The Three Entanglements – Osho

I loved the introduction about the psychological universe that you gave me yesterday. And yet I would like to repeat the question. You say that you were studying us in order to find out which are the difficulties that the seeker finds on the path towards realization of the Self, towards his own awakening. Now you have been studying us for fifteen years, and I would like you to give us some hints on what you find in your living experiment. Or, in other words, what are the patterns the seeker gets most entangled in, and what is the function of the master in that?

There are patterns the seeker gets entangled with.

The first thing is: most of the seekers are lost in an illusory feeling that they have arrived. It is a kind of dream in which you feel you are awake. You are still dreaming – your feeling of being awake is part of the dream.

The same kind of thing happens to the seeker. The mind is capable of creating the illusion that now there is nowhere to go, you have arrived. The mind is a deceiver, and the function of the master in this condition is to make you alert that this is not the reality but only a dream; you have not arrived.

This can happen at many points, again and again. And one can get very irritated and annoyed with the master for the simple reason that whenever you feel you have got it, he simply takes it away and puts you back into your ignorant state.

For example, it was happening to a German sannyasin continuously. Whenever he was in Germany he was living in a beautiful castle of his own – he was very rich – meditating; and then he would get the feeling that he had become enlightened. And the force of the illusion was so much that he could not keep it to himself, he would tell others. Not only would he tell other fellow sannyasins, he started writing letters to the presidents, prime ministers, kings, queens around the world: “I have become enlightened, and if you want any advice on any matters that concern the future of humanity in the world, I can help you.”

He was so certain. This happened three times, and because of his certainty he came to India to get my blessings. Naturally, it shows his certainty that he came for my blessings. One can think that the first time perhaps he was not aware that I would destroy his illusion, but the second time, he came again after two years; and a third time, after two years again he came.

Each time I had to tell him, “You are just being deceived by your own mind. Nothing has happened to you, you are simply the old man – the new man has not arrived. And all that you are doing – writing letters to the U.N., to other governments – are just ways of the ego. And you are in the grip of the ego.”

Close to me, he understood. Three times he became enlightened and I had to make him unenlightened. Now, that is not a good job. The fourth time he never came back; perhaps he is afraid I will make him again unenlightened. Now he remains in his castle and remains enlightened!

It is very easy to live in a beautiful dream. It is hard to see your dreams shattered by reality. In the ancient scriptures of the East it is called the power of maya. Mind has the hypnotic power to create any illusion. If you are after a certain thing, desperately, it is one of the functions of the mind to create the illusion to stop your desperateness. It happens every day to everybody in their dreams, but people don’t learn things.

In the night you go to bed hungry. In the night you are going to have a dream about eating delicious food. The mind is trying to help you so that your sleep is not disturbed; otherwise you are hungry and you are bound to be awakened by your hunger. The mind gives you a dream that you are eating delicious food of your choice, which satisfies your mind. The hunger remains but sleep is not disturbed, The hunger is covered by the illusion of the dream; it is a protection of your sleep.

You feel in sleep that your bladder is full. If the mind does not create the dream that you have gone to the toilet, come back and gone to sleep again, then your sleep will be disturbed – and sleep is a great necessity for the body. The mind is taking care that it is not disturbed again and again; you can have a long sleep, rest, so in the morning you are rejuvenated.

This is the ordinary function of the mind; on a higher plane the same thing happens. It is an ordinary sleep, an ordinary awakening that mind prevents. On the path, it is an extraordinary sleep and an extraordinary awakening. But the mind is programmed – it is just a mechanical thing. It simply does its work without bothering, because it has no way of checking whether it is ordinary sleep or spiritual sleep, ordinary awakening or spiritual awakening.

To the mind it is all the same. Its function is to keep your sleep intact and create a barrier for anything that disturbs your sleep. If you are hungry it gives you food; if you are desperately in search of truth, it gives you truth, it gives you enlightenment. You ask for anything, and it is ready to give it to you.

It can create the illusion of the real thing – that’s its intrinsic power.

Western psychology has not yet been aware of the dream’s actual function, what function it has. Sigmund Freud thinks that its only function is to bring up your repressed desires and allow them a certain illusory reality so that you don’t go insane. The dream is an outlet so the steam that you go on repressing is released. That seems to be the whole understanding of Western psychology about dreams – that it is an outlet. While you are asleep, your dreaming helps you to get rid of many aberrations.

You had seen a beautiful woman while you were awake, but you had to maintain your civilization, the civil code, manners, morality, religion, respectability, and you behaved that way. You could not behave like an animal. That’s actually what you would have liked to do, but all these barriers prevent you.

In the dream you have the freedom to be an animal again, with all the freedom of an animal. You can do whatsoever you want to do with the woman. Nobody is preventing you – no priest, no policeman. Nobody is ever going to know what you did in your dream. Even you yourself will forget in the morning what you did in your dream.

But this is not the only function, this is a very small function of dreaming. In fact Western psychology has not divided mind’s different stages the way the East has done. In Eastern psychology the most superficial state is the waking state – very thin, very artificial. It is a social by-product.

You cannot live alone, you have to live with the society; you have to follow the rules of the game. This thin layer is created by the priests, by the parents, by the pedagogues, and by all kinds of influences on you. And you are given tremendous respect for it, you are rewarded for it.

The second layer is dreaming, which is far truer, far more natural – out of reach of the crowd, society, education, morality, religion. You are more authentic, you are not a hypocrite in your dreaming. The third stage is sleep mixed with dreams. That is even deeper. A few dreams float in it, and these dreams are far more important than the dreams of the second stage because the second-stage dreams are more or less reactions of your waking state. Whatever you have repressed creates them.

The third stage of sleep with dreams… these dreams have nothing to do with your waking state. These are more like visions. And if you can remember them, they can be of tremendous help for you for your spiritual growth. They show you the direction where to go, where the right way is.

These dreams should not be called dreams, and they are not called dreams in the East; they are called visions. And they can happen only when you have reached the sleep of the third strata of your mind. You are far away from your waking world, miles away. The waking world has no effect on it.

These visions are caused by the fourth stage – which is dreamless sleep. This is the fourth stage, when dreams disappear completely – no visions, no dreams; you are simply asleep. This is the deepest in your being. You are at the very bottom of your mind.

Patanjali, one of the most authentic seekers of the mind, and one of the oldest, ancient most people, in many ways very rare…. For example, there are very few people who have created a whole system alone.

Yoga is the creation of one single man, Patanjali – the whole system. And he created it to such a perfection that for five thousand years nothing has been added to it, nothing has been taken out of it. He has exhausted the whole field. It is very rare; it takes centuries for any science to become complete, and many people have to contribute to it.

There are only two cases: One is Patanjali who created a whole science of Yoga; and the other is Aristotle, who created the whole science of logic. And for two thousand years there has been no change, no improvement. But just in this century, Aristotle has lost his ground. Non-Aristotelian logic has come into being – which is absolutely against Aristotle. But Patanjali stands like a peak of the Himalayas – still unchallenged, still perfect and complete.

Patanjali says that the deep sleep, dreamless sleep, is exactly the same as samadhi, superconsciousness, the ultimate experience of being. It is the same; the only difference is you are not aware of it. Dreamless sleep plus awareness is equal to enlightenment.

One has to start with the first layer of waking, and make it alert. It is a very thin layer, very superficial, but it can be used as a preface for greater things to happen. Meditation begins with wakefulness.

You start becoming aware of the moments when you are awake.

Walking, eating, doing your work – anything – you have to make it a point that it is done in awareness, that it is not done like a robot, not mechanically. Even breathing has to be joined with awareness, so you know when the breath is going in and you know when the breath is going out.

The smallest things you have to try – even the blinking of the eyes. The smaller the thing you try, the better, because those are the things which one ignores, and those are the things which will give you a deeper penetration into the thin layer of wakefulness.

Buddha has said that the meditator has to walk keeping his eyes only four feet away, looking at the ground, not looking all around everywhere, reading the posters on the walls, looking at people and what they are doing. He has to keep his eyes focused four feet ahead, and remain alert that he does not move from that posture.

And while he is looking four feet ahead, he has to be continuously aware of each step that he is taking. He has to walk very slowly. He has to remember the breathing, that it is going in, coming out. He has to remember the blinking of the eyes. He has to be aware of each small thing that is happening.

Being awake plus awareness will lead you to the second step: you can dream with awareness – and that is a tremendous experience. Then dreaming cannot deceive you; you are alert. If you are hungry, you know you are hungry, and you know the dream is trying in every way to provide delicious food, but it is just dream-food, it is not the reality. You can see both the hunger and the food. You know the hunger is true and the food is false.

As you become more and more aware of subtle nuances of dreaming, a great surprise is waiting for you. Dreams become less and less because they don’t need awareness. They are very shy; they don’t want to face awareness. They come only in the shadows of sleep.

But if you are alert, then naturally they stop coming. And when dreams stop coming you fall suddenly into the third state, which is sleep with visions. And there is a clear-cut distinction between dreams and visions.

Dreams disappear when you are aware, visions become more clear and solid when you are aware; they are not shy. They are part of reality, they are predictions, they may be glimpses of your future. Dreams belong to the past, visions belong to the future. They are opening doors of the unknown.

And if you can see clearly, your path is made very simple. So they are of a great help.

But remember the distinction, that awareness makes them very solid, real; they don’t disappear, they become perfectly clear. And soon you start discovering that what you have seen in your visions comes to be true in life.

Dreams are simply repressed parts of life.

They are intuitive, and once you have become aware that you have seen them before…. For example, in the vision you see a man that you have never seen, and the next morning you open your door and the man is standing there. The vision has prepared you for something. The man is no ordinary man, there must be something significant. He is a guest to be honored and respected.

Your intuition has made you already aware of it, that he is carrying a treasure for you. Something is going to happen with this man, something is going to transpire between him and you.

In fact, most of the people find their master through visions. Thinking is of not any help. What can you think about a master?

And the people who go to a master through thinking always go to a wrong person, because thinking is a by-product of the society.

You are born in a Hindu family or a Christian family or a Buddhist family – those families have given you a certain idea of what a saint is. Your thinking cannot go beyond it, and if you go through thinking to find a master, you will end up with somebody who is trying to be a saint according to the expectations of the society. He is not really a saint; he is just rehearsing a part that he wants to play in life.

Only through visions do you come across beings who are not according to your expectations. In fact, they have nothing to do with your mind. It is through the tremendous sensitivity of your intuition that you start seeing something of the future. It is through the height of your awareness that what is future for others becomes present for you.

For example, it is like this: A man is standing by the side of a tree, and he looks at the road – the road is empty. He looks behind him, at the road that he has traveled – it is empty. He looks ahead to the future, the road that he is going to travel – it is empty. But at exactly that same moment, another man is sitting in the tree. He has a bigger perspective, he can see more of the road.

He sees a horseman coming closer to the tree. That horseman is present to him, but that horseman is future to the man who is standing by the side of the tree. So what is future to one man can be present to another: it depends on his height, on his perspective, on his alertness.

It is a known fact that thousands of saints down the ages have predicted their death – the exact time, days before, sometimes months before – because in the old days their disciples were miles away; they had to be informed that the master is going to leave the body. They have to come because the master cannot leave the body without saying goodbye to them, or maybe there is a last message.

So disciples from faraway places will start traveling – it will take time but they will all reach and the master will die exactly at the time he has declared. It is part of the vision – he knows when death is going to happen. To him it is already present; to his disciples it is future – maybe three weeks, maybe four weeks. He has seen it already.

So the vision is a tremendous help to the seeker – where to go? With whom to go? Whom to trust? It is not a question of the mind deciding. The deepest part of your consciousness has already decided, and there is no question of doubt about it.

I am reminded of a Sufi story. A king was told by his prime minister, “In your whole kingdom there is only one beggar, and it is within your powers – you can easily make that beggar a rich man. And that is the only blemish on your kingdom. Your kingdom can be free of beggars, it is already free – there is only one beggar.”

The king said, “I know it. I have tried, but my visions are not in agreement with my mind. That man will remain a beggar; whatever we do is going to be futile.”

The prime minister was a man of intelligence, intellect – he said, “I don’t believe… why should he remain a beggar? If we give him some money, a good house to live in, he will not be a beggar.”

The king said, “Wait for tomorrow morning. Let me check.”

The prime minister said, “With whom are you going to check? I am the person, your adviser – you have to check with me. About whom are you talking?”

The king laughed. He said, “You may not understand. I always have to check my visions, because I have noticed that when my vision has said, ‘Don’t go to war,’ if I went, I was defeated, even though I was mightier than the enemy. And there were times when the enemy was mightier and I was weaker, but my vision said, ‘Go ahead,’ and I was victorious. So it is there that I have to check: what my vision says about this beggar.

“And this is my method that I go to sleep thinking about a certain thing, for example this beggar. I will fall asleep thinking about this beggar. Slowly, slowly it settles to the point where visions happen.”

And the next morning the king said, “It is not possible, but I will give it a try, just to show you that it is not possible.” The beggar used to pass along a bridge. Just in front of the palace there was a river, and he used to pass over the bridge and sit on the other corner of it to beg the whole day.

The king, in disguise, and the prime minister, in disguise went on to the bridge early in the morning when the beggar used to come, with a big pot full of gold coins – enough for the beggar to live his whole life luxuriously. There was nobody on the bridge – it was too early in the morning and it was too cold.

The king put the pot with the gold coins in the middle of the bridge, and they both went away to the other corner to see what happened.

The beggar was coming. He was not blind, and on the whole bridge there was nothing except the pot, but the prime minister was surprised that the beggar was coming with closed eyes. He passed the pot full of gold coins with closed eyes, groping his way.

When he reached close to the king and the prime minister, they asked him, “What is the matter? You are not blind, and you have never done this before. Why are you walking with closed eyes?”

The beggar said, “Just as I got onto the bridge the idea occurred to me: what if I go blind, then how would I manage to walk along the bridge? So I closed my eyes and tried to walk along the bridge as a blind man. And you should be happy that I managed it.”

The king turned to the prime minister: “What do you say? I had seen this whole scene in my vision – that the beggar will pass the pot with closed eyes, and he will have a reason, he will give an argument. It happens to everybody, once in a while, to want to walk with closed eyes to see how it feels – but exactly on that day?”

Once you have become aware of the reality of your visions, you are safe from your dreams, from your mind. And you are in a state where trust is possible. Not that you have to do anything, just your visions will make you trust.

The real masters are found through visions.

And then you can give yourself up totally into the hands of the master. Below this stage, if you go on with awareness, visions will not be happening every day. Once in a while, only when something is very important that existence wants you to be alert about…. It is your connection with life, with existence, with the cosmos.

So visions will happen only once in a while – not an everyday affair – but whenever they happen they are going to materialize in reality soon. You have been warned beforehand.

If you remain aware you will reach the fourth stage – dreamless sleep. The word of Patanjali is sushupti – dreamless sleep. And he says sushupti and samadhi, dreamless sleep and the ultimate awakening, are exactly the same. The only difference is of awareness.

If you can go with awareness into dreamless sleep, it explodes. There is an explosion of light, suddenly you are full of light. Your whole mind – dreams, sleep, everything is gone. There is only pure awareness.

On the way, the disciple can first be misled when he is trying awareness in the waking mind. If you just put a watch with a second hand in front of you and keep your eyes on the second hand, you will be surprised: you cannot continue to remember even for one minute completely. Perhaps fifteen seconds, twenty seconds, at the most thirty seconds, and you will forget. You will get lost in some other idea – and then suddenly you will remember that you were trying to remember.

Even to keep awareness continuous for one minute is difficult, so one has to be aware that it is not child’s play. So when you are trying to be aware of the small things of life, you have to remember that many times you will forget. You will go far away into something else. The moment you remember, don’t feel guilty – that is one of the traps.

If you start feeling guilty, then you cannot come back to the awareness that you were practicing. There is no need to feel guilty, it is natural. Don’t feel repentance. It is simple, and it happens to every seeker. Accept it as natural; otherwise you will be caught in repentance, in the guilt that you cannot remember even for a few moments and you go on forgetting.

Mahavira is the first man in history who has actually worked out that if a man can remember, be aware, for forty-eight minutes continuously, that’s enough – he will become enlightened, nobody can prevent him. Just forty-eight minutes… but it is difficult even for forty-eight seconds – so many distractions.

No guilt, no repentance – the moment you remember that you have forgotten what you were doing, simply come back; simply come back and start working again.

My emphasis is, simply come back. Don’t cry and weep for the spilled milk; that is stupid. It will take time, but slowly you will become aware that you are remaining alert more and more, perhaps for a whole minute, perhaps two minutes.

And it is such a joy that you have been aware for two minutes – but don’t get caught in the joy. Don’t think that you have attained something. That will become a barrier. These are patterns where one is lost. Just a little gain and one thinks one has come home. Go on working slowly, patiently.

There is no hurry – you have eternity at your disposal.

Don’t try to be speedy. That impatience will not help. Awareness is not like seasonal flowers that grow in six weeks’ time and are then gone. Awareness is like the cedars of Lebanon which take hundreds of years to grow; but they remain for thousands of years and rise to one hundred and fifty feet, two hundred feet high in the sky. They are really very proud people.

Awareness grows very slowly, but it grows. One has to just be patient.

As it grows you will start feeling many things which you have never felt before. For example, you will start feeling that you are carrying many tensions in your body of which you have never been aware because they are subtle tensions. Now your awareness is there you can feel those very subtle, very delicate tensions.

So wherever you feel any tension in the body, relax that part. If your whole body is relaxed, your awareness will grow faster because those tensions are hindrances.

As your awareness grows even more, you will be surprised to know that you don’t dream only in sleep; there is an undercurrent of dreaming even while you are awake. It goes just underneath your wakefulness – close your eyes any moment and you can see some dream passing by like a cloud in the sky. But only when you become a little more aware will it be possible to see that your wakefulness is not true awakenedness.

The dream is floating there – people call it daydream. If they relax in their chair for a moment and close their eyes, immediately the dream takes over. They start thinking that they have become the president of the country, or they are doing great things – or anything, which they know at the very moment they are dreaming is all nonsense. You are not the president of the country, but still the dream has something in it, that it continues in spite of you.

Awareness will make you aware of layers of dreams in your waking state. And they will start dispersing, just as you bring light into a dark room and the darkness starts dispersing.

Awareness functions almost like a light. If you can disperse your dreams in the waking state, your waking state will have a clarity, your intelligence will have a newness to it. These will be the byproducts.

You will be able to see things which you were not able to see before. You will be able to reason, argue. You will be able to see your conditionings, which you were never able to before; you had accepted them in your childhood when there was no argument, no reasoning. […]

So as you become aware, your conditionings will start falling this way and that way. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism – they will start disappearing from your wakefulness. You will start discovering your own identity, which has been covered with so many labels.

In the second step, dreams can delude you. That is where the master will be of immense help. He can tell you that you are dreaming, that you are awake. The Zen master in Japan has developed a staff; he moves amongst his disciples who are meditating with his staff. So whosoever he feels is dreaming, he hits him on the head… because when you start dreaming, you start dozing. Your face immediately changes. When you are awake, your face has a certain quality; when you start dreaming, it has a different quality – and immediately the hit comes.

Suddenly you are awake and the disciple is expected to bow down and touch the feet of the master in gratitude for his compassion that he did not allow him to fall into the trap of dreams.

In the third stage the master will be helpful in making it clear to you that what you are seeing now are not dreams. Listen to them, follow them – they are indications of your destiny. If you go astray, you will miss fulfillment. These visions are showing you the right path to follow.

But still there is a danger – the danger of getting very egoistic because you can know the future. Not only can you know your future, if you try a little harder you can start seeing other people’s futures. It is in this stage that all astrology has been born. It has nothing to do with stars – that is just a façade to deceive you. It has nothing to do with the lines of the hand.

It is a visionary who can manage to look into your future. But that can give him the role of a prophet.

The word “prophet” comes from prophecy. Only in India have there been no prophets – you will be surprised. In Judaism there have been prophets, in Christianity there have been prophets, in Mohammedanism there have been prophets. It is only in India that there have been no prophets, which is strange because this is the most religious part of the world, and the most ancient in religion, deep in religion.

What happened to the prophets? Why did they not appear here? – because every disciple was made aware by the master that these visions are not to make you a prophet, that you are not to move in that direction, that it is a false direction. Use these visions to go deeper, to the fourth. Don’t start using these visions to play around and show your power.

This is the greatest trap that waits for the disciple, because the attraction is immense – to tell somebody his future, that “tomorrow this is going to happen to you.” […]

So this is one of the greatest traps, because as power grows you are closer to being trapped. And this is the last trap.

It happened in the life of Vivekananda in Ramakrishna’s ashram, in Dakshineshwar, in Calcutta, Bengal…. There were many disciples, and Vivekananda was one of the most intellectual disciples of Ramakrishna. There was a very simple man who was also a disciple – his name was Kalu, a poor man. He was so faithful, religious, emotional, that he had in his room hundreds of statues of different gods, because in India the traditional number of gods is thirty-three million. So he had hundreds of statues, and it was such a long affair to worship all those gods that it was only in the afternoon that he was able to take his breakfast.

Early, at four o’clock in the morning, he would take a bath in the Ganges, and then the worship would begin. And of course each god had to be worshipped equally; otherwise somebody may get angry, somebody may feel offended. So the whole day was lost and everybody was laughing at Kalu: “What are you doing? Just one god is enough!”

But Kalu said, “I have become so attached to these hundreds of gods – whom to reject? And whoever I reject will become annoyed. So in this life it is impossible; I have to worship these hundreds of gods and I have to give equal time to each.”

Vivekananda was the most prominent in making a fool of Kalu. He said, ”You are simply stupid – these are just stones! And you are wasting your life.” But Kalu would not listen to anyone; he continued his way.

One day Ramakrishna gave Vivekananda a certain method of awareness to practice: “Go into your cell, close the door and practice it.” When Vivekananda came to a certain stage of awareness he felt himself so full of power that the idea came to his mind, “If I say at this moment just within myself, to Kalu, ‘Take all your gods and throw them into the Ganges,’ he will do it.” He was so certain of it. And he did it, he said to Kalu, in his own cell, just within himself, “Kalu, just collect all your gods” – and this was the time when he was worshipping the gods – and throw them all into the Ganges.”

And Kalu collected all his gods into a big bag and was dragging the bag down the steps when Ramakrishna ran after him, stopped him and said, “What are you doing?”

He said, “Suddenly I heard a voice – it must have come from God himself, because there was nobody in the room – saying, ‘Kalu, collect all your gods and throw them into the Ganges.’ It was so powerful that I could not doubt it.”

Ramakrishna said, “Come back. Take your gods back and I will show you from where the voice has come.” He knocked on Vivekananda’s door. Vivekananda came out and Ramakrishna was very angry. He said, “Vivekananda, this is the last thing I had ever expected of you. I had told you to be aware – not to destroy a poor man’s life. This is his whole life, and he is no harm to anybody. He is so simple-hearted, so loving, such a beautiful man – how could you do it to him? Awareness is not for such things. And from now onwards I will keep the key of your awareness; you will never attain to the same power again.”

It is a very significant story. And it is said Vivekananda died without attaining enlightenment because the key was kept by the master. He never showed Vivekananda the way to go deeper. He tried hard in his own way but always went round and round, could not enter within himself. Although he became Ramakrishna’s successor because he was the most intellectual – a great orator, a very powerful personality, had a certain charisma, influenced people – he himself died a poor man, knowing nothing. And the reason was that he disturbed a simple-hearted man because he got just a little power and he immediately used it – not for the benefit of somebody, but to harm somebody.

There are traps and traps.

And the master is needed in many ways: to keep you aware not to use your power in any harmful way to others, not to use your power in any way harmful to yourself, not to use your power as an ego-trip.

And he has to go on reminding you that you have to transform your sushupti, your dreamless sleep, into samadhi, into superconsciousness.

-OSHO

From Light on the Path, Chapter 18

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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The Head and the Heart – Osho

How is it possible that Gurdjieff needed another head, an Ouspensky, to work on a third psychology, the psychology of the buddhas, while you work by yourself and you can be both in the state of mind and no-mind?

There have been two kinds of Masters in the world. One kind, the first, has always needed somebody else to express, to interpret, to philosophize, to communicate what the Master has experienced. Gurdjieff is not alone in that; he needed P.D. Ouspensky – without Ouspensky he would not have been known at all. Ramakrishna comes in the same category; he needed a Vivekananda – without Vivekananda Ramakrishna would have remained absolutely unheard of.

So has been the case with many Masters, for the simple reason that their whole work concerned the heart center. They became crystallized in the heart center – so much so that it was impossible for them to move to the head and to use their own heads. It appeared far easier for them to use somebody else’s head rather than their own.

But there was a difficulty in it. One thing was good about it: the Master himself was not constantly moving between two extremes from mind to no-mind, from no-mind to mind – there was no movement in his being; he was absolutely crystallized. But another kind of trouble was there: the man who was being used as a medium – Ouspensky, Vivekananda, or others – was himself not an enlightened person. Gurdjieff could use Ouspensky’s head, but not exactly the way he would have liked to. Ouspensky’s own mind was bound to color Gurdjieff’s experience; he was bound to bring his own prejudices, his own philosophy, his own understanding to it. He had no experience of his own, he was simply a medium. But the medium is not just an empty vehicle, he has his own mind, and anything passing through his mind is going to be changed a little bit here, a little bit there.

Ouspensky introduced Gurdjieff to the world, but he introduced Gurdjieff in his own way. One cannot blame Ouspensky. What could he do? He tried his best. I think he was one of the best interpreters that any Master has ever been able to find; but still an interpreter is an interpreter. It can’t be the same; it is impossible to be the same. Hence sooner or later they had to part from each other.

In the last days of Ouspensky’s life he became almost an enemy to Gurdjieff. He started saying, “Now Gurdjieff has gone mad. At first he was moving in the right direction, but the later Gurdjieff has gone astray.” He could not say that the whole of Gurdjieff’s teaching was wrong because his own teaching was based on Gurdjieff’s teaching, but he divided Gurdjieff in two: the first part of Gurdjieff – when Ouspensky was with him – was right and the later part was wrong. In fact, the later part was the culmination of the first part.

But why did this happen? It was almost bound to happen because sooner or later Ouspensky’s own mind was going to become a barrier. When he first came to Gurdjieff he was absolutely surrendered to him – surrendered in the sense that he was fascinated by his personality, fascinated intellectually – because he was a great intellectual – absolutely surrendered in the intellectual sense, not in the existential sense. If he had been existentially surrendered he would have been of no use because Gurdjieff needed a head, he was in search of a head. He had many other followers who were devoted to him from their very innermost core, but they were not going to become his interpreters to the world.

When Ouspensky came to Gurdjieff he was already a world-famous mathematician, a philosopher. His own book, Tertium Organum, had already been translated into almost all the great languages of the world. And that book, Tertium Organum, is really something tremendous; coming out of a man who was unenlightened it is almost a miracle. Intellectually he managed something which nobody has ever been able to manage. He knew nothing, he had not experienced anything, but his intellectual grasp… his intellect was really sharp. He belongs to the topmost intellectuals of the whole history of humanity; there are very few competitors to rival him. Only once in a while….

Socrates had such a man, Plato. Socrates was the heart of the teaching, Plato was the head.

Exactly the same was repeated in the case of Gurdjieff: Gurdjieff was the heart, Ouspensky became the head. And if I have to choose between the two my choice will be Ouspensky, not Plato. Ouspensky is simply unbelievable; his insight, without any self-realization, is so accurate that anybody who has not experienced will think that Ouspensky was a Buddha, a Christ. Only a Buddha will be able to detect the flaws, not anyone else. The flaws are there but ordinarily undetectable.

He started writing books on Gurdjieff. He wrote one of his greatest contributions, In Search of the Miraculous, then he wrote The Fourth Way. And these two books introduced Gurdjieff to the world; otherwise, he would have remained an absolutely unknown Master. Maybe a few people would have come in personal contact with him and would have been benefited, but Ouspensky made him available to millions.

But as those books spread all over the world and thousands of people started moving towards Gurdjieff, Ouspensky also became very egoistic – naturally, because he was the cause of the whole thing. In fact, he started thinking, “Without me, what is Gurdjieff? Who is Gurdjieff without me? Who was he? When I met him he was just a refugee living in a refugee camp in Constantinople, almost starving. Nobody had ever heard about him. I have made him world famous; the whole credit goes to me.” This idea went to his head – it became too much for him – and in subtle ways he started to dominate the movement. And you cannot dominate a man like Gurdjieff, you cannot dictate to a man like Gurdjieff. They had to part.

In the last days of his life Ouspensky was so against Gurdjieff that he would not tolerate anybody mentioning Gurdjieff’s name to him; in his presence Gurdjieff’s name was not mentioned. Even in his books Gurdjieff’s name was reduced to only “G”; the full name disappeared. After the break just “G” remained – somebody anonymous, “‘G’ said . . .,” not “Gurdjieff.” And he made it clear, very clear: “We have parted and I have developed my own system.” He started gathering his own followers. Those followers were not allowed to read Gurdjieff’s books, those followers were not allowed to go and see Gurdjieff. While Ouspensky was alive he was very suspicious of anybody who wanted to go to Gurdjieff or who even wanted to study his books.

But Gurdjieff was aware that this was going to happen. Still, there was no other way; some head had to be used. Gurdjieff’s work was such that he was absolutely crystallized in his heart; he could not move to the head.

So was the case with Ramakrishna. Vivekananda was an ordinary intellectual, not even of the caliber of Ouspensky, but he made Ramakrishna world famous. Ramakrishna died very early, that’s why Vivekananda and Ramakrishna never parted; otherwise the parting was absolutely certain. But Ramakrishna died and Vivekananda became his whole and sole representative. He dominated all the followers, he dominated the whole movement; he became for them the representative of Ramakrishna. If Ramakrishna had lived, the same thing would have happened sooner or later because Vivekananda was just head and nothing else, nothing of the heart. Even if he talks about the heart it is just head-talk, the head talking about the heart, it is not heart-full. There is no love in it, there is no meditation in it, there is no prayer in it, just intellectual analysis. He knew the scriptures and he forced his ideas on Ramakrishna’s ideas. And Ramakrishna had died so there was nobody to say no to it.

Vivekananda destroyed the whole beauty of Ramakrishna. But that was going to happen because Ramakrishna was not a man of the head at all.

But this has not always been the case. Buddha never depended on anybody else. He was capable of moving from mind to no-mind, from no-mind to mind; that is his greatness. That is a far greater achievement than that of Gurdjieff or Ramakrishna because their achievements are in a way limited. Buddha is very liquid; he is not solid like a rock, he is more fluid – like a river.

So was the case with Lao Tzu: he never depended on anybody else, he said whatever he had to say. He said it himself, and as beautifully as it could be said. And their philosophies are bound to be far more pure because they come from the original man, they come from the original realization, from the very source; there is no via media. So is the case with Zarathustra, Jesus, Krishna, Mahavira.

This is the second category of Masters. The first category is easier in a way; it is easy to be crystallized at one center. It is a far more complex process, a longer and far more arduous journey, to remain alive at both extremes. These are the two extremes: the head and the heart. But it is possible. It has happened before. It is happening right now in front of you.

I live in silence, but my work consists of much intellectual communication. I live in silence, but I have to use words. But when I use words, those words contain my silence. I don’t need anybody else to interpret me; hence there is a far greater possibility that whatsoever I am saying will remain pure for a longer period of time.

And now, since Buddha, many scientific developments have happened….

We don’t know what Buddha actually said although he never used anybody like Ouspensky or Plato or Vivekananda; he himself was his own interpreter. But there arose a problem when he died. He spoke for forty-two years – he became enlightened when he was about forty and then he lived to eighty-two. For forty-two years he was speaking morning, afternoon, evening. Now there were no scientific methods for recording what he was saying. When he died the first question was how to collect it all. He had said so much – forty-two years is a long time, and many had become enlightened in those forty-two years. But those who became enlightened had become crystallized in the heart because that is easier, simpler, and people tend to move to the simplest process, to the shortcut. Why bother? If you can reach a point directly, straight, then why go roundabout? And when Buddha was alive there was no need for anybody else to interpret him; he was his own spokesman, so the need was never felt.

There were thousands of arhats and bodhisattvas; they all gathered. Only those were called to the gathering who had become enlightened – obviously, because they would not misinterpret Buddha. And that’s true, they could not misinterpret him – it was impossible for them. They had also experienced the same universe of the beyond, they had also moved to the farther shore.

But they all said, “We have never bothered much about his words since we became enlightened. We have listened to him because his words were sweet. We have listened to him because his words were pure music. We have listened to him because just listening to him was a joy. We have listened to him because that was the only way to be close to him. Just to sit by his side and listen to him was a rejoicing, it was a benediction. But we did not bother about what he was saying; once we attained there was no need. We were not listening from the head and we were not collecting in the memory; our own heads and memories stopped functioning long ago.”

Somebody became enlightened thirty years before Buddha died. Now for thirty years he sat there by the side of Buddha listening as one listens to the wind passing through the pine trees or one listens to the song of the birds or one listens to the rain falling on the roof. But they were not listening intellectually. So they said, “We have not carried any memory of it. Whatsoever he must have said was beautiful, but what he said we cannot recollect. Just to be with him was such a joy.”

It was very difficult now – how to collect his words? The only man who had lived continuously with Buddha for forty-two years was Ananda; he was his personal attendant, his caretaker. He had listened to him, almost every word that he had uttered was heard by Ananda. Even if he was talking to somebody privately, Ananda was present. Ananda was almost always present, like a shadow. He had heard everything – whatsoever had fallen from his lips. And he must have said many things to Ananda when there was nobody there. They must have talked just on going to bed in the night.  Ananda used to sleep in the same room just to take care of him – he may need something in the night. He may feel cold, he may feel hot, he may like the window to be opened or closed, or he may feel thirsty and may need some water or something, or – he was getting old – he may feel sick. So Ananda was there continuously.

They all said, “We should ask Ananda.” But then there was a very great problem: Ananda was not yet enlightened. He had heard everything that Buddha uttered publicly, uttered privately. They must have gossiped together; there was nobody else who could have said, “I am friendly with Buddha,” except Ananda. And Ananda was also his cousin-brother, and not only a cousin-brother but two years older than Buddha. So when he had come to be initiated he asked for a few things before his initiation, because in India the elder brother has to be respected just like your father. Even the elder cousin-brother has to be respected just like your father.

So Ananda said to Buddha, “Before I take initiation…. Once I become your bhikkhu, your sannyasin, I will have to follow your orders, your commandments. Then whatsoever you say I will have to do. But before that I order you, as your elder brother, to grant me three things. Remember these three things. First: I will always be with you. You cannot say to me, ‘Ananda, go somewhere else, do something else.’ You cannot send me to some other village to preach, to convert people, to give your message. This is my first order to you. Second: I will be always present. Even if you are talking to somebody privately I want to hear everything. Whatsoever you are going to say in your life I want to be an audience to it. So you will not be able to tell me, ‘This is a private talk, you go out.’ I will not go, remember it! And thirdly: I am not much interested in being enlightened, I am much more interested in just being with you. So if enlightenment means separating from you I don’t care a bit about it. Only if I can remain with you even after enlightenment, am I willing to be enlightened, otherwise forget about it.”

And Buddha nodded his yes to all these three orders – he had to, he was younger than Ananda – and he followed those three things his whole life.

The conference of the arhats and the bodhisattvas decided that only Ananda could relate Buddha’s words. And he had a beautiful memory; he had listened to everything very attentively. ”But the problem is he is not yet enlightened; we cannot rely upon him. His mind may play tricks, his mind may change things unconsciously. He may not do it deliberately, he may not do it consciously, but he still has a great unconscious in him. He may think he has heard that Buddha said this and he may never have said it. He may delete a few words; he may add a few words. Who knows? And we don’t have any criterion because many things that he has heard only he has heard; there is no other witness.”

And Ananda was sitting outside the hall. The doors were closed and he was weeping outside on the steps. He was weeping because he was not allowed inside. An eighty-four-year-old man weeping like a child! The man who had lived for forty-two years with Buddha was not allowed in! Now he was really in anguish. Why did he not become enlightened? Why did he not insist7 He made a vow, a decision: “I will not move from these steps until I become enlightened.” He closed his eyes, he forgot the whole world. And it is said that within twenty-four hours, without changing his posture, he became enlightened.

When he became enlightened he was allowed in. Then he related… all these scriptures were related by Ananda. But who knows? He became enlightened afterwards. All those memories belong to the mind of an unenlightened person; even though he had become enlightened, those memories were not those of an enlightened person. It is not absolutely certain that what is reported is exactly what Buddha said.

But now science has given all the technology. Each single word – not only the word but the pauses in between – the very nuances of the words, the way they are uttered, the very gestures, all can be recorded. The words can be recorded, the gestures can be photographed, films can be made, tapes can be made.

Now the best way for any enlightened person is not to depend on anybody else, although that path is difficult, far more difficult, because you have to do two things together. You have to constantly shuttle back and forth, back and forth. You have to constantly go into wordlessness and come out from that emptiness into the world of words. It is a difficult phenomenon, the most difficult phenomenon in the whole of existence; because when you enter into silence it is so beautiful that to come back to the universe of words looks absurd, meaningless. It is as if you have reached to the sunlit peaks and then you come back to the dark holes where people live in the valley, the slums. When you have touched the sunlit peaks, when you can live there and you can float like a cloud in the infinite sky, to come back to the muddy earth, to crawl again with people who are living in mud seems to be very absurd. But there is no other way. If you have compassion enough you have to go into this difficult process.

It depends on many things too. It depends on the whole process by which a Master has reached through many lives. Ramakrishna was never an intellectual in any of his lives. A simple man – in this life he was a simple man. Even if he had wanted to it would have been impossible for him to become a Vivekananda too. It was easier to find somebody who could do that work.

Gurdjieff, when he was very young, only twelve years of age, became part of a party of seekers: thirty people who made a decision that they would go to the different parts of the world and find out whether truth was only talk or there were a few people who had known it. Just a twelve-year-old boy, but he was chosen to join the party for the simple reason that he had great stamina, he had great power. One thing was certain about him: whatsoever he decided, he would risk all for it. He would not look back, he would never escape even if he had to lose his life he would lose his life. And three times he was almost shot dead – almost, but he pulled himself back into life somehow; the purpose was still unfulfilled.

Those thirty people traveled all over the world. They came to India; they went to Tibet and the whole Middle East, all the Sufi monasteries, all the Himalayan monasteries. And they had decided to come back to a certain place in the Middle East and to relate whatsoever they had gained; after each twelve years they were going to meet. At the end of the first twelve years almost half of them did not return; they must have died somehow, or forgotten the mission, or become entangled somewhere. Somebody must have got married, fallen in love. A thousand and one things can happen – people are accident-prone. Only fifteen people returned. And after the next twelve years only three people came back. And the third time only Gurdjieff was there, all the others had disappeared. What happened to them nobody knows.

But this man had very great decisiveness: if he had decided then nothing was going to deter him. He was almost killed three times; the only thing that saved him was his mission, that he had to go back, and he pulled himself out of his death. It needed great inner power.

He had no time to become an intellectual. He was moving with mystics – from one monastery to another monastery, from one cave to another cave, from one country to another country. He came to India, he went to Tibet, he went up to Japan; he gathered knowledge from all over the world. By the time he himself became enlightened there was no time left for him to intellectualize it, to put it into words. He knew the taste, but the words were not there. He needed a man like Ouspensky.

My own approach has been totally different. I began as an intellectual – not only in this life but in many lives. My whole work in many lives has been concerned with the intellect – refining the intellect, sharpening the intellect. In this life I began as an atheist with an absolute denial of God.

You cannot be an atheist if you are not supra-intellectual, and I was an absolute atheist. People used to avoid me because I was doubting each and every thing and my doubt was contagious. Even my teachers would avoid me.

One of my teachers was dying; I went to see him. He said, “Please… I am happy that you have come, but don’t say a single word because this is not the time. I am dying and I want to die believing that God is.”

I said, “You cannot. Seeing me, the doubt has already arisen.’

He said, “What do you mean?”

And the thing started! Before he died, just after twelve hours, he died an atheist. And I was so happy! I had to work for twelve hours continuously. Out of desperation he said, “Okay, let me die peacefully. I say that there is no God. Are you happy? Now leave me alone!”

My university professors were always in difficulties. I was expelled from one college, then another, and then thrown out of one university. Finally one university admitted me with the condition – I had to sign it, a written condition – that I would not ask any questions and I would not argue with the professors.

I said okay. I signed it and the Vice-Chancellor was very happy. And I said, “Now, a few things. What do you mean by ‘argument’?”

He said, “Here you go!”

I said, ”I have not written that I would not ask for any clarification. I can ask for a clarification. What do you mean by an ‘argument’? And if I cannot ask a question, what is the point of your whole department of philosophy? – because all your philosophers ask questions. The whole of philosophy depends on doubt; doubt is the base of all philosophy. If I cannot doubt your stupid philosophers, your stupid professors, then how am I going to learn philosophy?”

He said, “Look at what you are saying! You are calling my professors, in front of me, stupid!”

I said, “They are stupid, otherwise why these conditions? Can you think of somebody being intelligent and asking his students not to question him? Is this a sign of intelligence? A professor will invite questions. An intelligent professor will be happy with a student who can argue well.”

That remained a problem. My whole approach from the very beginning was not that of a Ramakrishna. I am not a devotional type, not at all. I have arrived at God through atheism, not through theism. I have arrived at God not by believing in him but by absolutely doubting him. I have come to a certainty because I have doubted and I went on doubting till there was no possibility to doubt anymore, till I came across something indubitable. That has been my process.

That was not the process of Gurdjieff. He was learning from Masters, moving from one Master to another Master, learning techniques and methods and devices. He learned many devices, but he learned in a very surrendered spirit, that of a disciple.

I have never been anybody’s disciple; nobody has been my Master. In fact, nobody was ready to accept me as a disciple, because who would like to create trouble?

[…]

My whole approach has been a totally different approach than that of Ramakrishna and Gurdjieff. I have arrived through doubt; I have arrived through deep and profound skepticism. I have arrived not through belief but through the denial of all belief and disbelief too, because disbelief is belief in a negative form.

A moment came in my life when all beliefs and all disbeliefs disappeared and I was left utterly empty. In that emptiness the explosion happened. Hence it is not so difficult for me, so I can argue easily. I can even argue against argument; that’s what I am going to continue to do. I can argue against intellect because I know how to use intellect.

Ramakrishna had never used his intellect; he started from the heart. And the same is the case with Gurdjieff. Buddha could use the intellect because he was the son of a king, well educated, well cultured. All the great philosophers of the country were called to teach him; he knew what the intellectual approach was. And then he became fed up with it.

The same happened with me. I know what can be achieved through intellectual effort: nothing can be achieved through it. When I say it I say it through my own experience.

But it has been beautiful in one way. It did not result in giving me truth – it cannot give truth to anybody – but in an indirect way it has cleansed the ground, it has prepared the ground. It has not helped me to realize myself, but it has helped me to communicate whatsoever I have realized.

I can communicate with you very easily, with no problems. You can ask all kinds of questions, you can ask, you can doubt, because I know that all these questions and doubts can be quashed, they can be destroyed. And it is good that you should ask because then I can destroy your questions. Once all your questions are destroyed, the answer arises in your own being. In that utter emptiness something wells up; it is already there.

I am not in favor of repressing doubt by believing. You are not here to believe in me, you are here to bring out all your disbelief. Your doubts, your questions, all are respected, welcome, so that they can be taken out from you. Slowly, slowly a silence, a state of not-knowing arises. And the state of not-knowing is the state of wisdom, is the state of enlightenment.

-Osho

Excerpt from Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter Eight

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