Your House is on Fire – Osho

I have heard one anecdote. In a conservative party rally, Lord Mancroft was invited to speak. He came right on time, reached the rostrum and said to the public – he was looking a little flustered – he said, ‘Forgive me for shortening my speech a little, but the fact is that my house is on fire.’ And that fact is everybody’s fact. Your house is also on fire, but you don’t even seem a little flustered. Everybody’s house is on fire, but you are not aware – not aware of death, not aware that your life is just passing through your hands. Every moment you are dying, every moment you are losing an opportunity which cannot be regained. The time that is lost, is lost: nothing can be done to regain it, and your life becomes shorter and shorter every moment.

This is what I mean when I say that your house is also on fire. But you don’t seem even a little flustered. You don’t even seem to be worried about it. You are not aware of the fact that the house is on fire. The fact is there, but your attention is not there. And everybody thinks that there is enough time to do something. There is not enough time, because whatsoever has to be done is so much that the time is never enough.

Once it happened that the Devil was waiting for years and years and nobody was coming to hell. He was waiting to welcome people, but the earth was running so well and people were so good that no one was coming to hell. Of course he became very worried. He called an emergency council. His greatest disciples gathered together to discuss the situation. Hell was passing through a great crisis and this could not be tolerated. Something had to be done. So he asked for advice: ‘What should we do?’

One disciple suggested, ‘I would go to the earth and I would talk to people and try to convince them that there is no God and religions are false, and whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is nonsense.’

The Devil said, ‘This won’t do, because we have been doing this since the very beginning and it has not influenced people very much. Through such teaching you can convince only those who are already convinced. So it is of no use; it is not of much use.’

Then the second disciple, subtler than the first, said, ‘I will go and teach people and try to convince people that whatsoever the Bible, the Koran and the Vedas say is right. There is heaven, there is God, but there is no Devil and no hell, so don’t be afraid. And if we can make them less afraid, they will not bother about religion at all, because all religion is based on fear.’

The Devil said, ‘Your proposal is a little better. You may be able to, you may succeed in convincing a minority, but the majority will not listen to you. They are not as much afraid of hell as they are greedy of heaven. Even if you convince them that there is no hell, they will still want to enter into heaven, and they will try to be good for that. So this also won’t do much.’

Then the third disciple, the subtlest of them all, said, ‘I have an idea. Give me a chance to try it. I will go and say that whatsoever religion says is absolutely true – there is God and there is Devil and there is heaven and there is hell – but there is no hurry.’

And the Devil said, ‘Right? You have the right system. You go!’

And it is said that since then there has never been a crisis in hell. Rather, they are worried about the over-population.

This is how our minds are functioning: we always think there is no hurry. These techniques we are talking about will be of no use if your mind thinks there is no hurry. Then you can go on postponing and death will come first. That day will not come when you think there is a hurry, when you think that now the moment has come. You can go on postponing. This is what we have been doing with our lives.

You have to be decisive to do something. You are in a crisis – the house is on fire. Life is always on fire because death is always there hidden behind it; any moment and you may not be any more.

And you cannot argue with death. You cannot do anything. When death happens, it happens. Time is very short. Even if you live for seventy years or for a hundred years, it is very short. What you have to do with yourself to transform, to mutate, to become a new being, is such a great work. Don’t go on postponing.

Unless you feel it as an emergency, a deep crisis, you will not do anything. Unless religion becomes a very critical process for you, and you feel that unless something is done to transform you, your whole life is just wasted…. If you feel this very keenly and deeply and honestly, only then will these techniques be of any help. Because you can understand them – understanding is of no use unless you do something about it. Really, unless you do something about it, you have not understood them, because understanding must become action. If it is not becoming action then it is only  acquaintance, not understanding.

Try to understand this distinction. Acquaintance is not understanding. Acquaintance will not force you to actions. It will not force you to any change. It will not force you to do something about it. You will gather it in the mind; it will become information. You will become more knowledgeable. But at death everything stops. You go on collecting many things, never doing anything about them. They become just a burden on you.

Understanding means action. When you understand a thing, immediately you start working on it, because if it is right and you feel it is right, you have to do something about it. Otherwise everything remains borrowed, and borrowed knowledge cannot become understanding. You can forget that it is borrowed – you would like to forget that it is borrowed, because to feel that it is borrowed means that your ego is hurt. So you go on forgetting that it is borrowed. By and by you start feeling that it is your own. That is very dangerous.

I have heard an anecdote. The congregation of a church was very bored by the minister. A point came when the members of the church said directly to the minister, ‘Now you have to leave.’ The minister said, ‘Give me one more chance, only one chance, and if then you say so, I will leave.’ So next Sunday the whole town gathered in the church to see what that minister was going to do now that only one chance was given to him. They never suspected, they never imagined, that such a beautiful sermon was going to be delivered on that day. They had never heard such a thing. Surprised, delighted, they enjoyed it, and when the sermon was finished, they gathered around the minister and they said, ‘You need not leave. You remain here. We have never heard such a thing before – never in our lives. Be here and remain here, and of course, with an increase in your stipend.’

But then one man, a very prominent member of the congregation, asked, ‘Tell me one thing only. When you started your lecture, you raised your left hand with two fingers raised, and when you closed your lecture you raised your right hand, again with two fingers raised. So what is the meaning of this symbol? The minister said, ‘The meaning is easy. Those fingers are symbolic of quotation marks. That sermon was not mine – it was borrowed.’

Always remember those quotation marks. It is very good to forget them, you feel good, but all that you know is within quotation marks; it is not your own. And you can drop those quotation marks only when something has become your own experience.

These techniques are to change knowledge into experience. These techniques are to change acquaintance into understanding. That which belongs to a Buddha or to a Krishna or to a Christ, through these techniques can belong to you – that can become your own. And unless it becomes your own, no truth is true. It may be a grand lie, a beautiful lie, but no truth is true unless it becomes your experience – individually, authentically your own.

Three things. First: always remember that your house is on fire. Second: don’t listen to the Devil. He will constantly say to you that there is no hurry. And thirdly: remember, acquaintance is not understanding.

Whatsoever I am saying here will make you acquainted. It is needed, but it is not enough. It starts you on a journey, but it is not the end. Do something so that knowledge doesn’t remain knowledge, doesn’t remain as memory, but becomes your experience and your life.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #61

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.

 

Turning Inward Toward the Real – Osho

Civilization is a training in how to become unreal. Tantra is the reverse process – how to prevent yourself from becoming unreal, and if you have already become unreal, how to touch the reality which is hidden within you, how to contact it again, how to be again real. The first thing to be understood is how we go on becoming unreal, and once this process is understood many things change immediately. The very understanding becomes mutation.

Man is born undivided. He is neither a body nor a mind. He is born undivided, as one individual. He is both body and mind. Even to say that he is both is wrong. He is body-mind. Body and mind are two aspects of his being, not two divisions – two polarities of something which we may call life, energy or anything – X,Y,Z – but body and mind are not two things.

The very process of civilization, education, culture, conditioning, starts with the division. Everyone is taught that he is two, not one, and then, of course, one begins to be identified with the mind and not with the body. The very thinking process becomes your center and the thinking process is just a periphery. It is not the center because you can exist without thinking. Once you existed without thinking: thinking is not a necessity to exist. If you go deep in meditation you will be, and there will be no thinking. If you become unconscious you will be, but there will be no thinking. Moving into deep sleep you will be, but there will be no thinking. Thinking is just on the periphery; your being is somewhere else – deeper than thinking. But you are being taught continuously that you are two, body and mind, and that, really, you are the mind and you possess the body. The mind becomes the master and body becomes the slave, and you go on struggling against the body. This creates a rift, a gap, and that gap is the problem. All neurosis is born out of that gap; all anxiety is born out of that gap.

Your being is rooted in your body, and your body is not just something separate from existence. It is part of it. Your body is the whole universe. It is not something limited, finite. You may not have observed it, but try to observe where your body really ends – where! Do you think that your body ends where your skin ends?

If the sun which is so far away just goes dead, instantly you will be dead here. If the sun rays stop coming, you will be no more here. Your body cannot exist without the sun being there so far away. The sun and you are somehow deeply related. The sun must be included in your body; otherwise you cannot exist. You are part of its rays.

In the morning you see flowers open: their opening is really the rising of the sun. In the night they will close: their closing is the setting of the sun. They are just rays that are spread out. You exist here because there, so far away, the sun exists. Your skin is not really your skin. Your skin goes on spreading; even the sun is included. You are breathing: you can breathe because the air is there, the atmosphere is there. Each moment you exhale and inhale the atmosphere in and out.

If for a single moment there were no air, you would be dead. Your breath is your life. If your breath is your life, then the whole atmosphere is part of you. You cannot exist without it. So where does your body really end? Where is the limit? There is no limit! If you observe, if you go deep, you will find there is no limit. Or, the limit of the universe is your body limit. The whole universe is involved in you, so your body is not just your body; it is your universe and you are grounded in it. Your mind too cannot exist without the body. It is part of it, a process of it.

Division is destructive, and with the division you are bound to become identified with the mind. You think, and without thinking there is no division. You think, and you become identified with your thinking. Then you feel as if you possess the body. This is a complete reversal of the truth. You do not possess the body; neither is the body possessing you. They are not two things. Your existence is one, a deep harmony of opposite poles. But opposite poles are not divided, they are joined together. Only then can they become opposite poles. And the opposition is good. It gives challenge, it gives stamina, it creates energy. It is dialectical.

If you were really one, without opposite poles within, you would be dull and dead. These two opposite poles, body and mind, give you life. They are opposite and at the same time complementary – and basically and ultimately one. One current of energy runs in both. But once we get identified with the thinking process, we think that we are centered in the head. If your legs are cut, you will not feel that you are cut. You will say, “My legs are cut.” But if your head is cut, you are cut. You are murdered.

If you close your eyes to feel where you are, immediately you will feel you are in your head. You are not there – because when for the first moment you entered life in your mother’s womb, when the male and female atoms met, there was no head. But life was started. You were there, and there was no head. In that first meeting of two alive cells, you were created. The head came later on, but your being was there. Where is that being? It is not in your head. Really, it is nowhere – or everywhere in your body. It is nowhere; you cannot pinpoint where it is. And the moment you pinpoint it you miss the whole thing. It is everywhere. Your life is everywhere, it is spread out all over you. And not only all over you; if you follow it, you will have to go to the very ends of the universe. It is everywhere!

With the identification that “I am my mind,” everything becomes false. You become unreal because this identity is false. This has to be broken. Tantra techniques are to break down this identity. The effort of tantra is to make you headless, uncentered, everywhere or nowhere. And why does humanity, why do human beings become false and unreal with the mind? Because mind is an epiphenomenon – a process which is necessary, useful, but secondary; a process which consists of words, not of realities. The word ‘love’ is not love; the word ‘god’ is not God. But mind consists of words, of a verbal process, and then love itself becomes less significant than the word ‘love’. For the mind, the word is more significant. God becomes less significant than the word ‘God’. For the mind it is so. Words become more meaningful, significant. They become primary, and we start living in words. And the more you live in words the more shallow you become, and you will go on missing the reality which is not words. Reality is existence.

Living in the mind is as if someone is living in a mirror. In the night, if you go to a lake and the lake is silent and there are no ripples, the lake becomes a mirror. You can look at the moon in the lake, but that moon is false – just a reflection. The reflection comes from the real, but the reflection is not real. Mind is just a reflecting phenomenon. The reality is reflected in it, but reflections are not real. And if you get caught in reflections, you will miss reality completely. That is why, with the mind, with mind reflections, everything wavers. A slight wave, a slight wind, will disturb your mind. Reality is not disturbed, but the mind is disturbed by anything. Mind is a reflecting phenomenon, and we are living in mind.

Tantra says come down. Descend from your thrones, come down from your heads. Forget the reflections and move towards the reality. All the techniques which we are discussing are concerned with this: how to be away from the mind so that you can move into reality.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #35

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.

A Small and Momentary Gap – Osho

How is it possible that by simply becoming aware at a particular point in the breathing process one can attain enlightenment? How it is possible to become free from the unconscious by just being aware of such a small and momentary gap in the breathing?

This question is significant, and this question is likely to have occurred to many minds, so many things have to be understood. First, it is thought that spirituality is a difficult attainment. It is neither: that is, it is neither difficult nor an attainment. Whatsoever you are, you are already spiritual. Nothing new is to be added to your being, and nothing is to be discarded from your being; you are as perfect as possible. It is not that you are going to be perfect sometime in the future, it is not that you have to do something arduous to be yourself. It is not a journey to some other point somewhere else; you are not going somewhere else. You are already there. That which is to be attained is already attained.

This idea must go deep, only then will you be able to understand why such simple techniques can help. If spirituality is some attainment, then of course it is going to be difficult – not only difficult, but really impossible. If you are not already spiritual, you cannot be, you never can be, because how can one who is not spiritual be spiritual? If you are not divine already then there is no possibility, there is no way. And no matter what effort you will make, effort made by one who is not already divine cannot create divinity. If you are not divine, your effort cannot create divinity. Then it is impossible.

But the whole situation is totally opposite: you are already that which you want to attain. The end of longing is already there, present in you. Here and now, this very moment, you are that which is known as divine. The ultimate is here; it is already the case. That is why simple techniques can help. It is not an attainment, but a discovery. It is hidden, and it is hidden in very, very small things.

The persona is just like clothes. Your body is here, hidden in clothes; in the same way your spirituality is here, hidden in certain clothes. These clothes are your personality. You can be naked just here and now, and in the same way you can be naked in your spirituality also. But you do not know what the clothes are. You do not know how you are hidden in them; you do not know how to be naked. You have been in clothes so long – for lives and lives and lives you have been in clothes – and you have been so identified with the clothes, that now you do not think that these are clothes. You think these clothes are you. That is the only barrier.

For example, you have some treasure, but you have forgotten or you have not yet recognized that this is a treasure, and you go on begging in the streets… you are a beggar. If someone says, “Go and look inside your house. You need not be a beggar, you can be an emperor this very moment,” the beggar is bound to say, “What nonsense you are talking. How can I be an emperor this very moment? I have been begging for years and still I am a beggar, and even if I go on begging for lives together, I am not going to be an emperor. So how absurd and illogical your statement is, ‘You can be an emperor this very moment.’”

It is impossible. The beggar cannot believe it. Why? Because the begging mind is a long habit But if the treasure is just hidden in the house, then from simple digging, removing the earth a little bit, the treasure will be there. And immediately he will not be a beggar again, he will become an emperor. It is the same with spirituality: it is a hidden treasure. Nothing is to be achieved somewhere in the future. You have not yet recognized it, but it is there already in you. You are the treasure, but you go on begging.

So simple techniques can help. Digging the earth, removing a little bit, is not a big effort, and you can become an emperor immediately. You have to dig a little bit to remove the earth. And when I say remove the earth; it is not only symbolically that I am saying it. Literally your body is part of the earth, and you have become identified with the body. Remove this earth a little bit, create a hole in it, and you will come to know the treasure.

That is why this question will occur to many. Really, to everyone this question will occur: “So small a technique like this – being aware of your breathing, being aware of the incoming breath and the outgoing breath, and then realizing the interval between the two – is this enough?” Such a simple thing! Is this enough for enlightenment? Is this the only difference between you and Buddha, that you have not realized the gap between two breaths and Buddha has realized it – only this much? It seems illogical. The distance is vast between a Buddha and you. The distance seems infinite. The distance between a beggar and an emperor is infinite, but the beggar can immediately become an emperor if the treasure is already hidden.

Buddha was a beggar like you; he was not a buddha always. At a particular point the beggar died, and he became the master. This is not a gradual process really; it is not that Buddha goes on accumulating and then one day he is not the beggar and he becomes the emperor. No, a beggar can never become an emperor if it is going to be an accumulation, he will remain a beggar. He may become a rich beggar, but he will remain a beggar. And a rich beggar is a bigger beggar than a poor beggar.

Suddenly, one day Buddha realizes the inner treasure. Then he is no more a beggar, he becomes a master. The distance between Gautam Siddharth and Gautam Buddha is infinite. It is the same distance that is between you and a buddha. But the treasure is hidden within you as much as it was hidden in Buddha.

Take another example…. One man is born with blind eyes, diseased eyes. For a blind man, the world is a different thing. A small operation may change the whole thing, because only the eyes have to be made all right. The moment the eyes are ready, the seer is hidden behind and he will begin to look from the eyes. The seer is already there, only windows are lacking. You are in a house with no windows. You can break a hole in the wall, and suddenly you will look out. We are already that which we will be, which we should be, which we are to be. The future is already hidden in the present; the whole possibility is here in the seed. Only a window has to be broken, only a small surgical operation is needed. If you can understand this, that spirituality is already there, already the case, then there is no problem concerning how such a small effort can help.

Really, no big effort is needed. Only small efforts are needed, and the smaller the better. And if you work effortlessly it is still better. That is why it happens, many times it happens, that the more you try, the harder it is to attain. Your very effort, your tension, your occupiedness, your longing, your expectation, becomes the barrier. But with a very small effort, an effortless effort as they call it in Zen – doing as if not doing – it happens easily. The more you are mad after it, the less is the possibility, because where a needle is needed you are using a sword. The sword will not be helpful. It may be bigger, but where a needle is needed a sword will not do.

Go to a butcher – he has very big instruments. And go to a brain surgeon: you will not find such big instruments with the brain surgeon. And if you do find them, then escape immediately! A brain surgeon is not a butcher. He needs very small instruments – the smaller the better.

Spiritual techniques are more subtle; they are not gross. They cannot be, because the surgery is even more subtle. In the brain the surgeon is still doing something with gross matter, but when you are working on spiritual planes the surgery becomes more and more aesthetic. No gross matter is there. It becomes subtle – that is one thing.

Secondly, the questioner asks, “If something is smaller, how can a bigger step be possible through it?” This concept is irrational, unscientific. Now science knows that the smaller the particle, the more atomic, the more explosive – the bigger really. The smaller it is, the bigger the effect. Could you have conceived before 1945, could any imaginative poet or dreamer have conceived that two atomic explosions would wipe out completely two big cities in Japan – Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Two hundred thousand people were simply wiped out of existence within seconds. And what was the explosive force used? An atom! The very smallest particle blew up two big cities. You cannot see the atom. Not only with your eyes can you not see, you cannot see by any means. The atom cannot be seen with any instrument; we can only see the effects.

So do not think that the Himalayas are bigger because they have such a big body. The Himalayas are just impotent before an atomic explosion. One small atom can wipe out the whole Himalayas. Size in gross material is not necessarily power. On the contrary, the smaller the unit, the more penetrating. The smaller the unit, the more intensely it is filled with power.

These small techniques are atomic. Those who are doing bigger things do not know atomic science.

You will think that a person who is working with atoms is a small person working with small things, and a person who is working with the Himalayas will look very big. Hitler was working with great masses; Mao is working with great masses. And Einstein and Planck, they were working in their laboratories with small units of matter – energy particles. But ultimately, before Einstein’s research politicians were just impotent. They were working on a bigger canvas, but they did not know the secret of the small unit.

Moralists always work on big planes, but these are gross. The thing looks very big. They devote their whole lives to moralizing, practicing this and that, to sanyam – control. They go on controlling; the whole edifice looks very big.

Tantra is not concerned with this. Tantra is concerned with the atomic secrets in the human being, in the human mind, in human consciousness. And tantra has achieved atomic secrets. These methods are atomic methods. If you can attain them, their result is explosive, cosmic.

Another point is to be noted. If you can say, “How is it that with such a small, simple exercise one can become enlightened?” you are saying this without doing the exercise. If you do it, then you will not say that this is a small, simple exercise. It looks this way because within two or three sentences the whole exercise has been given.

Do you know the atomic formula? Two or three words, and the whole formula is given. And with those two or three words, those who can understand, those who can use those words, can destroy the whole earth. The formula is very small.

These too are formulas, so if you just look at the formula it will look to be a very, very small, simple thing. It is not! Try to do it. When you do it, then you will know that it is not so easy. It looks simple, but it is one of the deepest things. We will analyze the process; then you will understand.

When you take your breath in, you never feel the breath. You have never felt the breath. You will immediately deny this. You will say, “This is not right. We may not be conscious continuously, but we feel the breath.” No, you do not feel the breath, you feel the passage.

Look at the sea. Waves are there; you see the waves. But those waves are created by air, wind. You do not see the wind; you see the effect on the water. When you take breath in it touches your nostril. You feel the nostril, but you never know the breath. It goes down – you feel the passage. It comes back – again you feel the passage. You never feel the  breath, you just feel the touch and the passage.

This is not what is meant when Shiva says, Be aware. First you will become aware of the passage, and when you have become completely aware of the passage, only then will you begin, by and by, to be aware of the breath itself. And when you become aware of the breath, then you will be capable of being aware of the gap, the interval. It is not as easy as it looks.

For tantra, for all seeking, there are layers of awareness. If I embrace you, first you will become aware of my touch upon your body; not of my love, my love is not so gross. And ordinarily we never become aware of love. We are aware only of the body in movement. We know loving movements, we know non-loving movements – but we have never known love itself. If I kiss you, you become aware of the touch, not of my love; that love is a very subtle thing. And unless you become aware of my love the kiss is just dead, it means nothing. If you can become aware of my love, then only can you become aware of me, because that again is a deeper layer.

The breath goes in. You feel the touch, not the breath. But you are not even aware of that touch. If something is wrong, only then do you feel it. If you have some difficulty in breathing, then you feel it; otherwise you are not aware. The first step will be to be aware of the passage where breath is felt to be touching; then your sensitivity will grow. It will take years to become so sensitive that not the touch, but the movement of breath is known. Then, says tantra, you will have known prana – the vitality. And only then is there the gap where breath stops, where breath is not moving – or the center where the breath is touching, or the fusion point, or the turning where the breath, the ingoing breath, becomes outgoing. This will become arduous; then it will not be so simple.

If you do something, if you go into this center, only then will you know how difficult it is. Buddha took six years to come to this center beyond the breath. To come to this turning, he had a long, arduous journey of six years; then it happened. Mahavir was working on it for twelve years; then it happened. But the formula is simple, and theoretically this can happen this very moment – theoretically, remember. There is no barrier theoretically, so why should it not happen this very moment? You are the barrier. Except for you this can happen this very moment. The treasure is there; the method is known to you. You can dig, but you will not dig.

Even this question is a trick not to dig, because your mind says, “Such a simple thing? Don’t be a fool. How can you become a buddha through such a simple thing? It is not going to be.” And then you are not going to do anything, because how can this happen? Mind is tricky. If I say this is very difficult, the mind says, “This is so difficult it is beyond you.” If I say this is very simple, the mind says, “This is so simple that only fools can believe in it.” And mind goes on rationalizing things, always escaping from doing.

Mind creates barriers. It will become a barrier if you think this is so simple, or this is too difficult – then what are you going to do? You cannot do a simple thing, you cannot do a difficult thing. What are you going to do? Tell me! If you want to do a difficult thing, I will make it difficult. If you are going to do a simple thing, I will make it simple. It is both – it depends on how it is interpreted. But one thing is needed, that you are going to d0. If you are not going to “do” then the mind will always give you explanations.

Theoretically, it is possible here and now; there is no actual barrier. But there are barriers. They may not be actual, they may simply be psychological – they may just be your illusions – but they are there. If I say to you, “Do not be afraid – go! The thing that you are thinking is a snake is not a snake, it is just a rope,” still the fear will be there. To you it appears to be a snake.

So whatsoever I say is not going to help. You are trembling; you want to escape and run away. I say it is just a rope, but your mind will say, “This man may be in conspiracy with the snake. There must be something wrong. This man is forcing me toward the snake. He may be interested in my death, or something else.” If I try to convince you too much that this is a rope that will only show that I am somehow interested in forcing you toward the snake. If I say to you that theoretically it is possible to see the rope as a rope this very moment, your mind will create many, many problems.

In reality there is no dilemma; in reality there is no problem. There never has been, there never will be. In mind there are problems, and you look at reality through the mind; thus, the reality becomes problematic. Your mind works like a prison. It divides and creates problems. And not only that, it creates solutions which become deeper problems, because in fact there are no problems to be solved. Reality is absolutely unproblematic; there is no problem. But you cannot see anything without problems. Wherever you look, you create problems. Your “look” is problematic. I told you this breath technique; now the mind says, “This is so simple.” Why? Why does the mind say this is so simple?

When for the first time the steam engine was invented, no one believed it. It looked so simple – unbelievable. Just the same steam that you know in your kitchen, in your kettle, the steam running an engine, running hundreds and hundreds of passengers and such a load? The same steam that you are so well-acquainted with? This is not believable.

Do you know what happened in England? When the first train started, no one was ready to sit in it – no one! Many people were persuaded, bribed, they were given money to sit in the train, but at the last point they escaped. They said, “Firstly, steam cannot do such miracles. Such a simple thing as steam cannot do such miracles. And if the engine starts, that means that the devil is at work somewhere. The devil is running the thing, it is not the steam. And what is the guarantee that once the thing starts you will be capable of stopping it?”

No guarantee could be given because this was the first train. Never had it stopped before, it was only probable. There was no experience, so science could not say, “Yes it will stop.”

Theoretically it will stop… but the people were not interested in theories. They were interested if there was any actual experience of stopping a train: “If it never stops then what will happen to us who will be sitting in it?”

So twelve criminals from the jail were brought as passengers. Anyhow they were going to die, anyhow they were sentenced to death, so there was no problem if the train was not going to stop.

Then the mad driver who thought that it was going to stop, the scientist who had invented it and these twelve passengers who were anyhow going to be killed, they alone would all be killed. “Such a simple thing as steam,” they said at that time. But now no one says this, because now it is working and you know it.

Everything is simple – reality is simple. It seems complex only because of ignorance; otherwise everything is simple. Once you know it, it becomes simple. The knowing is bound to be difficult not because of reality, remember, but because of your mind. This technique is simple, but it is not going to be simple for you. Your mind will create difficulty. So try with it.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #4

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.

All Feelings of Self are False – Osho

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought.

You cannot find more significant words ever uttered. Try to understand every nuance of what Tilopa is trying to say.

The void needs no reliance….

If there is something, it needs a support, it needs a reliance. But if there is nothing, emptiness, there is no need for any support. And this is the deepest realization of all the knowers: that your being is a non-being. To say it is a being is wrong because it is not something, it is not like something. It is
like nothing: a vast emptiness, with no boundaries to it. It is an anatma, a no-self; it is not a self inside you.

All feelings of self are false. All identifications that “I am this and that” are false.

When you come to the ultimate, when you come to your deepest core, you suddenly know that you are neither this nor that – you are no one. You are not an ego, you are just a vast emptiness. And sometimes if you sit, close your eyes and just feel who you are – where are you? And go deeper and you may become afraid, because the deeper you go, the deeper you feel that you are nobody, a nothingness. That’s why people become so scared of meditation. It is a death. It is a death of the ego – and the ego is just a false concept.

Now physicists have come to the same truth through their scientific research deepening into the realm of matter. What Buddha, Tilopa and Bodhidharma reached through their insight, science has been discovering in the outside world also. Now they say there is no substance – substance is a parallel concept of self.

A rock exists; you feel that it is very substantial. You can hit somebody’s head and blood will come out, even the man may die; it is very substantial. But ask the physicists: they say it is a no-substance, there is nothing in it. They say that it is just an energy phenomenon; many energy currents crisscrossing on this rock give it a feeling of substance. Just as you draw many lines crisscrossing on a piece of paper: where many lines cross a point, a point arises. The point was not there; two lines crossing and a point arises: many lines crossing and a big point arises. Is that point really there? Or just lines crossing give an illusion of a point being there?

Physicists say that energy currents crisscrossing create matter. And if you ask what are these energy currents – they are not material, they have no weight, they are non-material. Non-material lines crisscrossing give an illusion of a material thing, very substantial like a rock. Buddha achieved this illumination twenty-five centuries before Einstein, that inside there is nobody; only energy lines crisscrossing give you a feeling of the self. Buddha used to say that the self is just like an onion: you peel it, one layer comes off, another layer is there. You go on peeling, layer by layer, and what remains finally? The whole onion is peeled and you find nothing inside.

Man is just like an onion. You peel layers of thought, feeling, and finally, what do you find? A nothing.

This nothingness needs no support. This nothingness exists by itself. That’s why Buddha says there is no God; there is no need for a God because God is a support. And Buddha says there is no creator because there is no need to create a nothingness. This is one of the most difficult concepts to understand – unless you realize it.

That’s why Tilopa says:

Mahamudra is beyond all words and symbols.

Mahamudra is an experience of nothingness – simply you are not. And when you are not, then who is there to suffer? Who is there to be in pain and anguish? Who is there to be depressed and sad?

And who is there to be happy and blissful? Buddha says that if you feel you are blissful you will become again a victim of suffering, because you are still there. When you are not, completely not, utterly not, then there is no suffering and no bliss – and this is the real bliss. Then you cannot fall back. To attain nothingness is to attain all.

My whole effort with you is also to lead you towards nothingness, to lead you to a total vacuum.

The void needs no reliance, Mahamudra rests on nought. Without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – thus gaining liberation.

The first thing to understand is that the concept of self is created by the mind – there is no self in you.

It happened: a great Buddhist, a man of enlightenment, was invited by a king to teach him. The name of the Buddhist monk was Nagasen, and the king was a viceroy of Alexander. When Alexander went back from India, he left Minander as his viceroy here; his Indian name is Milanda. Milanda asked Nagasen to come and teach him. He was really interested, and he had heard many stories about Nagasen. And many rumors had come to the court: “This is a rare phenomenon! Rarely it happens that a man flowers, and this man has flowered. He has an aroma of something unknown around him, a mysterious energy. He walks on the earth, but he is not of the earth.” He became interested; he invited him.

The messenger who went to Nagasen came back very much puzzled, because Nagasen said, “Yes, if he invites, Nagasen will come – but tell him there is no one like Nagasen. If he invites I will come, but tell him exactly that there is no one like ‘I am.’ I am no more.” The messenger was puzzled, because if Nagasen is no more, then who will come? And Milanda was also puzzled. He said, “This man talks in puzzles. But let him come.” And he was a Greek, this Milanda, and the Greek mind is basically logical.

There are only two minds in the world, the Indian and the Greek. The Indian is illogical, and the Greek is logical. The Indian moves into the dark depths, wild depths, where are no boundaries, everything is vague, cloudy. The Greek mind walks on the logical, the straight, where everything is defined and classified. The Greek mind moves into the known. The Indian mind moves into the unknown, and even more into the unknowable. The Greek mind is absolutely rational; the Indian mind is absolutely contradictory. So if you find too many contradictions in me, don’t be bothered. It is the way… in the East contradiction is the way to relate.

Milanda said, “This man seems to be irrational, gone mad. If he is not then how can he come? But let him come, I will see. I will prove: just by coming he is proving that he is.”

Then came Nagasen. Milanda received him at the gate and the first thing he asked, he said, “I am puzzled: you have come and still you said that you are not.”

Nagasen said, “Still I say. So let us settle it here.”

A crowd gathered, the whole court came there, and Nagasen said, “You ask.”

Milanda asked, “First tell me: if something is not, how can it come? In the first place it is not, then there is no possibility of its coming – and you have come. It is simple logic that you are.” Nagasen laughed and he said, “Look at this ratha” – the bullock cart on which he had come. He said, “Look at this. You call it a ratha, a cart.”

Milanda said, “Yes.”

Then he told his followers to remove the bullocks. The bullocks were removed and Nagasen asked, “Are these bullocks the cart?”

Milanda said, “Of course not.”

Then, by and by, everything from the cart was removed, every part. Wheels were removed and he asked, “Are these wheels the cart?”

And Milanda said, “Of course not!”

When everything was removed and there was nothing, then Nagasen asked, “Where is the cart I had come in?… and we never removed the cart, and all that we have removed you confirmed that this is not the cart. Now where is the cart?”

Nagasen said, “Just like this Nagasen exists. Remove parts and he will disappear.” Just crisscrossing lines of energy: remove the lines and the dot will disappear. The cart is just a combination of parts.

You are also a combination of parts, the “I” is a combination of parts. Remove things and the “I” will disappear. That’s why when thoughts are removed from consciousness, you cannot say “I,” because there is no “I” – just a vacuum is left. When feelings are removed, the self disappears completely.

You are and yet not: just an absence, with no boundaries, emptiness.

This is the final attainment, this state is Mahamudra, because only in that state you can have an orgasm with the whole. Now there is no boundary, no self exists; now there is no boundary to you to divide.

The whole has no boundaries. You must become like the whole – only then there can be a meeting, a merger. When you are empty, you are without boundaries. Suddenly you become the whole. When you are not, you become the whole. When you are, you become an ugly ego. When you are not, you have all the expanse of existence for your being to be.

But these are contradictions. So try to understand: become a little like Naropa, otherwise these words and symbols will not carry anything to you. Listen to me in trust. And when I say listen in trust, I mean I have known this. This is so. I am a witness, I bear witness for it. This is so. It may not be possible to say it, but that doesn’t mean that it is not. It may be possible to say something, that doesn’t mean that it is. You can say something which is not, and you may be incapable of saying something which is. I bear witness about it, but you will be able to understand me only if you are a Naropa, if you listen in trust.

I am not teaching a doctrine. I would not have been at all concerned with Tilopa if this was not my own experience also. Tilopa has said it well:

The void needs no reliance Mahamudra rests on nought.

On nothing Mahamudra rests. Mahamudra, the literal word, means the great gesture, or the ultimate gesture, the last that you can have, beyond which nothing is possible. Mahamudra rests on nothing. You be a nothing, and then all is attained. You die, and you become a god. You disappear, and you become the whole. Here the drop disappears, and there the ocean comes into existence.

Don’t cling to yourself – that’s all you have been doing all your past lives: clinging, afraid that if you don’t cling to the ego, then you look down: a bottomless abyss is there….

That’s why we cling to tiny things, really trivial, we go on clinging to them. The clinging shows only that you are also aware of a vast emptiness inside. Something is needed to cling to, but your clinging
is your samsara, is your misery. Leave yourself in the abyss. And once you leave yourself in the abyss, you become the abyss itself. Then there is no death, because how can an abyss die? Then there is no end to it, because how can a nothingness end? Something can end, will have to end –
only nothing can be eternal. Mahamudra rests on nothing.

Let me explain it to you through some experience that you have got. When you love a person, you have to become a nothing. When you love a person, you have to become a no-self. That’s why love is so difficult. And that’s why Jesus says God is like love. He knows something about Mahamudra –
because before he started teaching in Jerusalem, he has been to India. He has been to Tibet also. He met people like Tilopa and Naropa. He remained in Buddhist monasteries. He learned about what it is that these people call nothingness. Then he tried to translate his whole understanding into
Jewish terminology. There everything got messed up.

You cannot translate Buddhist understanding into Jewish terminology. It is impossible, because the whole Jewish terminology depends on positive terms, and the Buddhist terminology depends on absolutely nihilistic terms: nothingness, emptiness. But here and there in Jesus’ words there are
glimpses. He says, “God is love.” He is indicating something. What is the indication? When you love, you have to become nobody. If you remain somebody, then love never happens.

When you love a person – even for a single moment love happens and flows between two persons – there are two nothingnesses, not two persons. If you have ever had any experience of love, you can understand.

Two lovers sitting by each other’s side, or two nothingnesses sitting together – only then the meeting is possible because barriers are broken, boundaries thrown away. The energy can move from here to there; there is no hindrance. And only in such a moment of deep love is orgasm possible.

When two lovers are making love, and if they are both no-selves, nothingnesses, then orgasm happens. Then their body energy, their whole being, loses all identity; they are no more themselves – they have fallen into the abyss. But this can happen only for a moment: again they regain, again they start clinging. That’s why people become afraid in love also.

In deep love people are afraid of becoming mad, or going to die – of what will happen. The abyss opens its mouth, the whole existence yawns, and you are suddenly there and you can fall into it. One becomes scared of love, then people remain satisfied with sex and they call their sex “love.”

Love is not sex. Sex can happen in love, it can be a part, integral part to it, but sex itself is not love – it is a substitute. You are trying to avoid love through sex. You are giving yourself a feeling that you are in love, and you are not moving into love. Sex is just like borrowed knowledge: giving a feeling of knowing without knowing; giving a feeling of love and loving without loving.

In love you are not, the other is also not: then only, suddenly, the two disappear. The same happens in Mahamudra. Mahamudra is a total orgasm with the whole existence.

That’s why in Tantra – and Tilopa is a Tantra master – deep intercourse, orgasmic intercourse, between lovers is also called Mahamudra, and two lovers in a deep orgasmic state are pictured in tantric temples, in tantric books. That has become a symbol of the final orgasm.

-Osho

Excerpt from Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, 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.

Remaining Loose and Natural – Osho

Without making an effort, but remaining loose and natural….

And this is the whole method of Tilopa, and the whole method of Tantra: Without making an effort… because if you make an effort, the ego is strengthened. If you make an effort, you come in.

So love is not an effort, you cannot make an effort to love. If you make an effort, there is no love. You flow into it, you don’t make an effort, you simply allow it to happen, you don’t make an effort It is not a doing, it is a happening: Without making an effort…. And the same is the case with the total, the final: you don’t make an effort, you simply float with it… But remaining loose and natural. This is the way, this is the very ground of Tantra.

Yoga says make an effort, and Tantra says don’t make any effort. Yoga is ego-oriented, finally it will take the jump, but Tantra is, from the very beginning, non-ego-oriented. Yoga, in the end, attains to such significance, such meaning, such depth, that it says to its seeker, “Now drop the ego” – only in the end; Tantra from the very beginning, from the very first step….

I would like to say it in this way, in such a way: where Yoga ends, Tantra starts. The highest peak of Yoga is the beginning of Tantra – and Tantra leads you to the ultimate goal. Yoga can prepare you for Tantra, that’s all, because the final thing is to be effortless, “loose and natural.”

What does Tilopa mean by “loose and natural”? Don’t fight with yourself, be loose. Don’t try to make a structure around yourself of character, of morality. Don’t discipline yourself too much; otherwise your very discipline will become the bondage. Don’t create an imprisonment around you. Remain loose, floating, move with the situation, respond to the situation. Don’t move with a character jacket around you, don’t move with a fixed attitude. Remain loose like water, not fixed like ice. Remain moving and flowing; wherever the nature leads you, go. Don’t resist, don’t try to impose anything on you, your being.

But the whole society teaches you to impose something or other: be good, be moral, be this and that. And Tantra is absolutely beyond society, culture and civilization. It says if you are too much cultured you will lose all that is natural, and then you will be a mechanical thing, not floating, not flowing. So don’t force a structure around you – live moment to moment, live with alertness. And this is a deep thing to be understood.

Why do people try to create a structure around them? So that they don’t need alertness – because if you have no character around you, you will need to be very very aware: because each moment the decision has to be taken. You don’t have a prefabricated decision, you don’t have an attitude.
You have to respond to the situation. Something is there, and you are absolutely unprepared for it – you will have to be very very aware.

To avoid awareness people have created a trick, and the trick is character. Force yourself into a certain discipline so that whether you are aware or not, the discipline will take care of you. Make a habit of always saying the truth; make it a habit, then you need not be worried about it. Somebody asks, you will say the truth, out of habit – but out of habit a truth is dead.

And life is not so simple. Life is a very very complex phenomenon. Sometimes a lie is needed, and sometimes a truth can be dangerous – and one has to be aware. For example, if through your lie somebody’s life is saved, and through your lie nobody is harmed and somebody’s life is saved, what will you do? If you have a fixed mind that you have to be true, then you will kill a life.

Nothing is more valuable than life, no truth, nothing is more valuable than life. And sometimes your truth can kill somebody’s life. What will you do? Just saving your own old pattern and habit, your own ego that “I am a truthful man,” you will sacrifice a life – just being a truthful man, just to be that? This is too much, you are completely mad! If a life can be saved, even if people think that you are a liar, what is wrong in it? Why bother too much about what people say about you?

It is difficult! It is not so easy to create a fixed pattern because life goes on moving and changing, and every moment there is a new situation and one has to respond to it. Respond with full awareness, that’s all. And let the decision come out of the situation itself, not prefabricated, not imposed. Don’t carry a built-in mind just remain loose and aware and natural.

And this is how a real religious man is; otherwise, the so-called religious persons are just dead. They act out of their habits, they go on acting out of their habits – this is a conditioning, this is not a freedom. Consciousness needs freedom.

Be loose: remember this word as deeply as possible. Let it penetrate you. Be loose – so in every situation you can flow, easily, water-like; so if the water is poured into a glass, it takes the shape of the glass. It doesn’t resist, it doesn’t say, “This is not my form.” If the water is poured into a jar, into
a jug, it takes the shape of that. It has no resistance, it is loose. Remain loose like water.

Sometimes you will have to move south and sometimes north, you will have to change directions; according to the situations you will have to flow. But if you know how to flow, it is enough. The ocean is not very far away if you know how to flow.

So don’t create a pattern – and the whole society tries to create a pattern, and all the religions try to create a pattern. Only very few enlightened persons have been courageous enough to say the truth – the truth that: Be loose and natural! If you are loose you will be natural, of course.

Tilopa doesn’t say, “Be moral,” he says, “Be natural.” And these are completely, diametrically opposite dimensions. A moral man is never natural, cannot be. If he feels angry he cannot be angry because the morality doesn’t allow it. If he feels loving he cannot be loving because the morality is there. It is always according to the morality that he acts; it is never according to his nature.

And I tell you: if you start moving according to moral patterns and not according to your nature, you will never reach the state of Mahamudra, because it is a natural state, the highest peak of being natural. I tell you: if you feel angry, be angry – but perfect awareness has to be retained. Anger
should not overpower your consciousness, that’s all.

Let anger be there, let it happen, but be fully alert to what is happening. Remain loose, natural, aware, watching what is happening. By and by, you will see many things have simply disappeared, they don’t happen any more – and without making any effort on your part. You never tried to kill them and they have simply disappeared.

When one is aware, anger by and by disappears. It becomes simply stupid – not bad, remember, because “bad” is a loaded value. It becomes simply stupid! It is not that because it is bad you don’t move into it, it is simply foolish; it is not a sin, but simply stupid. Greed disappears, it is stupid.
Jealousy disappears, it is stupid.

Remember this valuation. In morality there is something good and something bad. In being natural there is something wise and something stupid. A man who is natural is wise, not good. A man who is not natural is stupid, not bad. There is nothing bad and nothing good, only wise things and foolish things. And if you are foolish you harm yourself and others, and if you are wise you don’t harm anybody – neither others, nor you. There is nothing like sin and there is nothing like virtue – wisdom is all. If you want to call it virtue, call it virtue. And ignorance is there if you want to call it sin – that is the only sin.

So how to transform your ignorance into wisdom? That is the only transformation – and you cannot force it: it happens when you are loose and natural.

... Remaining loose and natural, one can break the yoke – Thus gaining liberation.

And one becomes totally free. It will be difficult in the beginning, because constantly the old habits will be there forcing you to do something: you would like to be angry – but the old habit simply starts a smile on your face. There are people that, whenever they smile, you can be certain that they are
angry. In their very smile they show their anger. They are hiding something, a false smile spreads on their faces. These are the hypocrites.

A hypocrite is an unnatural man: if anger is there he will smile; if hate is there he will show love; if he feels murderous, he will pretend compassion. A hypocrite is a perfect moralist – absolutely artificial, a plastic flower, ugly, of no use; not a flower at all, just a pretension.

Tantra is the natural way: be loose and natural. It will be difficult because the old habits have to be broken. It is difficult because you will have to live in a society of hypocrites. It will be difficult because everywhere you will find a conflict with the hypocrites – but one has to go through it. It will be arduous because there are many investments in false, artificial pretensions. You may feel completely alone, but this will be only a passing phase. Soon others will start feeling your authenticity. And remember, even an authentic anger is better than a pretended smile, because at least it is authentic. And a
man who cannot be authentically angry, cannot be authentic at all. At least he is authentic, true to his being. Whatsoever is happening, you can rely on him that it is true.

And this is my observation: that a true anger is beautiful and a false smile is ugly; and a true hate has its own beauty, just like true love – because beauty is concerned with truth. Neither is it concerned with hate, nor with love – beauty is of the true. Truth is beautiful in whatsoever form. A truly dead
man is more beautiful than a falsely alive man, because at least the basic quality is there of being true.

Mulla Nasruddin’s wife died, and the neighbors gathered, but Mulla Nasruddin was standing there completely unaffected, as if nothing had happened. Neighbors started crying and weeping and they said, “What are you standing there for, Nasruddin? She is dead.”

Nasruddin said, “Wait! She is such a liar – at least for three days I have to wait and see whether it is true or not.”

Remember this – that beauty of truth, authenticity. Become more authentic and you will have a flowering. And the more authentic you become, by and by you will feel many things are falling away – of their own accord. You never made any effort to do it; they are falling of their own accord. And
once you know the knack of it, then you become more and more loose, more and more natural, authentic. And, says Tilopa:

One can break the yoke – Thus gaining liberation.

The liberation is not very far away, it is just hidden behind you. Once you are authentic and the door is open – but you are such a liar, you are such a pretender, you are such a hypocrite, you are so deeply false; that’s why you feel that the liberation is very very far away. It is not! For an authentic
being, liberation is just natural. It is as natural as anything.

As water flows towards the ocean, as vapor rises towards the sky, as the sun is hot and the moon is cool, so for an authentic being is liberation. It is nothing to be bragged about. It is nothing that you have to tell people that you have gained something.

When Lin Chi was asked, “What has happened to you? People say that you have become enlightened,” he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Happened? Nothing. I cut wood in the forest, and carry water to the ashram – carry water from the well, cut wood because the winter is approaching.” He shrugged his shoulders – a very meaningful gesture.

He is saying, “Nothing has happened. What nonsense you are asking! It is natural: carrying water from the well, cutting wood in the forest. Life is absolutely natural.” Says Lin Chi, “When I feel sleepy, I go to sleep; and when I feel hungry, I eat. Life has become absolutely natural.”

Liberation is your being perfectly natural. Liberation is not something to be bragged about, that you have attained something very great. It is nothing great, it is nothing extraordinary. It is just being natural, just being yourself.

So what to do?

Drop pretensions, drop hypocrisies, drop all that you have cultivated around your natural being – become natural. In the beginning it will be a very very arduous thing, but only in the beginning. Once you get attuned to it, others will also start feeling something has happened to you, because an
authentic being is such a force, such a magnetism. They will start feeling something has happened: “This man no more moves as part of us, he has become totally different.” And you will not be at a loss, because only artificial things will drop.

And once the emptiness is created by throwing away artificial things, pretensions, masks, then the natural being starts flowing. It needs space.
Be empty, loose and natural. Let that be the most fundamental principle in your life.

-Osho

Excerpt from Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, 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.

At the Start of Sneezing be Uninterruptedly Aware – Osho

At the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety, above a chasm, flying in battle, in extreme curiosity, at the beginning of hunger, at the end of hunger, be uninterruptedly aware. 

It looks so simple: at the start of sneezing, during fright, in anxiety or before hunger or after hunger, be uninterruptedly aware. 

Many things have to be understood. Very simple acts like sneezing can be used as devices, because howsoever simple they look, they are very complex, and the inner mechanism is a very delicate thing. Whenever you feel that a sneeze is coming become alert, and the sneeze may not come at all. It may simply disappear, because a sneeze is a non-voluntary thing – unconscious, non-voluntary.

You cannot sneeze voluntarily; you cannot “will” it. How can you? How helpless man is! You cannot “will” a single sneeze. Howsoever you may try, you cannot bring it out. A single sneeze – such a small thing, but you cannot will it. It is non-voluntary; volition is not needed. It does not happen because of your mind; it is because of your total organism, your total body.

And the second thing: when you become alert, when the sneeze is coming – you cannot bring it, but when it is coming – if you become alert, it may not come, because you are bringing something new to the process: the alertness. It may disappear, but when the sneeze disappears and you are alert, there is a third thing. First, a sneeze is non-voluntary. You bring in a new thing – alertness. When the alertness comes, the sneeze may not come. If really you are alert, it will not; it may not happen at all. Then a third thing happens. The energy that was going to be released through a sneeze, where does it move? It moves to your alertness. Suddenly there is a flash, a lightning. You become more alert. The energy, that was going to be thrown by the sneeze moves into alertness. Suddenly you become more alert.

In that flash, in that lightning, even enlightenment is possible. That is why I say that these matters are so simple, they look absurd. Their promise seems to be too much. Just through sneezing, how can one become enlightened? But sneezing is not just sneezing; you are totally involved in it.

Whatsoever you do or whatsoever happens to you is a total involvement. Observe again: whenever a sneeze happens, you are totally in it with the whole body, the whole mind. It is not just your nose in which the sneeze is happening; every fiber, every cell of your body is involved in it. A subtle trembling, a subtle wavering goes all over the body, and with it the whole body becomes concentrated. And when the sneeze has happened, the whole body relaxes. But it is difficult to bring alertness to it. If you bring alertness to it, it will not happen, and if it happens you can know that the alertness was not there. That is why you should be alert.

At the start of sneezing…, because if it has started, nothing can be done. The arrow has gone; you cannot change it now. The mechanism has started. The energy is on its way to being released, it cannot be stopped. Can you stop a sneeze in the middle? How can you stop it in the middle? By the time you are ready, it has already happened. You cannot stop it in the middle.

Just at the beginning, become alert. The moment you feel the sensation that it is coming, become alert. Close your eyes and be meditative. Bring your total consciousness to the focus just where you are feeling the sensation of an oncoming sneeze. Just at the beginning, remain alert. The sneeze will disappear, and the energy will be transformed into more alertness. And because in the sneeze the whole body is involved, the whole mechanism is involved – it is a release mechanism and you are alert at this moment – there will be no mind, there will be no thought, no meditation.

In a sneeze, thinking stops. That is why so many people like snuff. It unburdens them, their minds feel more relaxed because for a moment thinking stops. Snuff gives them a glimpse of no-thinking. Through snuff, when the sneeze comes, they are not minds, they become bodies. The head disappears for a single moment, but it feels good.

If you become habituated to snuff, it is very difficult to leave it. It is more penetrating a habit than smoking; smoking is nothing before it. It penetrates more deeply, because smoking is conscious and sneezing is unconscious. To leave snuff is more difficult than to leave smoking. And smoking can be changed, substitutes can be found – but there is no substitute for snuff, because, really, sneezing is a very unique phenomenon in the body.

The only other thing that can be compared and which has been compared is the sex act. Those who think in terms of physiology, they say that the sex act is just sneezing through the sex organ – and the similarity is there. It is not one hundred percent right because much more is involved in sex, greater things are involved in it. But in the beginning, just in the beginning, the similarity is there.

Something is thrown out from the nose and you feel relieved, and something is thrown out from the sex organ and you feel relieved. And both are non-voluntary. You cannot move into sex with will. If you try, you will be a failure – particularly men, because man’s sex organ has to do something. It is active. You cannot “will” its act, and if you try, then the more you try, the more it will be impossible.

It can happen, but you cannot make it happen. Because of this, in the West sex has become a problem. This half century in the West sex knowledge has developed, and everyone has become so conscious about it that the sex act is becoming more and more impossible.

If you are alert, sex will be impossible. If a man is alert while making love, the more he is alert, the more it will be difficult. He will not be able to get an erection. It cannot be willed, and if you will it you will lose it. The same method, the same technique, can be used in sex. Just in the beginning, when you feel the sensation of an erection just coming to you but it has not yet come, you just feel the vibration, become alert. The vibration will be lost, and the same energy will move into alertness.

Tantra has used this. It has tried in many ways. A beautiful naked woman will be there just as an object for meditation, and the seeker, the meditator, will sit before the nude woman meditating on her body, her form, her proportions, just waiting for the first sensation in his sex center. The moment the sensation is there, he will close his eyes. He will forget the woman. He will close his eyes, and he will become alert of the sensation. Then sex energy is being transformed into alertness.

He is allowed to meditate on the nude woman only up to the point when the sensation is felt. When he has to close his eyes and move to his own sensation and become alert there, the same as is done in sneezing. And why does this flash happen? Because mind is not there. The basic thing is that if the mind is not there and you are alert, you will have satori, you will have the first glimpse of samadhi.

Thought is the barrier. So if thought disappears in any way, the thing will happen. But thought must disappear; only then is alertness there. Thought can disappear even in sleep; thought can disappear when you go unconscious; thought can disappear when you take some drug. Thought disappears, but then there is no alertness to be aware of the phenomenon that is hidden behind thought. So I define meditation as thoughtless consciousness. You can become thoughtless and unconscious; then there is no meaning. You can be conscious with thought; you are already that.

Bring these two things together – consciousness and thoughtlessness. When they meet, meditation happens, meditation is born. And you can try with very small things because nothing is really small. Even a sneeze is a cosmic phenomenon. In existence, nothing is great and nothing is small. Even a minute atom can destroy the whole world, and even a sneeze, a very atomic phenomenon, can transform you.

So don’t see things as small or big. There is nothing small and nothing big. If you have the penetrating eye, then very small things are vital. Between atoms universes are hidden, and between the universe and an atom you cannot say which is great and which is small. Even a single atom is a universe in itself, and the greatest universe is nothing but atoms. So don’t think in terms of great and small. Just try. Don’t say, “What can happen in a sneeze? I have been sneezing the whole life, and nothing has happened.”

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Discourse #41

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

Also see Follow the Sneeze IN

Osho’s Book of Secrets Meditations

All 112 of Shiva’s meditation techniques (Vigyan Bhairava Tantra)

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What is Tantric Sex? – Osho

What is tantric sex? After ‘monkey sex’ and after ‘love-bliss sex’, before the highest cosmic and religious sex in which no partner is needed, in which the cosmos is the partner, isn’t there tantric sex in which two partners are involved, a sex act which is a meditation based on certain techniques? 

It is good that after meditating on death you will be meditating on Tantra and Tantra sex. Because sex is also a small death. And because of that small death in sex, there is so much release of joy in you. For a single moment you disappear, and that moment is the climax, the orgasm. In that single moment you don’t know who you are. In that single moment you are pure energy vibrating, pulsating. With no center to it, with no ego in it.

In that single moment of orgasmic space you lose all boundaries, separation. You become vast, huge. You are no more separate from the other. That’s why there is so much joy – although the moment is very small. And once it is gone you feel very frustrated, because it has been so short, it was so fleeting. And you start hankering again. And each time that moment comes you reach to a pinnacle and then you fall into a deep darkness, into the abyss.

So sex brings you joy, and sex brings you great misery too. It takes you to sunlit peaks and then drops you into the darkest valleys. After each sex act one feels frustrated. Something was happening, happening, and it happened…and you could not even catch hold of it and it was gone.

So sex remains the greatest fascination and the greatest frustration.

Because of these two things in the act of sex, there are two types of people. Those who become too much fascinated with the fascination, addicted with sex, they are the people who go on indulging in all kinds of sexualities, and their whole life is nothing but a search for more sex, better sex. And the other, who become addicted with the frustration of sex, they renounce the world, the woman, the man; they escape to the Himalayas or into the monasteries. But both have reacted to sex. Your worldly and your other-worldly, they are not different – they both are sexual, they have chosen one part of the sex act. They have chosen opposite parts, but they have chosen out of the sex act.

That’s why your so-called religions are so much against sex – they have chosen the frustration part. The indulgent and the renunciate are two aspects of the same coin. They are not different people, they are the same people, and both have chosen out of sex.

Tantra is a totally different attitude. It says: There is joy in sex and there is frustration in sex. Because the moment of orgasm is very small. That moment can become very deep, that moment can remain there for hours. That moment, once you know the art of remaining in it, can surround you twenty-four hours. Tantra transforms sex. Tantra is the true religion. It does not choose between the fascination and the frustration, it transcends both. It uses sex as a key. And it is a key – because all life comes through it, all flowers bloom through it and all birds sing through it. All that you see around you, the green and the red and the gold, all comes through sex and is sex energy. All the poetry and all the songs and all the music is rooted in sex-energy. All art, all creativity, is nothing but an expression of sex.

So Tantra sex has to be understood. A few things: The Tantric definition of sexuality is opposite to the modern definition. The modern mind regards sex as a need – like hunger for food – which incidentally provides sense-and ego-gratification. That’s how Freud thinks about sex, that it gives you ego-gratification, satisfaction, relaxation; it relieves tensions, it is a need. Tantra regards sex as a powerful instinctual return to our ultimate reality, one of the highest forms of meditation.

There you have to understand – the first thing to remember – Freud does not understand sex’s ultimate depth. Freud has only looked into the repressed sexuality of man. What Christianity has done in the West, the wrong, Freud was trying to put it right. But Christianity remains superficial and Freud remains superficial. Why? Because the cure cannot go deeper than the disease. The disease was superficial; the cure cannot be deeper than that.

Tantra does not define sex as a need – it is not. A man can live without sex, it is not a need. Not like food – you cannot survive without food. It is not like thirst – you cannot survive without water. But you can survive easily without sex – maybe you can survive longer. Sex is not a need like food or thirst or hunger. Sex has a definitely total dimension, a different dimension altogether. It is a way to contact the ultimate reality. It is an urge to move to the original source.

In ordinary sex it happens only for moments. Even that is rare, because there are very few orgasmic persons left in the world. People have become so much civilized that to be orgasmic seems impossible. A civilized person cannot be orgasmic because he cannot allow himself to be wild.

Only a wild person can be orgasmic, because orgasm is wild. The better you are civilized, the better you are cultured, sophisticated, educated, the less is the possibility for you to be orgasmic. Then sex is just a relief. It is like sneezing, nothing much. It is sheer wastage.

You accumulate energy and you don’t know what to do with your energy. And the energy becomes heavy on you, it has to be thrown out in some way or other. So you go on throwing the energy. But you have lost the language of orgasm. What is the language of orgasm? If you are really orgasmic you will groan and moan and shout and sing and pray, and a thousand and one things will happen when you are making love to your woman or to your man. It is going to be a mad thing.

And that is difficult in a civilized world. Mm? The whole neighborhood will know that now you are making love. And people will start phoning the police-station that there is danger, one person has gone orgasmic.

Yes, you will dance, you will sing, you will utter incoherent sounds, gibberish will come.

One never knows what will happen because you lose control. To be orgasmic means the capacity to lose control. The constant control is there, you are simply sitting on your energies controlling them – ‘This should be, this should not be. This is right, that is wrong.’ You are continuously doing that, inhibiting, repressing. Only go so far, beyond that is danger, only this much is allowed. How can you be orgasmic?

And if you are not orgasmic in other things, you cannot be orgasmic in sex. If in your anger you control, then you cannot be orgasmic in sex. If you can be orgasmic in anger, only then can you be orgasmic in sex. Man is a totality. If you cannot get into a rage, how can you get into love? Impossible.

Have you watched it? Knowingly, unknowingly, couples stumble upon the fact that if they want to make love it is a must that they should fight before they make love. So each evening, couples fight, become angry. Mm? – that becomes a little help. A pillow-fight is helpful. Your energies start moving, your juice starts flowing. And if you can be a little silly and stupid in anger then you can be silly and stupid in love too. Then who cares?

A natural man is orgasmic in all his emotions.

Somebody has asked a question: ‘If people become authentic as you say they should become, authentic and natural, and if they don’t smile because a smile is phony, and if they go on screaming and shouting in the streets, what will happen to the world?’

Many things will happen to the world. First, wars will become impossible. There will be no Vietnams and no Israels, because people will never accumulate so much anger in them that they have to kill, and kill millions. Many things will happen to the world if people are natural. Then they will not shout so much as you think they will shout. Right now they are allowed to shout they will shout – but for how long? If they are given complete freedom, shouts and abusing and condemnation and fights will start disappearing from the world. It is a vicious circle. It is as if you have been starving a person and you don’t allow him to go close to the fridge. And you say ‘If we allow him he will eat too much.’ And you have been starving him – and now you are afraid if you allow him any freedom he will eat too much, he will fall ill. So you don’t allow him to come to the fridge. He has to live by his quota – whatsoever you give, he has to live on.

Now he fantasizes, he dreams: What to do? How to reach to the fridge? How to eat more? His whole imagination becomes focused on food, he dreams of food.

A famous Sufi story says: Three persons were travelling. They purchased a Sufi sweet, halvah. But they had not enough money and the halvah was very costly. It was not enough for three, so there was great debate – who should eat it? They decided ‘We should do one thing: we all should sleep, and in the morning whosoever has dreamt the best dream, he will be the person to eat it all.’ Agreed, they fell asleep.

Early morning, they related their dreams. One said, he was a Christian, he said ‘I dreamt of Jesus. And Jesus said “Come to Heaven, I have prepared the place for you.” And he was calling me, inviting me. It was such a beautiful dream, I have never dreamt such a thing. And Jesus was so radiant, and I feel so good that I have been accepted by Jesus.’

The second was a Hindu. He said ‘This is nothing. I dreamt I have become Krishna. And thousands of gopis are dancing around me, beautiful damsels, and I am playing on the flute. It was such a beautiful dream.’

And the third was a Mohammedan Sufi. And they asked ‘What about you?’ He said ‘Mohammed appeared and said “You fool! What are you doing here? Go and eat the halvah!” So I have eaten it! Because how can you reject when Mohammed commands?

If you are hungry, if you are kept starving, then the fear arises that if you are left loose in the streets you may enter into a restaurant, kill the owner, or do something. But if you are well fed then nobody does anything like that. This is what has happened – for thousands of years you have been repressed, you have been made more and more phony. Now the fear arises. The questioner is right – the fear arises, if people become authentic and start screaming and shouting and doing things the way they always wanted to do and were never allowed to do, the world will go mad

Yes, for a few years the world will go mad. But that madness will be therapeutic, it will help immensely. After that nobody will ever go mad. Neurosis will disappear, psychosis will disappear wars will disappear, politicians will become meaningless. Nations and the militaries and armies will become irrelevant – they will not be needed. That’s why the politician and the priest are so much in favor of repressing people, because they depend on these repressions. Wars will not be there.

Generals won’t like it, army people won’t like it, if there is no Vietnam  then their whole purpose is lost. If there are no nations then what is the point of having prime ministers and presidents? They are irrelevant.

Government becomes irrelevant if people are natural. Less and less government will be needed. So, so many people have investments. And their fear looks right, logical, because for so many centuries man has been repressed that they are afraid that things may explode. Yes, for a few years, for one generation at least, there will be great explosion. Then things will disappear.

Bertrand Russell has written that when he was a child, even legs of chairs were covered with cloth. Legs, because they look sexual. And he says ‘I had not seen any legs of a woman.’ The garments had to be so long that you could not see. And Bertrand Russell says in those days people used to fantasize about legs, dream about legs. Even a dream about a leg was enough of an excitement, an ecstasy. Now nobody bothers about the legs. Once you have seen men and women naked you stop worrying about, dreaming about, their nakedness. Dreams change.

The world needs to be more natural. Then there will be less anxiety, less fear, less worry. But for a generation there will be great explosion – after that, things will settle. We have to take that risk, only that risk can save humanity. Otherwise everybody is going mad.

The Tantra attitude about sex is that sex is not a need. It is a cosmic experience, it is an experience of meditation. It is an instinctual return to our ultimate reality, one of the highest forms of meditation.

In fifteen minutes to an hour or more of uninterrupted coitus, Tantra seeks a complete loss of the ego. Just see the difference. Freud says it is a gratification for the ego. And that’s how it has become, and Freud is not wrong. If you see the modern man, he is right.

People go on making love just to prove that they are males or females, or what charming people they are, beautiful people they are. People go on finding new women, new men, just to prove that ‘I am still attractive.’ My observation of people is that they don’t fall in love. Their joy is not love, their joy is conquest. Once they have achieved a woman they are no more interested in her. It is not love.

Now they are seeking new pasture, now they want a new woman. Now they want to prove again that they are still young, looked at, they still have charisma, magnetism. And the more women they can make love with, the more their ego is satisfied. This is not love. And Freud is right that sex gives ego-gratification.

But look at Tantra. Tantra has a totally different idea. Tantra says: The appeal of sex is because it gives you a moment of egolessness, timelessness, meditation. Because of ego-gratification, sex has become very, very superficial, it only scratches the skin. It does not go deep, it has no depth. So many people are worried about premature ejaculation. The reason? They don’t love. If they love, then naturally they can make love for longer periods – the more you are in love, the longer the period will be. For hours you can be in love, because there is no hurry, the ego is not controlling.

In a Tantra coitus you can remain for hours. It is a kind of melting with the woman or with the man, it is a kind of relaxation into each other’s being. And it is meditative, because there is no ego, no thought stirs. And time stops. This is a glimpse of God. Tantra is the natural way to God, the normal way to God. The object is to become so completely instinctual, so mindless, that we merge with ultimate nature – that the woman disappears and becomes a door for the ultimate; the man disappears and becomes a door for the ultimate.

This is the Tantra definition of our sexuality: The return to absolute innocence, absolute oneness.

The greatest sexual thrill of all is no search for thrills, but a silent waiting, utterly relaxed, utterly mindless. One is conscious, conscious only of being conscious. One is consciousness. One is contented, but there is no content to it. And then there is great beauty, great benediction.

The questioner asks: What is tantric sex… A sex which is a meditation based on certain techniques?

If you are too much technique-oriented you will miss the mystery of Tantra. That is pseudo Tantra that is based on techniques. Because if techniques are there, ego will be there, controlling. Then you will be DOING it. And doing is the problem, doing brings the doer. Tantra has to be a non-doing; it cannot be technical. You can learn techniques – you can learn certain breathing so that the coitus can become longer. If you breathe very, very slowly, if you breathe without any hurry, then the coitus will become longer. But you are controlling. It will not be wild and it will not be innocent. And it will not be meditation either. It will be mind – how can it be meditation? The mind will be controlling there. You cannot even breathe fast, you have to keep your breathing slow – if the breathing is slow then ejaculation will take a longer time, because for ejaculation to happen the breathing has to be fast and chaotic. Now, this is technique but not Tantra.

Real Tantra is not technique but love. It is not technique but prayer. Is not head-oriented but a relaxation into the heart. Please remember it. Many books have been written on Tantra, they all talk about technique. But the real Tantra has nothing to do with technique. The real Tantra cannot be written about; the real Tantra has to be imbibed. How to imbibe real Tantra? You will have to transform your whole approach.

Pray with your woman, sing with your woman, play with your woman, dance with your woman, with no idea of sex. Don’t go on thinking ‘When are we going to bed?’ Forget about it. Do something else, and get lost into it. And some day love will arise out of that being lost. Suddenly you will see that you are making love and you are not making it. It is happening, you are possessed by it. Then you have your first Tantra experience – possessed by something bigger than you. You were dancing or you were singing together or you were chanting together or you were praying together or meditating together, and suddenly you find you both have moved into a new space. And when you have started making love you don’t know, you don’t remember either. Then you are being possessed by Tantra energy. And then for the first time you will see a non-technical experience.

When you are making love don’t control. Go into un-control, go into chaos. It will be fearful, frightening, because it will be a kind of death. And the mind will say ‘Control!’ And the mind will say ‘Jump in and keep control, otherwise you will be lost in the abyss of it.’ Don’t listen to the mind, get lost. Abandon yourself utterly. And without any technique you will come to see a timeless experience. There will be no two in it: oneness. A consciousness will be there, a lucid passive consciousness will be there, you will know what is happening, because you will be fully aware. But you will not be there. Awareness will be there.

You have to imbibe the Tantra spirit – it is not a technique to be learned.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Chapter Eight

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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Don’t Get Stuck in the Outer – Osho

You ask: “Do I rightly understand you that even if you and your beloved can transmute your sexual energy into spirituality, that this relationship will not be satisfying either?”

Yes, it will not be satisfying either. In fact, it will create in you the greatest discontent that you have ever felt, because it will make you aware how much is possible. It will make you aware of the tremendous moment of that orgasmic unity, of that spiritual transmutation. But it will remain only momentary. With the outer, nothing can become permanent. And once the moment is gone, the higher was the peak, the lower will be the valley, and you will fall deep down in darkness. But it will make you aware of one thing, that if male and female energy can have a meeting which is non-temporal, then there will be eternal contentment.

How to manage it? Out of this question the whole science of Tantra was born. How to do it? It can be done. It cannot be done with the beloved outside — it cannot be done without the beloved outside, remember that too, because the first glimpse comes from the beloved outside. It is only a glimpse, but with it comes a new vision that, deep down inside yourself, there are both the energies present — male and female.

Man is bisexual — every man, every woman. Half of you is male and half of you is female. If you are a woman, then the female part is on top and the male part is hidden behind, and vice versa. Once you have become aware of this, then a new work starts: your inner woman and inner man can have a meeting and that meeting can remain absolute. There is no need to come back from the peak. But the first vision comes from the outer.

Hence Tantra uses the outer woman, the outer man, as part of inner work. Once you have become aware that you have a woman inside you or a man inside you, then the work takes on a totally new quality, it starts moving in a new dimension. Now the meeting has to happen inside; you have to allow your inner woman and man to meet.

In India we have had that concept for at least five thousand years. You may not have seen the statues of Shiva as Ardhanarishwar: half man, half woman. That is the picture of everybody’s being, inner being. You must have seen shivalinga: it symbolizes the male. But shivalinga is placed in the female sexual organ, it is not alone; they are together. That again represents the inner duality, the inner polarity, but the polarity can meet and merge.

With the outer, the merger will be only for the moment. Then great frustration and great misery… and the higher the moment, the deeper will be the darkness that follows it. But the meeting can happen inwardly.

First learn that the peak is possible, and then feel grateful to the woman who has given you the peak, feel grateful to the man. Tantra worships the woman as the goddess and the man as the god. Any woman who helps you to attain to this vision is a goddess, any man that helps you to attain to this vision is a god. Love becomes sacred because it gives you the first glimpses of the divine. Then the inner work starts. You have worked without, now you have to work within.

Tantra has two phases, two stages: the outer, the extrovert Tantra, and the inner, the introvert Tantra. The beginning has to be always from the without; it is because we are there, so we have to start from the place we are and then move inwards. When the inner man and woman have met and melted, and when you are no more divided inside, you have become one — integrated, crystallized, one — you have attained. This is enlightenment.

But right now everything is upside down. You have completely forgotten the inner; the outer has become your whole life. This is as if somebody is standing on his head and has forgotten completely how to stand on his feet again. Now, standing on your head your life will be really difficult. If you want to go somewhere, if you want to do something, everything will become very, very difficult, almost impossible.

And that is what is happening. People are upside down, because the without has become more important than the within. The without has become all-important, and the within is completely ignored, forgotten.

The real treasure is within. From the without, you can get only hints of the inner treasure; from the without, only arrows pointing to the innermost core of your being; from without, only milestones. But don’t cling to a milestone, and don’t think that this is the goal and you have arrived.

Remember that the ordinary man is living a very abnormal life, because his values are upside down. Money is more important than meditation, logic is more important than love, mind is more important than heart. Power over others is more important than power over one’s own being. Mundane things are more important than finding some treasures which death cannot destroy.

Larry went to an Italian restaurant, and just as the waiter was about to serve, he tripped and dumped a whole bowl of minestrone right in Larry’s lap.

Was Larry angry? Was he even slightly ruffled?

He simply looked up with great dignity and disdain and said, “Waiter, I believe there is a soup in my fly.”

Things are completely upside down. The fly is not in the soup, the soup is in the fly. And that’s why there is so much misery. Everybody seems to be simply running after shadows, knowing perfectly well that there is nothing to happen, that nothing is ever going to happen, but what else to do? Standing by the side of the road when everybody is rushing looks silly. It is better to go on rushing with the crowd.

Let this sink deep in your heart: that unless the within becomes more important than the without, you are living a very abnormal life. The normal person is one whose within is the source of everything that he is doing. The without is only a means, the within is the end.

The love affair that you have with a woman or a man is a means to the end. The end is having a love affair with your inner woman or inner man. The outer has to be used as a learning situation; it is a great opportunity.

I am not against the outer love affair, I am all for it, because without it you will never become aware of the inner. But remember don’t get stuck in the outer.

-Osho

From The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 26, Q3

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

You may also like to read a related post, Old Age is the Last Opportunity.

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.

Love and Meditation, Yoga and Tantra – Osho

The ultimate search is individual, but can you explain the integral part of the beloved in tantra and the search for our inner self?

A very intricate, complex thing has to be understood:
If you are not in love, you are lonely.
If you are in love, really in love, you become alone.

Loneliness is sadness; aloneness is not sadness. Loneliness is a feeling of incompleteness. You need someone and the needed one is not available. Loneliness is darkness, with no light in it. A dark house, waiting and waiting for someone to come and kindle the light.

Aloneness is not loneliness. Aloneness means the feeling that you are complete. Nobody is needed, you are enough. And this happens in love. Lovers become alone – through love you touch your inner completeness. Love makes you complete. Lovers share each other, but that is not their need, that is their overflowing energy.

Two persons who have been feeling lonely can make a contract, can come together. They are not lovers, remember. They remain lonely. Now, because of the presence of the other, they don’t feel the loneliness – that’s all. They somehow deceive themselves. Their love is nothing but a deception to deceive oneself: I am not lonely – somebody else is there. Because two lonely persons are meeting, their loneliness basically is doubled, or even multiplied. That’s what happens ordinarily.

You feel lonely when you are alone, and when you are in relationship you feel miserable. This is an everyday observation. When people are lonely they feel lonely, and they are in a deep search for somebody to be related to. When they are related to somebody, then misery starts; then they feel it was better to be lonely – this is too much. What happens?

Two lonely persons meet – that means two gloomy, sad, miserable persons meet. The misery is multiplied. How can two uglinesses become beautiful? How can two lonelinesses coming together become completion, totality? Not possible. They exploit each other, they somehow try to deceive themselves through the other. But that deception doesn’t go far. By the time the honeymoon is finished, the marriage is also finished. It is very temporary. It is just an illusion.

Real love is not a search to go against loneliness. Real love is to transform loneliness into aloneness. To help the other – if you love the person, you help him to be alone. You don’t fill him or her. You don’t try to complete the other in some way by your presence. You help the other to be alone, to be so full out of her or his own being that you will not be a need.

When the person is totally free, then out of that freedom sharing is possible. Then he gives much, but not as a need; he gives much, but not as a bargain. He gives much because he has much. He gives because he enjoys giving.

Lovers are alone, and a real lover never destroys your aloneness. He will always be totally respectful about the aloneness of the other. It is sacred. He will not interfere in it, he will not spoil that space.

But ordinarily, lovers, so-called lovers, are very much afraid of the other and the other’s aloneness, independence; they are very much afraid – because they think if the other is independent then they will not be needed, then they will be discarded. So the woman goes on trying… that the husband should remain dependent, always in need, so that she can remain valuable. And the husband goes on trying in every way so that the woman always remains in need, so that he remains valuable. This is a bargain and there is continuous conflict, struggle. The struggle is that everybody needs his freedom.

Love allows freedom; not only allows, but strengthens freedom. And anything that destroys freedom is not love. It must be something else. Love and freedom go together, they are two wings of the same bird. Whenever you see that your love is going against your freedom, then you are doing something else in the name of love.

Let this be your criterion: freedom is the criterion; love gives you freedom, makes you free, liberates you. And once you are totally yourself, you feel grateful to the person who has helped you. That gratefulness is almost religious. You feel in the other person something divine. He has made you free, or she has made you free, and love has not become a possessiveness.

When love deteriorates it becomes possessiveness, jealousy, struggle for power, politics, domination, manipulation – a thousand and one things, all ugly. When love soars high, to the purest sky, it is freedom, total freedom. It is moksha – it is absolute freedom.

Now the question: “The ultimate search is individual, but can you explain the integral part of the beloved in Tantra and the search for our inner self?”

Tantra is purest love. Tantra is the methodology of purifying love of all its poisons. If you are in love, the love I am talking about, your very love will help the other to be integrated. Your very love will become a cementing force for the other. In your love the other will come together, because your love will give freedom; and under the shade of your love, under the protection of your love, the other will start growing.

All growth needs love – but unconditional love. If love has conditions then growth cannot be total, because those conditions will come in the way. Love unconditionally. Don’t ask anything in return. Much comes on its own – that’s another thing. Don’t be a beggar. In love be an emperor. Just give it and see what happens… a thousand fold it comes back. But one has to learn it. Otherwise one remains a miser; one gives a little and waits for much to come back, and your waiting, your expectation, destroys the whole beauty of it.

When you are waiting and expecting, the other feels that you are manipulating. He may say it or not, but he feels you are manipulating. And wherever you feel manipulation, one wants to rebel against it – because it is against the inner need of the soul, because any demand from the outside disintegrates you. Any demand from the outside divides you. Any demand from the outside is a crime against you, because your freedom is polluted. Then you are no more sacred. You are no more the end – you are being used as a means. And the greatest immoral act in the world is to use somebody as a means.

Each being is an end unto himself. Love treats you as an end unto yourself. You are not to be dragged into any expectations. Tantra is the highest form of love. Tantra is the science, the yoga of love.

So a few things to be remembered. One: love, but not as a need – as a sharing. Love, but don’t expect – give. Love, but remember your love should not become an imprisonment for the other.

Love, but be very careful; you are moving on sacred ground. You are going into the highest, the purest and holiest temple. Be alert! Drop all impurities outside the temple. When you love a person, love the person as if the person is a god, not less than that. Never love a woman as a woman and never love a man as a man, because if you love a man as a man your love is going to be very, very ordinary. Your love is not going to be more than lust. If you love a woman as a woman, your love is not going to soar very high. Love a woman as a goddess, then love becomes worship.

In Tantra, the man who is going to make love to the woman has to worship her for months as a goddess. He has to visualize in the woman the mother-goddess. When the visualization has become total, when no lust arises, when seeing the woman sitting naked before him he simply feels thrilled with a divine energy, no lust arises, the very form of the woman becomes divine, and all thoughts stop and only reverence is felt – then he is allowed to make love.

It looks a little absurd and paradoxical. When there is no need to make love, then he is allowed to make love. When the woman has become a goddess, then he is allowed to make love – because now love can soar high, love can become a climax, a crescendo. Now it will not be of the earth, it will not be of this world; it will not be of two bodies, it will be of two beings. It will be a meeting of two existences. Two souls will meet, merge and mingle, and both will come out of it tremendously alone.

Aloneness means purity. Aloneness means that you are just yourself and nobody else. Aloneness means that you are pure gold; just gold and nothing else… just you. Love makes you alone. Loneliness will disappear, but aloneness will arise.

Loneliness is a state when you are ill with yourself, bored with yourself, tired of yourself, and you want to go somewhere and to forget yourself into somebody else. Aloneness is when you are thrilled just by your being. You are blissful just by being yourself. You need not go anywhere. Need has disappeared. You are enough unto yourself. But now, a new thing arises in your being. You have so much that you cannot contain it. You have to share, you have to give. And whosoever accepts your gift, you will feel grateful towards him that he accepted. He could have rejected it.

Lovers feel grateful that their love has been accepted. They feel thankful, because they were so full of energy and they needed someone to pour that energy into. When a flower blooms and releases its fragrance to the winds it feels grateful to the winds – the fragrance was growing more and more heavy on it. It was becoming almost a burden. It was just as if a woman is pregnant and nine months have passed and the child is not being born, is delaying. Now she is so much burdened; she wants to share the child with the world. That is the meaning of birth.

Up to now she has been carrying the child in herself. It was nobody else’s but her own. But now it is too much; she cannot contain it. It has to be shared; the child has to be shared with the world. The mother has to drop her miserliness. Once the child is out of the womb, it is no more only of the mother; by and by it will go away, and far away. It will become part of the great world. The same happens when a cloud comes full of rain water ready to shower, and when it showers, rains, the cloud feels unburdened and happy and grateful to the thirsty earth because it accepted.

There are two types of love. One: love when you are feeling lonely – as a need, you go to the other. Then love when are not feeling lonely, but alone. In the first case you go to get something; in the second case you go to give something. A giver is an emperor.

Remember, Tantra is not ordinary love. It has nothing to do with lust. It is the greatest transformation of lust into love. The ultimate search is individual – but love makes you individual. If it doesn’t make you individual, if it tries to make you a slave, then it is not love – it is hate pretending love. Pretending to be love, it is hidden hatred just managing somehow; managing somehow and pretending that it is love.

Love of this type kills, destroys the individuality. It makes you less of an individual. It pulls you down. You are not enhanced, you don’t become graceful. You are being pulled into the mud. And everybody starts feeling that he is settling with something dirty. Love should give you freedom – never settle for less. Love should make you a white cloud, completely free, a wanderer in the sky of freedom, with no roots attached anywhere. Love is not an attachment; lust is.

Meditation and love are the two ways to attain to that individuality I am talking about. Both are very, very deeply related together. In fact they are both aspects of the same coin: love and meditation.

If you meditate, sooner or later you will come upon love. If you meditate deeply, sooner or later you will start feeling a tremendous love arising in you that you have never known before – a new quality to your being, a new door opening. You have become a new flame and you want to share now.

If you love deeply, by and by you will become aware that your love is becoming more and more meditative. A subtle quality of silence is entering in you. Thoughts are disappearing, gaps appearing – silences. You are touching your own depth.

Love makes you meditative if it is on the right lines.

Meditation makes you loving if it is on the right lines.

And there are only two types of people in the world, basically: those who will find their meditation through love, and those who will find their love through meditation.

For those who will find their meditation through love, it is Tantra; that is their science. For those who will find love through their meditation, for them it is Yoga; that is their science.

Tantra and Yoga, these are the only two ways – basically, very foundational. But both can go wrong if you don’t understand well. And the criterion is – listen – if you meditate and it doesn’t become love, know well you have gone wrong somewhere. And you will find ninety-nine yogis out of a hundred have gone wrong. The more they enter into their meditation, the more they become against love. They become, in fact, afraid of love. They start thinking of love as a distraction. Then their meditation is not real meditation. A meditation out of which love does not arise is not meditation at all. It is an escape, not a growth. It is as if a seed has become afraid of becoming a plant and blossoming in flowers, and has become afraid of releasing its fragrance to the winds – a seed has become a miser.

You will find this type of yogi all over India. Their meditation has not come to bloom. Their meditation got constipated somewhere on the way. They are stuck. You will not find grace on their faces, and you will not find intelligence in their eyes. You will see around them a certain climate of dullness and stupidity. You will not find them alert, aware, alive. A certain deadness… because if you are alive you have to become loving. To avoid love they avoid life.

And these people will always be escaping towards the Himalayas, anywhere where they can remain without others. Their aloneness will not be aloneness, it will be a loneliness – you can read it on their faces. They are not happy being alone. On their faces you will see a certain type of martyrdom – which is foolishness! – As if they have been sacrificing. Ego you will find there; humbleness, no – because whenever humbleness comes, love comes. If the ego becomes too strong, then love can be destroyed completely. Ego is the opposite of love.

Yoga is in the hands of the wrong people. And the same happened with Tantra. In the name of Tantra, people started just fulfilling their lust and sex and their perversions. It never became meditative. It became a subtle rationalization of lust, sex and passion. It became a trick; you can hide behind it. For all sorts of perversions, Tantra became a blanket to hide behind.

So remember this. Man is very cunning. He has destroyed Yoga, he has destroyed Tantra. Remain alert! Both are good, both are tremendously beneficial, but the criterion to remember is that if you are doing one rightly, the other is to follow as a shadow. If the other is not following, then you are wrong somewhere.

Move back, start again. Go into your mind, analyze your mind. Somewhere you have tricked yourself. And it is not difficult – because you can deceive others, but you cannot deceive yourself. That is impossible. If you just go within and watch, you will come to know where you have been deceiving. Nobody can deceive himself; it is impossible. How can you deceive yourself?

-Osho

From The Search, Chapter Six

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.

Fear of Transformation – Osho

Many people seem to be interested in meditation, but that interest cannot be very deep because so very few are transformed through it. If the interest is really deep, it becomes a fire by itself. It transforms you. Just through intense interest you start becoming different. A new center of being arises. So many people seem to be interested but nothing new arises in them, no new center is born, no new crystallization is achieved. They remain the same.

That means they are deceiving themselves. The deception is very subtle but it is bound to be there. If you go on taking medicine, having treatments, and the illness remains the same – rather on the contrary, it goes on increasing – then your medicine, your treatment, is bound to be false. Maybe deep down you don’t want to be transformed. That fear is very real – the fear of transformation. So on the surface you go on thinking that you are deeply interested, but deep down you go on deceiving.

The fear of transformation is just like the fear of death. It is a death, because the old will have to go and the new will come into being. You will be there no more, something totally unknown to you will be born out of you. Unless you are ready to die, your interest in meditation is false, because only those who are ready to die will be reborn. The new cannot become a continuity with the old. The old must be discontinued. The old must go. Only then can the new come into being. The new is not an outgrowth of the old, the new is not continuous with it – the new is totally new. And it comes only when the old dies. There is a gap between the old and the new – that gap gives you the fear. You are afraid. You want to be transformed but simultaneously you want to remain the old. This is the deception. You want to grow, but you want to remain you. Then growth is impossible; then you can only deceive; then you can go on thinking and dreaming that something is happening, but nothing will happen because the basic point has been missed.

So there are many people all over the world who are very interested in meditation, moksha, nirvana, and nothing is happening. There is so much noise about it but nothing real is happening. What is the matter?

Sometimes the mind is so cunning that because you don’t want to be transformed, the mind will create a superficial interest so that you can say to yourself, “You are interested, you are doing whatsoever can be done.” And you remain the same. And if nothing happens, you think that the technique you are using is wrong, the guru you are following is wrong, the scripture, the principle, the method, is wrong. You never think that even with a wrong method transformation is possible if the real interest is there; even with a wrong method you will be transformed. If you are really interested in transformation, you will become different even if following a wrong guru. If your soul and your heart is in your effort, no one can mislead you except yourself. And nothing is a barrier to your progress except your own deceptions.

When I say that even a wrong master, a wrong method, a wrong principle, can lead you to the real, I mean that the real transformation happens when you are intensely involved in it, not through any method. The method is just a device, the method is just a help, the method is secondary – your being involved in it is the fundamental thing. But you go on doing something – not even doing, you go on talking about doing. And words create an illusion: because you think so much about it, you read so much about it, you listen so much about it, that you start feeling you are doing something. So-called religious persons have developed many deception devices.

I have heard that a motorist, driving along a road, saw the school building on fire. The teacher of the small school of that small village was Mulla Nasruddin. He was sitting under a tree. The motorist called to him, “What are you doing there? The school building is on fire!” Mulla Nasruddin said, “I know about it.” The motorist was much excited. He said, “Then why are you not doing something?” Mulla Nasruddin said, “Ever since it started I have been praying for rain. I am doing something.”

Prayer is a trick to avoid meditation, and the so-called religious mind has developed many types of prayer. Prayer can also become a meditation – when it is not only a prayer, it is a deep effort, a deep involvement. Prayer can also become meditation, but ordinarily prayer is just an escape. To avoid meditation, people go on praying. To avoid doing anything they pray. Prayer means that God must do something. Someone else must do. Prayer means that we are passive – something must be done to us. Meditation is not prayer in that sense: meditation is something you do to yourself. And when you are transformed, the whole universe behaves differently to you, because the universe is nothing but a response to you, whatsoever you are. If you are silent, the whole universe responds to your silence in thousands and thousands of ways. It reflects you. Your silence is multiplied infinitely. If you are blissful, the whole universe rejects your bliss. If you are in misery, the same happens. The mathematics remains the same, the law remains the same: the universe goes on multiplying your misery. Prayer won’t do. Only meditation can help because meditation is something to be done authentically by you, it is a doing on your part.

So the first thing I would like to say to you is be constantly alert that you are not deceiving yourself. You may be doing something and still deceiving yourself.

I have heard that Mulla Nasruddin once came running into a post office, grasping the postmaster by the lapel, shook him, and said, “I have gone crazy. My wife has disappeared!” The postmaster felt sorry and he said, “Really, she has disappeared? Unfortunately this is a postal department – you have to go to the police department to report this disappearance.” Mulla Nasruddin shook his head negatively and said, “I am not going to be caught again. In the past my wife also disappeared and when I reported it to the police department, they found her. I am not going to be caught again. If you can take the report, take it, otherwise I am going.”

He wants to report to feel good, to feel that he has done whatsoever can be done. But he doesn’t want to report to the police department because he is afraid.

You go on doing things just to feel good, just to feel that you are doing something. But really you are not ready to be transformed. So all that you do just passes as useless activity – not only useless, harmful also, because it is a wastage of time, energy, and opportunity. These techniques of Shiva are only for those who are ready to do. You can ponder over them philosophically – that means nothing. But if you are actually ready to do, then something will start happening to you. They are alive methods, not dead doctrines. Your intellect is not needed; your totality of being is required. And any method will do. If you are ready to give it a chance, any method will do. You will become a new man.

Methods are devices, I will repeat again. If you are ready, then any method can do. They are just tricks to help you to take the jump, they are just like jumping boards. From any jumping board you can jump into the ocean. The jumping boards are insignificant: what color they are, which wood they are made of is irrelevant. They are simply jumping boards and you can take a jump from them. All these methods are jumping boards. Whatsoever method takes your fancy, don’t go on thinking about it, do it!

Difficulties will arise when you start doing something – if you don’t do anything there will be no difficulty. Thinking is very easy doing because you are not really traveling, but when you start doing something, difficulties arise. So if you see that difficulties have arisen, you can feel that you are on the right track – something is happening to you. Then old barriers will break, old habits will go, there will be change, there will be disturbance and chaos. All creativity comes out of chaos. You will be created anew only if all that you are becomes chaotic. So these methods will destroy you first, then only will a new being be created. If there are difficulties, feel fortunate – that shows growth. No growth is smooth… and spiritual growth cannot be smooth, that is not its nature. Because spiritual growth means growing upwards, spiritual growth means reaching into the unknown, reaching into the uncharted. Difficulties will be there. But remember that with each difficulty that is passed you are crystalized. You become more solid. You become more real. For the first time you will feel something centering within you, something becoming solid.

As you are now you are just a liquid phenomenon, changing every moment, nothing stable. Really you cannot claim any ‘I’ – you don’t have one. You are many ‘I’s’ just in a flow, a river-like flow. You are a crowd, not an individual yet. But meditation can make you an individual.

 This word ‘individual’ is beautiful: it means indivisible. Right now as you are, you are divided. You are only many fragments clinging together anyhow without any center being there, without any master in the house, with only servants. And for a moment any servant can become the master.

Every moment you are different because you are not – and unless you are, the Divine cannot happen to you. To whom can it happen? You are not there. People come to me and they say, “We would like to see God.” I ask them, “Who will see? You are not there. God is always there, but you are not there to see. It is just a passing thought that you want to see God.” The next moment they are not interested; the next moment they have forgotten all about it. A persistent, intense effort and longing is needed. Then any method will do.

Now, we should enter the methods.

-Osho

From The Book of Secrets, Chapter 73

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.