The other night I heard you say there is no reincarnation, no soul, no 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.”
Gyozan said to Sekishitsu, “Tell me what to believe in and what to rely on?”
Sekishitsu gestured across the sky above, three times with his hand, and said, “There is no such thing in which you can believe, on which you can rely. There is no such thing.”
What does he mean by gesturing three times to the sky?
Existence is just a vast sky with no end and no beginning, no boundary. There is nothing to believe and nothing to rely on. One has just to disappear. All belief is man manufactured, and all reliance, relying on a God or relying on a Christ, is out of your own fear. But there is nothing to rely on, and there is no security.
Don’t cling with anything. Everything that you cling to is your own imagination. Your gods are your imagination, and your philosophies are your imagination. Existence has no gods, and existence has no philosophies – just a pure silence, but a silence which is musical, a silence which is a dance; a silence which blossoms into many flowers, and into many fragrances; a silence which manifests into immense varieties; a silence which is multidimensional. Just relax into it. Don’t try to believe or trust, because all belief and trust is clinging.
Sekishitsu gestured across the sky above, three times with his hand, and said, “There is no such thing . . . You just please drop the very idea of relying on anything, or believing in anything. Just relax. This whole existence is yours. Why do you want to cling to a special part? It is all the same – the same sky, the same silence, the same purity, same innocence.”
Gyozan asked, “What do you say about reading sutras?”
Man wants something. His mind is always finding some way to avoid the nothingness or the wholeness of existence.
Gyozan immediately asked, “If there is nothing to believe and nothing to rely upon, what do you say about reading sutras?”
Sekishitsu replied, “All sutras are out of the question. Doing things that are given by others is dualism of mind and matter. And if you are in the dualism of subject and object, various views arise. But this is blind wisdom, so it is not yet the Tao
“If others don’t give you anything, there is not a single thing . . . ”
Have you ever thought about it? – that all that you know has been given to you by others. If you put that aside to sort out what is yours, you will find a pure emptiness is yours, everything else has been given to you by others. Then who are you? – a pure emptiness hidden behind all those words and beliefs and religions which have been given to you.
“If others don’t give you anything, there is not a single thing. That’s why Bodhidharma said, ‘Originally, there is not a single thing.’”
Bodhidharma’s statement is of tremendous value. There is not a single thing separate from the whole. All separation, all dualism, is the game of the mind. As the mind becomes silent, all that game disappears, all those players are no longer there.
What happens when you wake up in the morning to your dreams? In the dreams have you ever doubted that what you are seeing is not true? Nobody in a dream can doubt. Whatever appears in the dream, appears to be the right thing at the moment. Only in the morning when you wake up, suddenly do you realize that all the night you have been dreaming of things which were not true, which were just mind creations, flowers in the sky – Bodhidharma’s statement, “Originally, there is not a single thing.”
“You see, when a baby comes out of the womb, does he read sutras or not? At that time, the baby does not know whether such a thing as buddha nature exists of not. As he grows up and learns various views, he appears to the world and says, ‘I do well and I understand.’ But he doesn’t know it is rubbish and delusion.
“Of the sixteen ways of phases of doing, a baby’s way is the best. The time of a baby’s gurgle is compared to a seeker when he leaves the mind of dividing and choosing. That’s why a baby is praised. But if you take this comparison and say, ‘The baby is the way,’ people of the present days will understand it wrongly.”
And that is true even today.
When I am saying to you, “Be nothing,” I am saying in other words, “Be just a newborn baby, a pure consciousness, undivided into knowing and not knowing. The baby’s consciousness is pure. It knows nothing, it does not even know that it is.”
You must have heard small babies talk about themselves as separate persons. They may say, “The baby is hungry. The baby is thirsty.” The “I” takes a little time to grow. It takes at least three to four years for society to create an ego so the baby starts saying “I” – instead of saying, “The baby” is hungry, “I” am hungry. And the moment the baby says, “I am hungry,” he is no longer a baby. He has entered into the world, he has graduated, in a way.
But according to Zen, once again you have to become just like the baby. This second childhood is the greatest revolution possible.
Jesus is right when he says, “Unless you are born again, you will not understand the truth.” He had been traveling for seventeen years in the East, and he had gathered much. And that was really the problem why Jews could not accept him. He was talking a language that was not theirs. He was making interpretations of the old Jewish tradition in a way that had never been heard and that he had brought from the East.
And at that time the whole of the East was full of the vibrations of Gautam Buddha. Just five hundred years had passed since Gautam Buddha was alive, yet his vibrations were in the atmosphere. And there are possibilities that Jesus did not only visit India and Tibet. There is a place in Japan which also proclaims that he visited there. In the Bible these seventeen years are completely missing. They don’t listen to any other argument, because that would be disturbing to whatever they have managed up to now as their Holy Bible.
Jesus was much influenced by Buddha’s teachings. This teaching, “Unless you are born again,” has the flavor of Gautam Buddha who was continuously teaching that you have to drop everything that has been told to you, you have to forget everything that has been programmed in you. Gautam Buddha brings to the world the first deprogramming philosophy. And when you are deprogrammed completely, who are you? – just a pure nothingness, just a silence. All words were borrowed, all sutras were given to you, all religions were forced on your mind. You are not a Christian, and you are not a Hindu, and you are not a Mohammedan. You were born just as pure consciousness.
You have to attain that pure consciousness again. This is rebirth. And this rebirth brings the buddha, the pure consciousness, the consciousness which knows no boundaries; hence, it cannot call itself “I.” A consciousness which has become one with the whole has nothing to say.
Buddha, when he became enlightened, for seven days remained silent, wondering whether to say it or not. “Because in every possible way,” he thought, “it will be misunderstood. It is better to be silent.” But a compassionate heart could not be at ease in silence, seeing that “Everybody needs this exploration, this excursion into himself. I know the way, if I remain silent it will be criminal. But if I say anything, then too, I will not be absolutely right in saying it, because that which is beyond the word cannot be brought into the word.”
So after seven days, compassion took over, and finally he tried. For forty-two years he went on saying to people, and always making it clear – “What I am saying, don’t take it literally. I want you to experience it. Only then will you understand the meaning of it – not by hearing me, but by experiencing it. Only by tasting it, will you know the sweetness of it.”
One long line
Through snowy fields.
Life is just a river, a long river – a long line through snowy fields. And then what happens? Each river, small or big, dissolves into the ocean, finds its way without any guide, without any sutras, without any masters. It may go astray, zigzag, but finally it reaches to the ocean. And that reaching to the ocean is becoming the ocean. That is the rebirth. That’s what we mean by meditation. That’s what we mean by the Zen Manifesto.
Every river is destined to disappear one day into the ocean. Go dancingly, go joyfully. There is no need to be worried, there is no need to be hurried. The ocean is waiting – you can take your time, but take your time with joy, not with tensions and anxieties. Rejoice and dance and sing and love, and finally you are going to disappear into the ocean. The ocean is always waiting for you.
From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Discourse #7
Copyright © OSHO International Foundation
Read another post from the same discourse Hara, the Third Eye and Zen.