Let Consciousness Be Your Master – Osho

You say: Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Do not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed. 

Prem Lisa, the difference is so great that it is impossible to miss it. Repression happens through fighting with your mind. Discipline happens through being watchful, aware, alert. In discipline, there is no fight implied. In discipline, there is no condemnation, no evaluation. One simply looks at the mind silently, seeing the whole traffic, without saying what is right and what is wrong, what should be and what should not be, just as, standing by the side of the road, you watch the people walking by – saints and sinners, beautiful people, ugly people, good people, bad people – but you are unconcerned. It has nothing to do with you; you are out of it.

That’s exactly the meaning of the English word “ecstasy”. Ecstasy means to be out of the mind. You are just looking, as one looks at the clouds moving in the sky or at the river flowing by – cool, detached. Neither are you trying to cling to something nor are you trying to push something away from you.

This is pure awareness: you are only a mirror. And in just being a mirror, the miracle happens – the miracle of discipline. Slowly, slowly, the traffic starts disappearing. Less and less thoughts are moving on the road; less and less pictures are appearing on the screen, less and less memories, fantasies. Gaps start appearing.

A mother was telling her child, “Be very careful when you go to school because the traffic is dangerous at rush hour time.”

The child said, “Don’t be worried. I always wait by the side of the road. When a gap comes by, then I cross the road.”

“When a gap comes by…” As you are looking at your mind you will be surprised: gaps come by, intervals when there is nothing to be seen. The observer remains alone and because it is alone it is no longer an observer either. You can’t call it an observer because there is nothing to observe. The mirror is there, but it is not reflecting anything. There is no duality of the seen and the seer. In these intervals discipline arises.

The word “discipline” is also beautiful. It is sometimes very significant to go to the roots of words. “Discipline” comes from a root which means learning. When you are looking at a gap, learning happens. Learning about what? Learning about yourself, because there is nothing else. You are full of awareness. You are just full of your own being, overflowing. And this experience of just being yourself, overflowing, undistracted by anything, undisturbed by anything, is the greatest learning, the greatest possibility of knowing the truth. This is discipline.

From the same root comes the word “disciple.” Disciple means one who is becoming capable of being utterly silent in the presence of the Master. The disciple is one who allows the interval to happen when he is with the Master. With the Master you are bridged only through silence; when there is nothing in your mind you are bridged. Something then transpires between the Master and the disciple. A flame jumps from the Master into the heart of the disciple. The unlit candle of the disciple suddenly becomes lit. All is joy and light and love, and a great dance arises.

Lisa, discipline can never be misunderstood as repression. Repressions are totally different. In repression you have already decided what is wrong – a priori decisions. In fact, others have decided for you what is wrong and what is right. Now you are simply trying to impose the ideas and opinions of others upon yourself. You will have to repress your nature. You will have to force that which is wrong – or which you have been told is wrong – deep into the unconscious. There will be a fight, great turmoil. Instead of bringing silence to you, every method of repression brings more turmoil.

That’s why the so-called religious people are more restless, more worried. You are worried only about this world; they are worried even about the other. You are worried only about this life, they are worried about many, many past lives and future lives. Your worries are nothing compared to the worries of the so-called religious people. And they are sitting on a volcano, because whatsoever is repressed is there; it is not destroyed.  Repression never destroys anything; you are simply sitting on top of it. And the danger is that you cannot sit on top of it for twenty-four hours a day; you have limitations. You will get tired, you will need some rest. And whenever you will be tired and you will need rest, repressions will start arising in you.

Hence, even your greatest saints go on thinking, fantasizing, dreaming about all those things that they have repressed.

Mahatma Gandhi has written in his autobiography: “I have been able to control my sexuality as far as my day is concerned, but in the night, in my dreams, it comes with a vengeance.” This he was writing at the age of seventy… a whole life of repression!

Yes, in the day you can somehow manage, but in the night, in the dreams, that which you have repressed in the day is bound to take revenge. It will come back, it will explode in you.

Hence, down the ages your saints have been very much afraid of sleep. They go on cutting down on their sleep – five hours, four hours, three hours, two hours. And the less they sleep the greater the danger, because all their repressions have to come in those two hours in a very condensed way. Then they are crowding in from everywhere. And people worship them! The less a saint sleeps, the more people worship him. They say, “Look how much he has sacrificed! What a great austerity he is doing – he is not even sleeping! Or he sleeps for only two hours or one hour.”

The reality is that he is afraid of sleep. And from where is the fear coming? The fear is coming from the fact that when you are awake you can control, but when you are asleep, who is there to control? The controller is asleep, is in a relaxed state. He cannot sit on top of all the repressions, and they will assert themselves.

So, Lisa, if you are fighting with anything, then it is not discipline. I don’t teach fight, I teach awareness. It is useless to fight with the darkness, utterly useless and stupid. Bring the light in. Why fight with darkness? And how can you ever hope to win by fighting with darkness? Bring the light in and the darkness is found no more.

You are surrounded by much darkness: greed, anger, jealousy, lust, ambition, ego. These are layers of darkness. If you start fighting with all these layers of darkness you are not going to win, because there is no way to fight with darkness directly. Darkness does not exist in the first place; it is only the absence of light. So if you want to do something with darkness, don’t try to do it directly, do something with light. If you want darkness, put the light out. If you don’t want darkness, put the light on. But do something with the light, forget about darkness. If the light is there, darkness is not there. If the light is not there, you cannot avoid darkness. You can close your eyes, you can try to forget about it, you can become occupied somewhere else, you can take your mind far, far away from it, but it is there all the same. And it will show in your acts, in your thoughts, in your behavior. It will come up again and again. You cannot hide it – it is impossible to hide it. The truth of your being, whatsoever it is, is bound to surface.

Lisa, become aware. And I am not saying what is wrong and what is right. I am simply saying: Be aware; or, awareness is right and unawareness is wrong. When you are aware, things will start changing of their own accord, and then the mind functions as a servant. It is a machine, a beautiful machine, one of the most complex machines invented by nature in thousands of years. Man has not yet been able to create anything comparable to it. Even the best computer is not yet so capable.

A single human mind can contain all the libraries of the world. It is almost infinite. Its capacity is great, its use is great, but it should be your servant not your master. As a servant it is beautiful; as a master it is dangerous.

Let consciousness be your master and mind your servant. It happens through awareness. And I am not telling you to control it, because all control is repression. I am not telling you to fight, because all fight is a sheer waste of energy. You are fighting with your own servant – you are wasting your energy. You need not fight with your servant, you have simply to say, “I am the master”; that’s all.

You have simply to be the master, that’s all, and the servant bows down. The servant immediately understands that the master has come in. And how does the master come in? The moment you become awake, the master comes in.

You ask me, Lisa:

You say: Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Don not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed? 

It is very simple. Nobody can ever mistake the two; nobody can ever confuse the two. They are so different – just like light and darkness, just like love and hate, just like flowers and thorns, just like poison and nectar. They are so totally different! But if you think about them you may get confused.

In thinking you cannot make the distinction. Don’t think about them – experiment, experience, and the distinction will be absolutely clear.

-Osho

From Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, 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.

Release Those Devils – Osho

You said the other day to ignore negative mind contents and not give energy to them. I find it difficult to stay on the razor’s edge of ignoring without falling into suppressing and thus putting things back into the unconscious. Can you please tell me how to discriminate between these two?

You already know it. Your question contains the discrimination. You know perfectly well when you are ignoring and when you are suppressing.

Ignoring simply means not paying attention to it. Something is there; let it be there. You are unconcerned this way or that, whether it should remain or go. You have no judgment. You have simply accepted it is there, and it is none of your business whether it should be there or not.

In suppressing you are taking an active part. You are wrestling with that energy; you are forcing it into the unconscious. You are trying not to be able to see it anywhere. You want to know that it is no longer there.

For example, anger is there. Just sit silently and watch that the anger is there. Let it remain. How long can it remain? Do you think it is something immortal, eternal? Just as it has come, it will be gone. You simply wait. You don’t do anything about it, for or against. If you do something for, you are expressing it, and when you are expressing it you are getting into a mess because the other person may not be a meditator – most probably he will not be. He will also react with greater rage. Now you are in a vicious circle.

You are angry, you made the other angry, and you go on becoming angry with each other more and more. Sooner or later your anger will become almost a solid rock of hatred, violence, and while you are moving in this vicious circle you are losing consciousness. You may do something for which you will repent later on. You may murder, you may kill or at least you may attempt to. And after the episode is over you may wonder: “I had never thought that I could murder somebody!” But you created the energy, and energy can do anything. Energy is neutral: it can create, it can destroy; it can light your house, it can set your house on fire.

Ignoring means you are not doing anything about it. The anger is there. Just take note of it, that anger is there, just the way you see a tree is there outside. Do you have to do something about it? A cloud is moving in the sky; do you have to do something about it? Anger is also a cloud moving on the screen of your mind. So watch; let it move.

And it is not a question of being on a razor’s edge. Don’t make small things into big things. This is a very small thing and can be done very simply; you just have to accept that it is there. Don’t try to remove it, don’t try to act upon it, and don’t feel ashamed that you are angry. Even if you feel ashamed, you have started acting. Can’t you be a non-doer?

Sadness is there, anger is there: just watch. And be ready for a surprise; if you can watch, and your watchfulness is uncontaminated, is pure – you are really not doing anything but simply looking – the anger will slowly pass by. The sadness will disappear, and you will be left with such a clean consciousness.

You were not so clean before because the possibility of anger was there. Now that possibility has become actual and it is gone with the anger. You are far cleaner. You were not so silent, so peaceful; now you are. Sadness had taken up some energy. It would not have allowed you a deep sense of happiness, it would have clouded your consciousness.

And all the other negative emotions are eating your energy. They are all there because you have repressed them, and they are repressed so you don’t let them out. You have closed the door and you have put them in the basement; they cannot escape. Even if they want to escape, you won’t let them out. And they will disturb your whole life. In the night they will become nightmares, ugly dreams. In the day they will affect your actions.

And there is always a possibility that some emotion may become too big to control. You have been repressing and repressing and repressing, and the cloud is becoming bigger. And a point comes when you cannot control it anymore. Then something happens, which the world will see as you doing, but only those who know can see you are not doing it: you are under a very great impulsive force. You are behaving like a robot; you are helpless.

You are murdering, you are raping, you are doing something ugly, but in fact you are not doing it. You have collected all that material which has become so powerful that now it can force you to do things – things in spite of you, things against you. Even while you are doing it you know it is not right. You know, “I should not be doing it. Why am I doing it?” but still you will do it.

Many murderers in many courts of the world have said very honestly that they have not murdered. But the court cannot believe it, the law cannot believe it. I can believe it – because the courts and the law are all primitive. They have not come to maturity. They are not yet psychologically based. They are simply the revenge of the society – put into beautiful words, but it is really nothing but the same thing the man has done… he has murdered, now the society wants to murder him.

He was alone. But the society has the law, the court, the police, the jail. And it will go through a long ritual to prove to itself, “We are not murdering the man, we are simply trying to prevent crime.” But this is not the fact. If you want to prevent crime, then your law should be based more on psychology, psychoanalysis, meditation. Then you will be able to see that no man has ever done anything wrong, just your whole society is wrong.

The society is wrong because it teaches people to repress, and when they repress there comes a point when what they have repressed starts overflowing and they are simply helpless. They are victims. All your criminals are victims, and all your judges and all your politicians and priests are criminals. But this has been going on for centuries so it has become accepted.

Don’t do anything, just ignore… and it is not difficult, it is a very simple phenomenon. For example, this plant is here. Can’t you ignore it? Do you have to do something about it? There is no need to do anything about it.

Just take a look at the contents of your mind from a distance, just a little distance, so that you can see, “This is anger, this is sadness, this is anguish, this is anxiety, this is worry,” and so on and so forth. Let them be there. ”I am unconcerned. I am not going to do anything for or against.” And they will start disappearing.

And if you can learn a simple thing, of letting these things disappear from the conscious, you will have such a clarity of consciousness… your vision will be so penetrating, your insight so far-reaching that not only will it change your individuality, it will allow the repressed contents in the unconscious to surface. Seeing that you have learned not to repress, things are moving out. They want to go out into the world.

Nobody wants to live in your basement in the darkness. Seeing that you are allowing things to move out, they need not wait for the night when you are asleep; they will start coming up. You will see them coming up from the basement of your being and moving out from your consciousness. Slowly your unconscious will be empty.

And this is the miracle, the magic: if the unconscious is empty, the wall between the conscious and unconscious collapses. It all becomes consciousness. First you had only one-tenth of your mind conscious; now you have all ten parts together conscious. You are ten times more conscious. And the process can go deeper; it can release the collective unconscious. The key is the same. It can release the cosmic unconscious.

And if you can clean all the unconscious parts below your consciousness, you will have such a beautiful awareness that to enter into the superconscious will be as easy as a bird taking wing.

It is your open sky. It is just that you were so loaded… so much weight that you could not fly. Now there is no weight. You are so light that gravitation loses its force over your mind; you can fly to the superconscious, to the collective conscious, to the cosmic conscious.

Godliness is within your reach. You just have to release the devils you have been keeping in your consciousness, forcing them into unconsciousness. Release those devils, and godliness is within your reach. And both things can happen together: as the lower part is cleaned, the upper world becomes available to you. And remember, again I say, it is a simple process.

-Osho

From The Path of the Mystic, Chapter 35

Path of the Mystic

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.