer. Everybody is carrying other people’s wounds. In the first place, you are living in a sick society where people are angry, full of hate, enjoy to hurt – that is the superficial level which can be understood easily. But there are subtle levels, there are so-called religious saints who are creating feelings of guilt in you, who are condemning you to be a sinner. They are giving you an idea which will create misery around you.

And the older the idea is, people accept it more easily. Everybody around the world is saying, “We are living in sin . . .  all these people cannot be wrong.” I am alone in declaring to you that you have chosen to live in misery; it is your choice. You can drop it immediately and dance in joy, in blissfulness.

But the wound is deep. And one becomes very much familiar with one’s misery. One clings to it as if it gives you a certain coziness, but it only gives you a life of hell. But your hell is supported by everybody. If you are miserable everybody is sympathetic to you. Have you ever gone into the matter? When you are miserable, those who are sympathetic to you are nursing your misery. Have you ever seen anybody sympathetic to you when you are dancing with joy? When you are blissful, people are jealous, not sympathetic.

According to me, the whole foundation of life has to be changed. People should be sympathetic only when there is pleasure and joy and rejoicing, because by your sympathy you are nourishing. Nourish people’s joy, don’t nourish their sadness and their misery. Be compassionate when they are miserable. Make it clear that this misery is chosen by yourself.

On a deeper level . . . perhaps the questioner has not asked me to go that deep, but the answer will remain incomplete if I don’t go deep enough.

The very idea of reincarnation, which has arisen in all the Eastern religions, is that the self goes on moving from one body to another body, from one life to another life. This idea does not exist in the religions that have arisen out of Judaism, Christianity and Mohammedanism. But now even psychiatrists are finding that it seems to be true. People can remember their past lives; the idea of reincarnation is gaining ground.

But I want to say one thing to you: the whole idea of reincarnation is a misconception. It is true that when a person dies his being becomes part of the whole. Whether he was a sinner or a saint does not matter, but he had also something called the mind, the memory. In the past the information was  not available to explain memory as a bundle of thoughts and thought waves, but now it is easier.

And that’s where, on many points, I find Gautam Buddha far ahead of his time. He is the only man who would have agreed with my explanation. He has given hints, but he could not provide any evidence for it; there was nothing available to say. He has said that when a person dies, his memory travels into a new womb – not the self. And we now can understand it, that when you are dying, you will leave memories all around in the air. And if you have been miserable, all your miseries will find some location; they will enter into some other memory system. Either they will enter totally into a single womb – that’s how somebody remembers one’s past. It is not your past; it was somebody else’s mind that you have inherited.

Most people don’t remember because they have not got the whole lump, the whole heritage of a single individual’s memory system. They may have got fragments from here and there, and those fragments create your misery system. All those people who have died on the earth have died in misery. Very few people have died in joy. Very few people have died with the realization of no-mind. They don’t leave a trace behind. They don’t burden anybody else with their memory. They simply disperse into the universe. They don’t have any mind and they don’t have any memory system. They have already dissolved it in their meditations. That’s why the enlightened person is never born.

But the unenlightened people go on throwing out, with every death, all kinds of misery patterns. Just as riches attract more riches, misery attracts more misery. If you are miserable, then from miles, misery will travel to you – you are the right vehicle. And this is a very invisible phenomenon, like radio waves. They are traveling around you; you don’t hear them. Once you have the right instrument to receive them, immediately they become available. Even before the radio was there, they were traveling by your side.

There is no incarnation, but misery incarnates. Wounds of millions of people are moving around you, just in search of somebody who is willing to be miserable. Of course, the blissful does not leave any trace. The man of awakening dies the way a bird moves into the sky, without making a track or a path. The sky remains empty. Blissfulness moves without making any trace. That’s why you don’t get any inheritance from the buddhas; they simply disappear. And all kinds of idiots and retarded people go on reincarnating in their memories and it becomes every day thicker and thicker.

Today, perhaps, it has come to the point to be understood and to be dissolved; otherwise it is too thick to allow you to live, to allow you to laugh.

Your own consciousness has no wounds.

Your own consciousness knows nothing of misery.

Your own consciousness is innocent, utterly blissful. To bring you in touch with your own consciousness, every effort is being made to detract you from the mind. The mind contains all your misery, all your wounds. And it goes on creating wounds in such a way that, unless you are aware, you will not even find how it creates them. […]

Don’t keep the past burning you. You have come into an open space, now learn the ways of freedom and love and friendliness. And you all have the capacity; there is no question of being miserable for any reason. No reason is valid to make anyone miserable. In fact, we have to search for a valid reason to be miserable. Otherwise people will ask, “Are you mad? Without any reason and you are miserable?” So somehow you go on inventing reasons. But remember, those are only invented reasons. Nobody asks you when you are happy, “Why are you happy?” There is no reason to be happy. Happiness is our nature. To be joyful needs no reason, no cause.

This commune has to be a commune of understanding, awareness, looking into one’s own mind patterns and remembering that they are not yours. You are simply the watcher, and the watcher is outside the mind.

I teach you the watcher.

The only way to get out of misery patterns, whether ancient or new, is witnessing. I say it is the only way, because nobody has escaped from the mind without becoming a witness. Just witness, and suddenly you will start laughing at your own misery. All our miseries are so superficial – and most fundamentally, they are all borrowed.

And everybody is giving his misery to everybody else he comes in contact with. People are talking continuously about their miseries, about their troubles, about their conflicts. Have you ever heard anybody talking about his joyous moments? About his dances and songs? About his silences and blissfulness? No, nobody talks about these things. People go on sharing all their wounds, and whenever you are talking about your misery to somebody, without your knowing, you are transferring a miserable pattern. The person may be thinking that he is only listening to you, but he is also catching the vibe of misery, the wounds.

When I said that you carry other people’s wounds, my statement meant that your own consciousness has no wounds. If everybody becomes alert, meditative, there will be no wounds in the world. They will simply disappear. They will not find any house, any shelter. This is possible. If it is possible for me, it is possible for everybody.

And in your question you also ask why “we can so easily accept someone else’s wound,” and why it is “so difficult to accept our own buddhahood.”

You can accept somebody’s wounds because you also have wounds. You understand the language of wounds, miseries, sufferings.

And you ask why we cannot accept the idea of being a buddha.

In the first place, you rarely come across a buddha. Very rarely does a buddha exist in the world, so even if you meet him you will not understand his language. Most probably you will misunderstand him. You know misery, and he is talking about bliss. You know wounds, and he is talking about eternal health. You know only death, and he is talking about eternity.

In the first place, it is difficult to find a buddha. In the second place, it is difficult to understand his language because it is not your language. Otherwise, this must be the simplest thing in the world – to understand one’s buddhahood. It is so obvious. Your very being is already a buddha, but you have forgotten the path to your inner being. You have traveled long on many paths, but they all lead outside. And slowly, slowly you have forgotten that there is a small space within you which you have not explored.

Meditation is nothing but an exploration of your ignored inner space. That small space will suddenly remind you that you are a buddha. And unless it becomes a mindfulness in you that you are a buddha . . . It is not a concept; nobody can convince you that you are a buddha . . . you cannot be otherwise.

If you simply go in, the very experience of the interior space explodes in the recognition and remembrance of your buddhahood. It is not a philosophy, it is an existential experience.

The second question:

What is the relationship between Zorba and Zen?

The whole past of humanity has tried to keep them separate, and this has been an unfortunate experiment. The Zorba has remained incomplete, just superficial. And Zen has remained incomplete; it has only the inner world, and the outer is missing.

My Manifesto of Zen is that Zorba and Zen are not antagonistic to each other. The Zorba can melt into Zen, and only then will both be complete.

The man who has lived outside has lived very superficially, and the man who does not know anything about the inner, knows nothing about the existential, about the eternal. And on the other hand, the man who knows something of the inner starts thinking that the outer is illusory.

Nothing is illusory.

The outer and the inner are part of one existence.

I want Zorbas to be buddhas and vice versa. And unless this becomes possible, there will not be many buddhas, and there will not be many Zorbas either. In the completion of Zorba and Zen, a tremendous quality comes to your life: you relish every moment of the outside world, every flower of the outside world. And you relish simultaneously the inner freedom, the inner joy, the inner drunkenness. There is no question of any division. But humanity has lived in a divided way, and that has been a catastrophe.

It is time for Zorba to start meditating, and it is time for the people who are meditators not to allow themselves to escape from the world. They have to come to the world with all their juice, with all their ecstasy… to share.

It seems very difficult to understand, because the whole tradition of the world goes against it. But I don’t see any difficulty.

In myself I have joined Zorba and Zen together; hence I don’t see any difficulty. I am in the world, and yet I am not of the world.

I rejoice in the birds, the flowers, the trees.

I rejoice in myself, in my silence, and I don’t see there is any difference. The inner and the outer slowly have become melted into one whole. And unless your inner and outer become one whole, you will remain incomplete – and incompletion is misery.

Only in completion is there bliss.

Only in completion have you come home.

You have come to existence without any conflict, in tremendous ease, relaxed.

The Zorba in the past has been tense and worried that perhaps he is not the right person. And the man of Zen has been with the tension that he has to avoid this, he has to avoid that – that he has to become a recluse far away in the mountains. But the very fear of the world shows your misunderstanding.

The world has not to be feared, it has to be loved.

We are the world.

There is no question of escaping from anything. Every moment everything has to be enjoyed without any guilt, without any inhibition. But all the religions have been against it.

I proclaim with this manifesto a totally new sky for religious consciousness: the sky of completion, the joining of the inner and the outer, of the material and the spiritual, of Zorba and the buddha.

The third question:

I understand from listening to you that although Mahavira and Buddha were enlightened, they still retained something of their former Hindu conditioning which colored their expression of truth.

In the therapies here, through your discourses, are you cleansing our minds from all conditioning so that we emerge as Buddhas who are absolutely free of conditionings?

It is unfortunate, but it is true that even a Buddha or a Mahavira remained within the conditioning of their social structure. That is a flaw in their enlightenment. It is not as high as it can be; some weights go on dragging them down.

My effort here is to destroy all conditioning – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jewish . . . It does not matter what kind of conditioning you are carrying; I want you to drop it. It is a weight.

And through all the therapies, I am trying to do something else which the West has not understood yet. Through therapies they try to bring you to normal humanity. Their psychoanalysis brings people to what they call sanity.

My therapies here, and all the psychoanalytic methods used, have a different purpose. It is not to make you into normal, average, so-called sane people, it is to cleanse you of all traps, all theories, all religions, all kinds of conditionings. All these therapies here are deprogramming you, and leaving you free without any program.

The negative part is being done by the therapies – they destroy your programming. And the positive part is done by meditation. As your minds are deprogrammed there is a danger, because you have become accustomed to live according to a pattern, a life-style. If it is taken away you will immediately jump into another life-style, into another prison. You cannot live alone.

Therapies are doing the negative part, and meditation is giving you the joy of living in freedom, the joy of living in awareness – not according to any scripture, and not according to anybody, but according to your own light.

The day you start living according to your own light, your buddhahood is far more complete than even Gautam Buddha’s. He is a good pioneer. He started a process, but in the beginning perhaps it was impossible to do it completely. After twenty-five centuries it is possible now to complete the process of Gautam Buddha, and not to create buddhas as against Zorbas, but to transform the Zorba into a buddha, make the Zorba the foundation of the temple of the buddha.

Man is not to be divided, and man has to be given the total freedom of being himself. But this is possible only when, first, therapies cleanse you of all the garbage that society has forced upon you, and when meditation takes you inwards so you don’t have to look into any scripture for guidance.

The scripture is within you.

And you don’t have to borrow light, the light is burning always inside you, the inner flame. Once you have found your inner flame, you have found the whole universe in its completion.

You are the complete man.

The new man has to be the complete man.

A little biographical note:

When Tanka was eighty, he went to Mount Tanka and made a hut which attracted hundreds of seekers. Within three years a big monastery had grown.

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

Once Hotetsu – a disciple of Ma Tzu – and Tana Tennen, were on a Zen tour visiting various Zen Masters to ask questions.

It is part of the Zen world that even masters go on traveling to different monasteries to ask questions. Questions are asked all over the world, but not the way it is being done in Zen. Masters who have arrived, who know the answer, just playfully go on traveling from monastery to monastery to ask questions to see whether this master is just a pretender. And out of their questions, a whole beautiful tradition has arisen: masters pulling each other’s legs, and after finding that both know it, rejoicing in it like children dancing on the beach.

Hotetsu – a disciple of Ma Tzu – and Tanka Tennen, were on such a tour to ask Zen masters questions, and both were already enlightened.

One day, Hotetsu saw fish in a pond and motioned to them with his hand. Tanka said , “Tennen.”

The word tennen has been given to Tanka because he was one of the most natural, simple, innocent persons.

When Hotetsu saw fish in a pond and motioned to them with his hand, Tanka simply said, “Tennen” – it is natural; don’t feel embarrassed. A great buddha playing with the fish . . . don’t be worried. Tanka said. “It is natural.”

The following day, Hotetsu asked Tanka, “What is the meaning of what you said yesterday?”

Tanka threw his body to the ground and lay there, face down.

What is he saying? “A fish is born out of the water, lives in the water, disappears in the water – it is natural. And now if you ask me again, ‘What is the meaning of what you said yesterday?’. . . ”

Zen masters are not recorded to repeat their answers, they respond: Tanka threw his body to the ground and lay there, face down. He is saying, “I am also a fish made of the earth, and one day I will disappear into the earth. I am not anything more special than a fish.”

On his last day, Tanka said to his disciples, “Prepare a bath for me – I am now going.”

Then he put on his straw hat, held a stick in his hand, put on his sandals and took a step forward. But before his foot touched the ground, he had died.

What a way of dying! – with such clarity. Death is coming – be prepared for a journey. And the people who saw him standing with one foot up, could not see that that foot was indicating towards the invisible. He had left the body, and the consciousness had become part of the cosmos.

But a man of meditation becomes aware to leave the body when the time is ripe, or when the body is trying to get rid of his consciousness. A Zen man dies consciously, hence his death is not a death but an entry into immortality.

And Tanka Tennen would be the right figure – with his straw hat on, holding his stick in his hand, putting on his sandals, and taking a step forward . . . But before his foot touched the ground, he died, standing, ready for the eternal journey. This shows an intense awareness of one’s being. And it also shows that the man is free of the mind.

Only a man free of mind has the clarity to see things as they are going to happen. And he is always ready, even for death. Most of the people are not found ready for death. If you ask them, “Are you ready for death?” they will say, “Wait, there are so many things to do.” Only a man of meditation is always ready. He has done everything in each moment with such totality, with such completion, that he will not ask death to wait.

Tanka ordered his disciples to prepare a bath. They had no idea why he was asking for a bath. They had no idea why he was putting on his straw hat. Where was he going? He did not say anything. The only thing he said was, “Prepare a bath for me – I am now going.” Going where? Going into nowhere, going into the cosmos: “Enough I have lived in the body. Now I am going to dissolve like ice dissolves in the ocean” – a beautiful way of dying.

Zen is both a beautiful way of living, and a beautiful way of dying.

A haiku:

Autumn wind.
The strength of the lotus
In a single flower.

There is a strong autumn wind, but that does not make the lotus flower freak out, although it is very fragile. The strength of the lotus in a single flower . . . a small stem.

Such is life. Any moment the strong autumn wind – and the lotus flower is gone. But go the way the lotus flower goes, without any misery, without any fear, without any concern. Existence is our home. Whether we are in the body or not in the body, it does not matter; in fact, not to be in the body gives you a tremendous space. You are everywhere. Once you used to be somewhere.

Now if you ask about Tennen’s address, it will be “care of nowhere,” or “care of everywhere” – both mean the same thing. But he died so naturally, just as he lived.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto #5

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.

Only the Universe Is – Osho

The other night I heard you say there is no reincarnation, no soul, so spirit after death, only pure consciousness, pure silence.

Is it then so, that part of us, of our own consciousness, is aware of that endless silence, of being part of the whole?

All your questions arise out of your mind, and I am trying to take you beyond the mind. Beyond the mind there is no question, there is nobody to ask. But if you start thinking about meditation, that is not meditation. If you start thinking, “What happens when awareness witnesses the wholeness of existence?” – if you start thinking, you are moving inside the mind in a circle, in a vicious circle, you may find some answer, but that answer is not the truth.

You have to go beyond thinking, beyond questioning.

Just be silent and you will know.

You are not, only the universe is.

You are just a ripple in the river, arisen in a certain moment and dissolved back again, but not for a single moment separate from the river. This whole existence is nothing but a vast ocean in which all kinds of ripples, tidal waves, arise and disappear, and the ocean remains.

That which remains is your authentic reality. That which comes and goes is just a dream, or just a phenomenal, illusory reality. For a moment the tidal wave can think, “I am separate from the ocean.”

But you know, however the wave may be tidal, it is not separate from the ocean. Even when it is thinking it is separate – and it looks separate – deep down it is part of the ocean.

I am taking you deep down into the ocean. In that ocean nobody is separate. Suddenly a tremendous joy arises that you are eternal, that you are oceanic, that you have always been and you will always be… but not those small personalities that you have taken again and again. This time you stop taking personalities and simply become the whole.

The whole feels more cozy than nothingness, but they are simply two ways of saying the same thing. The whole appears cozy, it seems you are becoming more than you were before. And nothing seems dangerous – you are becoming even less than you were before. You were at least something, now you are becoming nothing. But becoming whole, you have to become nothing. Becoming part of this vast existence, you have to relax the separateness, the individuality.

The questioner goes on asking:

Does the dewdrop still feel or experience some aliveness inside, when first it melts into the ocean? 

The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels for the first time a vast life. Only the boundaries that were making it a small dewdrop have disappeared. The dewdrop is still there, but it is no longer a dewdrop, it has become the ocean.

I have told you about Kabir, one of the most important mystics of the East….

When he became enlightened he wrote down a small statement: “The dewdrop has disappeared into the ocean – Bund samani samund mein.” But before dying, he called his son Kamal, and told him, “Please correct it. It was my first experience, now I know better. The dewdrop has not entered into the ocean; on the contrary, the ocean has entered into the dewdrop. So write it down that the ocean has entered into the dewdrop.”

Both mean the same, but one is the experience of the beginner. The dewdrop disappearing into the ocean feels like you are going into a vast nothingness. But once you have reached into that vastness, when you are no more, suddenly that vastness is you. There will be no self, no sense of I, but a sense of totality, of wholeness.

It is difficult to bring it into language. That difficulty is shown in Kabir’s changing the statement. In fact, no statement is right. Whether you say the dewdrop has entered into the ocean, or you say the ocean has entered into the dewdrop, you are still talking of two things: the dewdrop and the ocean.

If I had been present there, I would have said, “It is better to cancel both. Whatever has happened has happened, nothing can be said about it. One thing is certain, there is no more separation. So what has entered into what does not matter. There have been two, now there are not two.”

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #7

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Here you can listen to the discourse excerpt Only the Universe Is.

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.

Where Does Your Body End? – Osho

Does the soul leave the body when you die? Where does it go? 

This whole way of thinking – that something remains and something leaves – is fallacious. The gross body that we know is just a seed, the outer mask. There are also subtle bodies which continue to surround your soul even when it is leaving. These bodies are also part of you.

The body that is with me now is part of the universe, but because we conceive of our self as ours, it becomes a problem: where does my body end?

If you go into it deeply, you will see that the whole universe is part of you, part of your body. For example, if the sun were to cease this very moment, your body could not continue to exist. It could not exist if there were no oceans, it could not exist if there were no atmosphere. Your body is just a part, a constantly changing part of the universe. When the sun rises, something rises in you. When the sun sets, something sets in you. When there is a moon, you are different. When there is no moon, you are different. Your body is in a constant, dynamic relationship with the whole.

Wherever you are, whatever state you are in, you will still be in a body. If your body is taken by the universe then the universe will give you another body, unless you consciously become the whole universe. Then there is no need for a body, because the universe itself has no body.

Individuals are bound to have bodies. But where does your body end and where does it begin? It is a problem, a multidimensional problem. Your body could not exist if your father’s body had not been in existence. Your body is part of a long series, of an eternal series. Your body exists in the trees, in the sea, in everything. It is a small cosmos related to every part of the total.

Our language is very crude and limited, so when we say that the soul leaves the body, it gives a mistaken idea. The soul moves into the body of the universe, but the universe is constantly giving it another body. That body which you have left behind is still related to you, because the whole is related to you.

You are swimming in the sea. You have left part of the sea behind and gone ahead, but the part that has been left behind is still a part of the sea in which you are now swimming. The sea is one and you are swimming in it just like the fish which is born of the sea and will dissolve into the sea. A fish is nothing but the sea itself, frozen somewhere, which will soon dissolve back into the sea again.

Our concept of coming into life and going out of life is primitive. You cannot go anywhere beyond this universe. Wherever you go, the universe behaves like a body to you. Your body is not only your body: it is a big community of many souls; you are only one of them. Every cell of the body has a soul, and each body has seventy million living soul cells.

Your body is a crowd of many, many souls living in a big city, and you are only one soul living in it.

Each part of you is a soul in its own right. It can live and grow without you, it can love and reproduce without you; you are not needed. So when you have leave the body, the body is still a living thing. The central soul has gone, but there are multi-millions of cells still living in the body which can ultimately develop, like you have, into a human being.

So it is a complex thing. But one thing is certain: nothing is dead. We are part of the ocean of life; we are aliveness.

It seems inconceivable to us because we go on seeing the universe from a particular point of view. That point is the disturbance. If that point dissolves and there is no ego to look from, then you cannot say that when you die you have gone somewhere. You have been. You will continue to be. Even though everything dissolves, nothing really dissolves; nothing ends. But that is possible only when there is no ego to say, “This is me.”

We think that we are the center of the universe, just as mankind has always thought that the earth is the center of the universe. But even science has proven that this is not so. The fallacy that the sun goes around the earth is the same mental fallacy that we have about ourselves. It looks true even today, when we know it is not true. If we look, the sun seems to be circling the earth.

The same phenomenon happens deep down also. In religion also we are earthbound, ego-bound: everything seems to move around the ego. It is a fallacious idea; the reality is that you are going round the universe. You are part of it; you cannot be otherwise.

Whatever you think from an egocentric point of view will be wrong. For me, right and wrong have different connotations. For me, anything that has ego at the center is wrong and anything that has no ego at the center is right. And unless you become one with the universe, unless the ego dissolves, you cannot have the right vision.

-Osho

From The Great Challenge, Chapter Ten

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

The Light That Remains Forever – Osho

Does the Being, or Self, in the person die with the death of the person; or does it live beyond death in another body?

The question is a little complicated.

First you have to understand that your personality is not your reality; it is given by the culture, by the society.

Individuality is yours, but personality is not yours.

As personality you are always dead; only as individuality are you alive. But to be an individual you have to rebel against personality and against all those people who are forcing a certain personality on you.

Each child is born with a certain potential to be – and each society tries to make him something else.

I have heard about a man who was celebrating the golden jubilee of his marriage. All his friends, relatives, acquaintances, had gathered. There was much joy, laughter. But suddenly they realized that the man was missing. They could not understand where he had gone. They looked in the garden and he was sitting in the shadows, in darkness, by the side of a tree, very sad.

His friends said, “This is strange. You have called all of us to celebrate, and you are sitting here in such sadness as if somebody has died! What is the problem?”

He said, “The problem is… This woman that I married has tortured me so much that twenty-five years ago I enquired of my attorney, ‘If I shoot her what will be the result?’ and he said, ‘Are you mad? If you shoot her you will get twenty-five years in jail!’ I am feeling sad because today I would have been free. That idiot attorney has died; otherwise I would have killed him! He made me afraid.”

A man has to live with a woman he does not love, which is simply misery. A woman has to live with a man… which is simply misery, hell. A man has to work in a certain profession he hates. Everybody becomes something that he does not like. This is your personality. Society distracts everybody from his natural individuality and makes him something other than he was destined to be.

So the first thing to be understood is that you are not a person, you are not a personality. The word ‘person’ comes from Greek drama. In Greek drama the actors used masks, and the mask… you could not see the person’s real face; you could only hear his sound. Sona means sound. Persona means you don’t know who is speaking; you just hear the sound, the face is missing. The word ‘personality’ comes from that Greek drama.

Everybody is wearing a mask. You can hear the sound but you can’t see the face; you can’t see the individual. So the first thing: you are not a ‘person’. If you are a person, you are already dead. If you are only a personality, you have dragged yourself from the cradle to the grave but you never lived. You live only when you are an individuality – when you assert yourself against every tradition, every religion, every past that wants you to be someone other than existence wants you to be. Then you live.

Again I am reminded: a great surgeon I used to know – perhaps he was the most famous surgeon in India – was retiring, and all his friends, his colleagues, had given him a party, a farewell party, but he was very sad. I asked him, “Why are you sad? You should be happy: you are the topmost surgeon in the whole country.”

He said, “You don’t understand. I never wanted to become a surgeon in the first place, so who cares that I am the topmost surgeon? I hate to hear that! I wanted to become a musician, but my parents forced me to become a surgeon – against my will I became a surgeon. By chance I became the topmost surgeon; perhaps I would not have been able to become the topmost musician. I am rich, I have everything, I have respectability, but that does not help me to be happy.

“Even if I had remained a beggar, as a musician I would have been blissful because I would have been myself. This surgeon seems to be somebody else; it is a role that I have played, but it is not me. These people are celebrating, and I am crying within myself that my whole life is lost.”

So first, you are not a ‘person’; otherwise you are dead before death. And there are millions of people who die thirty, forty, or fifty years before they actually die. You are an individual, and only individuality is capable of knowing your real self. Personality has no self – only an ego, as false as personality. Individuality has a self, a soul. The individual is a living principle of life.

If you know life you will never ask this kind of question. Knowing life authentically means you also know that it is immortal. The knowledge of its immortality is intrinsic. It is not something informed, from outside. Just living your true being in totality you slowly, slowly become aware of the immortal current of life within you. You know the body will die, but this soul, which is life’s whole essence, cannot die.

In existence nothing is destructible.

And it is not something to believe in, it is a scientific truth that you cannot destroy anything. You cannot destroy even a small piece of stone. Whatever you do it will remain in some form or other.

Science enquires into the objective world and finds that even objective reality is immortal. Religion works exactly like science in the inner world and finds the dancing life is intrinsically immortal.

It will be good to remember Socrates at this point because he was not a man to believe anything. If you had asked him whether your soul would survive after bodily death he would say, “Let me first die – because unless I die, how can I say?” And the day he was given poison is one of the most significant days in the history of man. His disciples were sitting around him and he was lying down. He told his disciples, “I will tell you what is happening. As long as I can, I will go on informing you.”

Then he said, “Up to my knees, my legs are dead. Please somebody pinch my legs so I can know whether I can feel it or not.” Somebody pinched his legs. He said, “I cannot feel it; the legs have died. But remember one thing: I am as alive as I ever was. The death of the legs has not cut a part of my life; my life is as whole as it ever was.” Then all of the legs became dead, half of the body. And he said, “Half of my body is dead, but I am whole, as whole as ever.”

Then his hands became dead and he said, “I am still here and I am still whole. Perhaps now my heart will stop, but I can say to you that even though I may not be able to inform you, I will remain, because if all these parts are gone and I am whole, then it doesn’t matter: the heart is only a part.”

And when he died his face was so delighted, so joyous, that Plato, his disciple, remembers, “We have never seen his face so full of light, so radiant. Perhaps the last moment when the soul is leaving the body is just like the sunset when the sun is going down and the whole sky becomes so beautiful and radiant.”

It is not a question of belief. I am not a believer in anything, so I will not say to you to believe me that the soul is immortal. But it is my experience that it is immortal because I can remember my past lives, and that is a solid proof that there are going to be future lives. I can teach you techniques for remembering past lives and that will become a solid proof for you that you have a future. You have an eternity of past and an eternity of future.

You have always been here and you will always be here.

But first drop your fake personality.

Grow into your authentic individuality.

Live the way existence wanted you to live. Your very life should be so intense and so total that you burn your life’s torch from both ends. In that very intensity you will know that you have touched something of eternity. And if you have known it in your life, in your death you will find a deeper confirmation of the fact.

People who live in personality always die unconscious. They have never lived. They don’t know what consciousness is, so before death they become unconscious. That’s why we don’t  remember our past lives. You were unconscious, and death happened in your unconsciousness.

But if you live consciously, as an individual, then you will die consciously, the way Socrates is dying – so conscious to the last breath. And this memory will be with you in the next life too.

In the East there are three great religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. They disagree on every point – their philosophies are different about everything – but on one point they agree, and that is the eternal existence of the soul, because it is not a question of theoretical discussion, it is a question of existential experience. You can’t disagree about it – it is exactly so.

Against these three religions in the East, outside of India there are three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism. They all believe in one life, and that simply shows their poverty. They have not explored deeply enough to find past lives, and they cannot guarantee anything about the future. These three religions born outside India are superficial. Their work is not in-depth research.

But in India for ten thousand years thousands of people have entered into self-realization and have found that there is some light that remains forever. It goes on moving from one body to another body but is indestructible.

I will not tell you to believe it. I will only tell you to experiment. I am against all beliefs, because every belief destroys you, destroys your thinking. I am in favor of experimenting, and there are techniques available.

That has been my whole life’s work – to make those techniques available to anybody who really wants to search and to find, to one who is not only a curious person but is a seeker who is ready to risk everything for the search. And it is a search for which you need to risk everything because you are going to find the greatest treasure.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Discourse #1

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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

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

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