Sakshi, the Witness – Osho

What does sakshi mean? Sakshi means the seer, the witness. Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the body?” Who is this who is experiencing that “I am not the mind?” Who is this who goes on denying that “I am not this, I am not this?” There is an element of seeing, of watching, of the watcher within us which sees, which observes everything.

This seer is the sakshi, the witness. What is seen is the world. The one who is seeing is who I am, and what is being seen is the world. Adhyas, the illusion, means that the one who is seeing misunderstands himself to be all that is seen. This is the illusion.

There is a diamond in my hand: I am seeing it. If I start saying that I am the diamond, that is an illusion. This illusion has to be broken and one has to come, finally, to that pure element which is always the seer and is never the seen. This is a little difficult. The one who is the seer can never be seen, because by whom will it be seen? You can see everything in the world except yourself. How will you see yourself? – Because two will be needed for seeing, one who sees and the other who is seen. We can grab everything with a pair of tongs except the tongs themselves. That effort will fail. We may find it puzzling that when the tongs grab everything, why can they not grab themselves?

We see everything, but we are not able to see ourselves. And we will never be able to. Whatsoever you can see, know well that that is not you. Thus take one thing to be certain, that whatsoever you are able to see is not you. If you are able to see God, then one thing has become certain, that you are not God. If you have seen light within you, one thing is conclusive, that you are not light. If you have an experience of bliss within you, one thing is determined, that you are not bliss. Whatsoever has been experienced, you are not that. You are that which experiences.

So whatsoever becomes your experience, you are beyond it. Therefore it will be useful to understand one difficult point here, that spirituality is not an experience. Everything in the world is an experience, but not spirituality. Spirituality is reaching towards that which experiences all, but which itself never becomes an experience. It always remains the experiencer, the witness, the seer.

I see you: you are on one side; I am on the other side. You are there, the one who is being seen; I am here, the one who is seeing. These are two entities.

There is no way of dividing oneself into two so that one part sees and the other part is seen. Even if it was possible to divide, then the part that would be seeing is myself, the part that would be seen would not be myself. The matter is finished.

This is the whole process or methodology of the Upanishads: neti, neti – neither this nor that. Whatsoever can be seen, say that you are not that. Whatsoever can be experienced, say that you are not that. You can go on stepping backwards, until nothing remains that can be denied or eliminated. A moment comes when all scenes are lost. A moment comes when all experiences are dropped – all!

Remember, all! The experience of sex is of course dropped; the experiences of meditation are also dropped. The experiences of the world, of love and hate are dropped; the experiences of bliss and enlightenment are also dropped. Only the pure seer remains. Nothing is there to be seen; only emptiness remains all around, only the watcher remains and the empty sky all around. In the middle stands the seer, the watcher, who sees nothing because everything has been denied and eliminated that could be seen. Now he experiences nothing. He has removed all experiences from his way. Now he remains alone, the one who was experiencing.

When there is no experience, there is no seeing; there is nothing seen and there is no object to be seen, and the witness alone remains. It becomes very difficult to express in language what really happens because we have no other word except ‘experience’ in our language, therefore we call it ‘self-experience’ or ‘self-realization’. The word experience is not right. We say “experience of consciousness” or “experience of the Brahma, the absolute,” but none of these expressions are right, because the word experience belongs to that same world which we have eliminated. The word experience does have a meaning in the world of duality, where there was ‘the other’ too. Here it has no meaning at all. Here only the experiencer remains, the witness remains.

The search for this witness is spirituality.


From Finger Pointing to the Moon, Chapter Three

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Witnessing is a Matter of Being – Osho

Should I repeat in my mind, “I am a witness, I am a witness …”?

Witnessing is not a matter of repeating, it is a matter of being. Because I am explaining it to you, I have to say it in words: “Feel in yourself, ‘I am just a witness.’” There are two things in it … This is a very significant question. If you go on repeating in your mind “I am a witness, I am a witness,” it will work as a mantra. Then slowly, slowly, it will become something like chanting, “Rama, Rama. Rama, Rama, Rama, Rama.”

Don’t repeat in words, “I am a witness.” You have to experience, “I am a witness.” There is a difference between these two. You have to experience, “Who am I?” in relation to whatever is taking place. “What is my relationship to it?” Then you will discover the relationship of the witness. Witnessing does not mean you go on repeating the words, “I am a witness.” Otherwise it will have no more significance than a mantra. “I am a witness. My experience of this must go on deepening.”

For instance, with the sounds going on all around, what am I toward this sound? I am a witness. Even these words I am creating just in order to convey it to you. You don’t need to create any words within yourself. Just this much knowing is needed: “This is my situation.” To be a witness is “… my situation.”

When you are eating, for a moment bow down your head and look within: “What am I doing?” Then you will know: “The body is eating, I am just a witness.” This witnessing must be an experiencing. It is not a repeating of words. Repetition in words is pointless.

Because I am explaining it to you, the difficulty arises; I have to explain it through words. If I am talking to you, I have to use words. And then I am aware of the danger that somebody may sit down and start repeating every day, “I am a witness, I am a witness.” If he continues doing it, after just a couple of times it will become a dead routine. He won’t even be aware of what he is saying. He will go on repeating, “I am a witness, I am a witness.” He will look at the clock, get up after half an hour and nothing will be gained. He will remain exactly the same. On top of that, he wasted half an hour. And the stupid work he did during that half an hour – “I am a witness, I am a witness” – also disturbed his mind.

It is not a question of repeating in words – it is an experiencing. Everything which is happening around me, toward that, my attitude is of a witness.


From Falling in Love with Darkness, Chapter Nine

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What Is, Is, What Ain’t, Ain’t – Osho

Veet Kalpu means – and it has to be remembered by and by – that you start dropping your imagination. What is, is, what ain’t, ain’t. Let that be your mantra.

Do all meditations that are available here, but I am giving you a special meditation too: a zazen method.

Every day at least for one hour, sit silently anywhere — go to the river, or to the garden, or here in the ashram, somewhere where nobody is disturbing. Relax the muscles of the body; don’t strain. With closed eyes, tell the mind, ‘Now go on. Do whatsoever you want to do. I will witness and I will watch.’

And you will be surprised — for a few moments you will see that the mind is not working at all. For a few moments — sometimes just for a second — you will see that the mind is not working at all, and in that gap you will have a feel of reality without imagination. But it will be only for a moment, a very small moment, and then the mind will start working.

When the mind starts working and thoughts start running and images floating, you will not become aware immediately — only later on, after a few minutes, will you become aware that the mind is working and you have lost your way now. Then again hold your attention; tell the mind ‘Now go on, and I will be just a witness’ and again the mind will stop for a second.

Those seconds are tremendously valuable. Those are the first moments of reality… first glimpses of reality, first windows… very small. Just small holes and they come and go, but in those moments you will start having the taste of reality.

So continue other meditations, you have to do a few groups, but this is a special method that you have to do on your own. And slowly, slowly, by and by, you will see that those intervals are bigger and bigger. They will happen only when you are tremendously alert.

When you are tremendously alert the mind does not function, because the attention itself functions like a light in a dark room. When the light is there, darkness is not there. When you are present, the mind is absent — your presence is the mind’s absence. When you are not present, the mind starts functioning. Your absence is the mind’s presence.

So when you are present there is no imagination. When imagination is there, you are not there — and you both cannot be together. That has never happened and cannot happen by the very nature of things.

So just do this method on your own, and as I told you, this name will take your whole life to decode… because if you can come to know reality as it is without imagination, you have come home! Then there is nothing else to be achieved .

— Osho

From What Is, Is, What Ain’t, Ain’t, Chapter One

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Awareness Plus Action – Osho

The reality is always there waiting just near your heart, near your eyes, near your hands. You can touch it, you can feel it, you can live it – but you cannot think it. Seeing is possible, feeling is possible, touching is possible – but thinking is not possible.

Try to understand the nature of thinking. Thinking is always about, it is never direct. You can see the reality, but you will have to think about it and ‘about’ is the trap, because whenever you think about you have moved away. ‘About’ means indirect. ‘About’ means you will not see this flower here and now, you will think about it, and the ‘about’ will become a barrier. Through that ‘about’ you will never reach to this flower.

Seeing is direct, touching is direct – thinking is indirect. That’s why thinking misses. A lover can know the reality, even a dancer can know it, a singer can feel it, but a thinker goes on missing it.

I have heard about one Jewish philosopher. He was an ordinary peasant but very philosophic. His name was Yossel. He would think about everything, as philosophers do. It was very difficult for him to do anything because thinking would take all his time, and by the time he was ready the opportunity was lost.

Once he went to the market, to a nearby village, to sell his wheat. He told his wife, “As soon as I am able to sell the wheat, immediately I will send you a telegram.”

He sold the wheat with much profit so he wrote a telegram, went to the post office, filled in the form – and then started thinking about it.

He wrote: “Wheat sold profitably. Coming tomorrow. Love and kisses, Yossel.”

Then he started thinking and he thought, “My wife will think I have gone mad. Why ‘profitably’? Am I going to sell my wheat at a loss?” So he crossed out the word ‘profitably.’ Then he became more concerned, because if he could miss and write a wrong word he may have made other errors also. So he looked, started thinking about each word.

Then he said, “Why ‘coming tomorrow’? Am I going to come next month? Or next year? My wife knows that I will come as soon as the wheat is sold.” So he crossed out the words ‘coming tomorrow.’

Then he thought, “My wife already knows that I have come to sell the wheat, so why write, ‘sold wheat’?” He crossed that out too. And then he started laughing. He said, “I am writing to my own wife. Why should I write ‘love and kisses’? Am I writing to somebody else’s wife? And is it her birthday or Yom Kippur or something?”

He crossed out that too.

Now only his name remained: Yossel. He said to himself, “Yossel, have you gone mad? Your wife already knows your name.” So he tore up the telegram, happy that he had saved much money and foolishness.

But this is how it happens: if you go on thinking ‘about’, you miss the whole life – everything is crossed out by and by. In the end you are also crossed out – not only is the word crossed out, you are also in the end crossed out. Thinking becomes smoke; everything moves into it and everything is finished.

And action becomes impossible – even to send a telegram is not possible. Action becomes impossible because action is direct and thinking is indirect. They never meet.

This is the problem in the world. People who think, they never act; and people who don’t think, they go on acting. The world is in misery. People who are fools, they go on acting because they never think, they jump in everything. Hitlers and Napoleons and Maos, they go on doing things, and wise people, the so-called thinkers – Aristotle, or Kant, or Hegel – they go on thinking, they never do anything.

The problem for a man who is seeking reality is how to stop the vicious circle of thinking, yet be aware. Because fools also don’t think, but they are not aware. Be aware – the energy that moves into thinking should become awareness. Consciousness that goes on in a vicious circle with thinking should be retained, purified. Thinking should stop, the whirling of consciousness should stop, but not consciousness. Consciousness should become more crystallized and action should be there, action should not stop.

Awareness plus action, and you will attain reality immediately. And not only you – you will create a situation in which others can also attain reality. You will become a milieu, a climate around which things will start happening. That’s what happened with a Buddha, with a Sosan, with a Chuang Tzu.

Remember: action is good, thinking is a vicious circle; it never leads anywhere. So thinking has to stop but not action. There are people who will go on thinking; action will stop. That’s how it happens when a person renounces life, moves to the forest or the Himalayas. He renounces action, not thinking. He renounces the world where action was needed. He is renouncing reality itself, because through action you come in contact with reality. Seeing is action, moving is action, dancing is action, painting is action. Whatsoever you do, you come in contact with reality.

You have to become more and more sensitive in your doing. Doing is not to be renounced; action should be totally there, because that is the passage through which you move into reality and the reality moves into you. Try to understand, because this is very basic – basic to me: renounce thinking, don’t renounce action.

There are people who go on thinking, and there are people who go on renouncing action. But in the Himalayas what will they do? Then the whole energy, not moving in action, will move into thinking. They will become great philosophers. But philosophy is a fool’s land; you live in words, not in realities. Love disappears, only the word ‘love’ is retained. God disappears; because he was there in the fields, in the market, in the world, but the word ’God’ is retained. Actions disappear, only concepts are carried. Your head becomes your whole being.

Avoid. Never renounce action, only renounce thinking. But if you renounce thinking there is a possibility you may become unconscious, or you may become a fool. You may start doing anything whatsoever, because now you don’t know what to do, and you don’t think. You may go crazy.

Thinking is to be renounced, but you are not to become more unaware, more unconscious. You have to become more conscious.

This is the whole art of meditation: how to be deep in action, how to renounce thinking, and how to convert the energy that was moving into thinking to become awareness.

It is going to be very delicate and subtle, because if you miss a step you fall into infinite ignorance.

It is easy to drop thinking, but then you go to sleep. Every day in deep sleep it happens: you renounce, thinking stops – but then you are no more there, consciousness drops. Your consciousness has become too attached, associated, with thinking, so whenever thinking stops you fall into a coma.

And this is the problem. One has to renounce thinking and not fall into a coma, because the coma will not lead you to reality. If you fall unconscious you are not going into reality, you are simply fast asleep: the conscious has merged into the unconscious. Just the reverse has to be attained: the unconscious merges into the conscious. If the conscious falls into the unconscious you fall into a coma, and if the unconscious falls into the conscious and becomes conscious itself, you become enlightened, you become a Buddha, a Sosan.

And it is very easy to help the conscious fall down into the unconscious, because it is a very small fragment. One tenth of your being is conscious, nine tenths of your being is unconscious. Just a small fragment has become conscious, and that too is always wavering. Any moment it can fall, it is very easy.

That’s how it happens in intoxication: you take alcohol, the conscious falls into the unconscious.

Hence the appeal in all the ages and all the climates and in all the countries of alcohol. And this is what happens when you take a drug: the conscious falls into the unconscious.

It is beautiful because thinking stops. Sleep is beautiful and you have many, many dreams. And if you are a good dreamer then a drug will give you beautiful dreams – fantastic, more colorful than any dream can be, more luminous. You move into paradise, into a dreamland, but you are not moving into reality.

LSD, marijuana, mescaline, or any drug, gives you only a good sleep, and in that good sleep you dream. Those dreams are colorful, and your life is so poor and your life is such a misery that you would even like to live those dreams rather than live in this miserable life. You would choose – if that was the only choice – to live in a beautiful dream rather than to live in this miserable life. This life is like a nightmare. Even if a drug is only going to give you a luminous dream, colorful, three dimensional, why not take it? Because what is there in this life? Because life is in such a mess you choose dreams.

Drugs, alcohol, or other sorts of intoxicants, they have always been used by religious people. But through them you never move into the reality. Through them you fall into a torpor, into a coma. And in that coma you can have dreams.

And if you have been thinking too much about God, you can see God, because you can project your own dreams. Dreams can be directed and guided. If you have been thinking too much of Christ, then while under the influence of a drug Christ will appear to you. This is your own mind playing games. If you have been too much attached to Krishna then he will be standing there with his flute on his lips, singing and dancing. If a Hindu, a devotee of Krishna, takes LSD he will see Krishna, and a Christian will see Jesus, and a Buddhist will see Buddha – but these are mind projections. Reality is miserable but don’t hanker after dreams, because if you hanker after dreams then there is only one way: how to help the conscious become unconscious again.

A small part has come up out of unconsciousness, and that is the beauty of a human being. Agony and ecstasy both, but that is the beauty of a human being, that he has become an island in a vast unconscious. This island has to grow higher and higher so it becomes a continent. Through drugs it will go again underwater, you will live again the life of an animal or a tree – beautiful in themselves but not worthy of you, because you are losing so much. And you could have attained reality; that island could have become a continent. But not only drugs – there are other subtle means also to help the conscious become unconscious.

Through music it can be done, through chanting it can be done. If you repeat a mantra continuously you will fall asleep, because anything monotonous brings coma.

They are subtle means, on the surface not like drugs. In every temple, church it is going on – and temples and churches are against drugs, and they don’t know what they are doing. They are also using subtle drugs, not so crude as LSD or marijuana but still drugs – because when you chant a certain word continuously it gives you sleep, it cannot give you anything else.

You relax. The very chanting gives you a deep boredom. The same word – ram, ram, ram – you go on, you go on, you go on… What will you do? Because mind remains alert only if something new is happening, otherwise mind goes to sleep. If something new is happening then mind is alert. If nothing new is happening, only ram, ram, ram, a chanting, and you know again and again it will happen, infinitely, the mind starts feeling sleepy.

Every mother knows this. Whenever a child is not going to sleep she will repeat a line of a song, very simple, two, three words, and she will repeat the same again and again – a lullaby. It becomes a mantra and the child goes to sleep. And the mind is the same – whether you are a child or an old man makes no difference – the mind goes into sleep through lullabies, but the process is the same.

Thinking has to be stopped, but not by becoming unconscious. Thinking has to be stopped by becoming more conscious, alert, aware, so the energy that is moving in thinking moves into consciousness, and a witnessing arises in you. So remember, thinking has to be stopped not through chanting, but through becoming a witness to the thought process – looking at it, watching it, a watcher on the hills, looking, seeing…

If you deeply see and penetrate the words, they start disappearing. A gap comes, an interval. Clouds disappear and the blue sky is seen. You are alert, sensitive – not in a coma. More unconsciousness has been drawn into consciousness; your flame is bigger, more vital, and you can see more, you can touch more, you can smell more. And your action takes on a new quality, the quality of divineness.

Whenever a Buddha touches you, the touch is different. You also touch, you also feel sometimes differences. You touch a man just casually, and then you don’t move through the hand. Then the hand is dead, closed; you simply say hello with a dead hand. You can feel it, that the hand has been given but yet not given. It was diplomatic. The hand was not alive, not warm, not meeting and merging with you. Sometimes when in love the hand is given, it is a merger, energy flows through it, it is an opening. Through the hand the being comes to meet you. It is warm, it is alive, it trusts you.

When a Buddha touches you, it is absolutely different, the quality has changed. Because whenever the consciousness is total, absolute, every action becomes total. When he touches, he becomes just the touch. He is nothing any more. His whole being is the touch, he flows into it. He is nowhere else, he is in the touch.

At that moment he is no more eyes, he is no more ears; at that moment his whole being is transformed into touch. He becomes a total touch, and you will feel that you are illuminated through his touch – energy has moved into you. If you were not ready you may even be shocked. If you were ready then you will rejoice, you will be delighted in it.

When a Buddha looks at you he becomes just the eyes; otherwise is not possible, because he is not divided within. When you look, you look and you do many other things also. Thinking goes on, you go on divided. Your eyes are not total.

When a Buddha looks at you his eyes are total. They will be like a burning sun. They will penetrate you, they will make a hole within your being, they will go directly to your heart. You will never be the same again – if you allow. Otherwise you can remain closed and he cannot penetrate you. Even if he touches, he touches a dead corpse; you can remain closed.

Whenever consciousness is there, and action, consciousness and action become a totality.


From Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing, Chapter Three

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That Unity is Witnessing – Osho

Where is the witness when the observer and the observed become one?

Anand Pravesh, the observer and the observed are two aspects of the witness. When they disappear into each other, when they melt into each other, when they are one, the witness for the first time arises in its totality.

But this question arises in many people; the reason is that they think the witness is the observer. In their minds, the observer and the witness are synonymous. It is fallacious; the observer is not the witness, but only a part of it. And whenever the part thinks of itself as the whole, error arises.

The observer means the subjective and the observed means the objective. The observer means that which is outside the observed, and the observer also means that which is inside.

The inside and the outside can’t be separate; they are together, they can only be together.

When this togetherness, or rather oneness, is experienced, the witness arises. You cannot practice the witness. If you practice the witness you will be practicing only the observer, and the observer is not the witness.

Then what has to be done? Melting has to be done, merging has to be done. Seeing a rose flower, forget completely that there is an object seen and a subject as a seer. Let the beauty of the moment, the benediction of the moment, overwhelm you both, so the rose and you are no more separate, but you become one rhythm, one song, one ecstasy.

Loving, experiencing music, looking at the sunset, let it happen again and again. The more it happens the better, because it is not an art but a knack. You have to get the knack of it; once you have got it, you can trigger it anywhere, any moment.

When the witness arises, there is nobody who is witnessing and there is nothing to be witnessed. It is a pure mirror, mirroring nothing. Even to say it is a mirror is not right; it will be better to say it is a mirroring. It is more a dynamic process of melting and merging; it is not a static phenomenon, it is a flow. The rose reaching you, you reaching into the rose: it is a sharing of being.

Forget that idea that the witness is the observer; it is not. The observer can be practiced, the witness happens. The observer is a kind of concentration, and the observer keeps you separate. The observer will enhance, strengthen your ego. The more you become an observer, the more you will feel like an island, separate, aloof, distant.

Down the ages, the monks all over the world have been practicing the observer. They may have called it the witness, but it is not the witness. The witness is something totally different, qualitatively different. The observer can be practiced, cultivated; you can become a better observer through practicing it.

The scientist observes, the mystic witnesses. The whole process of science is that of observation; very keen, acute, sharp observation, so nothing is missed. But the scientist does not come to know God. Although his observation is very, very expert, yet he remains unaware of God. He never comes across God; on the contrary, he denies that God is, because the more he observes — and his whole process is that of observation — the more he becomes separate from existence. The bridges are broken and walls arise; he becomes imprisoned in his own ego.

The mystic witnesses. But remember, witnessing is a happening, a by-product—a byproduct of being total in any moment, in any situation, in any experience. Totality is the key: out of totality arises the benediction of witnessing. Forget all about observing. It will give you more accurate information about the observed object, but you will remain absolutely oblivious of your own consciousness.

Science is objective, art is subjective, religion is neither—neti neti, neither this nor that.

Then what is religion? Religion is the meeting of the object and the subject, religion is the meeting of the lover and the beloved. Religion is the disappearance of the separation,  of the duality. And in that separation energy is released; energy that was confined by the dual, that was kept separate, simply dances in utter unity.

That unity is witnessing. It happens only once in a while to you, and even then you don’t take much note of it, because it comes like a flash and it is gone. And because you don’t understand it, you don’t preserve the experience. In fact you neglect it, you ignore it; it seems to be dangerous.

It happens when you are in a deep orgasmic state, when the woman and man meet and merge and disappear into each other. It happens only for a single moment at the highest peak. When their energies are no more two, when the energies have penetrated into each other so deeply that you cannot call them two at all… that orgasmic peak is the moment where witnessing arises. This is the whole secret of Tantra. Tantra discovered that in orgasmic ecstasy witnessing arises on its own accord. It is a gift from God, a natural gift to enter into samadhi.

But it happens in all creative experiences, because all creative experiences are orgasmic; in a subtle sense, there is something of the sexual and the sensuous in them. When a painter looks at the trees, then the green and the red and the gold of the trees is not the same as when you look at the trees. His experience is orgasmic; he is utterly lost in it. He is not there as an observer, he falls in deep rapport. He becomes one with the green and the red and the gold of the trees.

The painter knows that looking at the beautiful existence is an orgasmic experience.

Hence, while the painter is painting, he becomes absolutely nonsexual; he becomes celibate. He is already experiencing orgasmic joy, he need not go into sex at all. Celibacy comes naturally to him.

Thousands of poets and painters and musicians have remained celibate, and with no effort. Monks remain celibate with great effort. Why? The monk is uncreative; in his life there is no orgasmic experience, his mind hankers for the sexual experience. The poet, the musician, the artist, the dancer who is capable of being lost into whatsoever he is doing, is having orgasmic experiences on a higher plane; sex is not a necessity. If once in a while such a person moves into sex, it is not out of need, it is just playfulness, it is simple playfulness. And when sex has the quality of playfulness it is sacred. When it is out of need it is a little bit ugly, because out of need you exploit the other, and out of need it can never take you to the highest orgasmic peak. You remain always discontented somewhere or other, because out of need means there is a motive, there is goal orientation. There is manipulation, exploitation, an effort to use the other as a means. When you are simply playful, it is totally different.

D.H. Lawrence is right when he says that he experienced God in sexual orgasm. But his sexuality is totally different from the sexuality of the monks. They will not be able to understand Lawrence.

Lawrence was one of the most misunderstood men of this century, one of the most beautiful, one of the most creative, one of the most precious, but the most misunderstood.

And the reason is that his experience has a totally different quality. When he is talking about sexual orgasm, he is not talking about your sexual orgasm, he is talking about his sexual orgasm. Only very rare people will be able to understand him. He is a natural Tantrika—unaware of the science of Tantra, but he stumbled upon it. Somehow a window has opened in his life; his sensuality is spiritual.

It is not a question of what you do; it is a question of how you do it. And ultimately it is a question whether you do it or you allow it to happen. If you allow it to happen, then whenever there is a creative meeting you will suddenly become a witness. The observer and the observed become one in it—in fact it happens only when they become one.


From The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 23

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Re-establishment in Reality – Jean Klein

Question: What does sadhana mean?

Answer: What truly exists is ultimate reality, the Self. The ego and the world are no more than objects superimposed upon it. “I am”, which is the source of all experience, is beyond the experiencer/experienced duality. When we place the accent on the “I am”, on being aware, and not on thought nor on perception, we gradually become deeply relaxed, both on the neuro-muscular level and on a mental plane.

If we disinterestedly observe all the states we experience, we soon come to realize that each perception, each thought, is reabsorbed into knowledge, ‘I know’: the only true reality, before any other activity commences. Let yourself sink deeply within this stillness each time it makes itself felt.

The world you perceive is none other than a figment of the imagination founded on memory, fear, anxiety and desire. You have locked yourself away within this world. See this without jumping to conclusions and you will be free. There is no need for you to free yourself from a world which exists only in your imagination.

What you take to be reality is only a concept arising from memory. Memory arises from the mind, the mind from the witness, the witness from the Self. You are the witness, the onlooker standing by the riverside, changeless, beyond the limits of space and time: you cannot perceive what is permanent, because you are it.

Do not nourish the ideas you have built around yourself, nor the image people have of you. Be neither someone nor something, just don’t play the game. This will bring about being, constant awareness.

The personality is nothing other than a projection, a habit created by memory and nourished by desire. Ask yourself the question “Who am I?” and lucidly observe that you are not this thinker, doer, sufferer; all these forms appear and disappear indefinitely creating an illusion of continuity. The idea of being a person, an ego, is nothing else but an image. It is a reflection created by the Self, with which it identifies itself.

It is inherent to creativity to identify itself with its creation. The world of objects, just like the ego, is only a figment of your imagination, your creation. The teacher helps you to understand, by his presence and his gift of teaching, that you are neither object nor ego. The objectless thought without object, is the only real link between the mind and the witness, for the witness carries with it the scent of the Self. “I am this or that” is only part of your imagination, a hallucination. The objectless ‘I’ points towards its source, its origin, and finally loses itself in stillness beyond time.

Observe the way your mind moves, works, without having any preconceived ideas about it. A moment will come when you discover yourself to be the witness. Subsequently, when all striving has left you, you will realise that you are the light shining behind the observer. Reality is neither a product of the mind nor the result of a whole train of thoughts, it just is. The only method we can suggest is to observe impartially the way in which your mind reacts in the different circumstances of everyday life. But of course you must realise that you can never find your true Self in a perception. Live as previously, thinking and feeling, but become aware of these functions, thus you will spontaneously free yourself from them.

What you think of as your personality will vanish, leaving only the witness. In the end, he will lose himself in ultimate knowledge.

Above all don’t ask me how this comes about.

Question: How can we detach ourselves from objects?

Answer: Being attached to things and repeating things over in one’s mind come from fear, a need for security. You become a slave to them. We cannot free ourselves from their grasp by discipline nor by exercises because there is nothing to strive for, nothing to be attained. Freedom from objects comes directly from our true nature when you “know your real self”. This realisation is a spontaneous intuition which leaves you in a state of being, of fullness, free from the becoming process.

This mind is an extension of our being, it can only function harmoniously when illuminated by the Self. All forms of control submit us to memory. A controlled mind can never act freely, nor spontaneously. Of course we can say that memory is the best of all tools, but it is a poor guide, for it functions within the framework of the already known. The unknown, what is new, unique, is a closed world to us. Since the independent ego, which we take ourselves to be, is the source of all our anxiety, we cannot rid ourselves of it by effort or discipline. Effort is a driving force resulting from constraint. By clear-sighted awareness of cause and effect, another view will open out for you. Then the problems, together with the emotional involvement they imply, will leave you.

Any form of exercise is bound to be a goal, to a result. It is an obstacle. Be aware of your constant desire to be this or that. There is no goal to be reached since what you are looking for is here and now and always has been. Then the mind, free from all desire to become, will be at peace, and the centre of attention will shift from the object to the ultimate subject, a foretaste of your real Self. Be vigilant, clear-sighted, don’t strive to become.

Question: What should we do when there is a striving towards something during meditation?

Answer: You must simply witness it. The only obstacle to this meditation is the striving behind it. Sooner or later you will be attention, attention without object. This would seem to have no meaning when talking of attention, for one is necessarily attentive towards something. But this attention is absolutely empty. It is not focused on an object, it is free from any memory.

Question: My biggest stumbling block is the world of difference that exists between the intuition I encounter while meditating and the fact that everything is forgotten once I undertake my daily activities. In the end I begin to wonder why I meditate at all, for an hour later I have forgotten everything and am once again submerged by objects.

Answer: The problem is this; during meditation you experience and contemplate a vacant state of mind, what you perceive is the absence of activity. You know this absence but do not yet know the knower. Once you are knowingly this knower, you will know “being”, whether the mind be active or passive. There will be no difference, no change: from then on, this awareness will be an unwavering certainty. •

During meditation you will experience total emptiness which in a way is still an object. Absence of thought inevitably implies eventual presence of thought. Thus what you sense is a state of deep peace free from activity. One day this void, this blank, will vanish too and you will encounter ultimate stillness.

Up till now you have contemplated a calmed mind, but should a bird sing or someone speak, your inner silence is broken. That is why you ask this question. By its very nature, the mind is occasionally empty; it is nonetheless nothing but an instrument.

Question: I can’t see how you can possibly lead an everyday life and “be” at the same time.

Answer: Everyday life appears before someone. You are this someone but you are not what appears day after day. Question yourself deeply: To whom do these things appear? Who judges them, condemns them? Who swings between likes and dislikes, and who is it that is also an integral part of what appears?

You know the person that refuses, accepts or chooses. What you are fundamentally is completely beyond all this. You know moments when you must make a choice and others free from choice.

Within yourself you must distinguish between the person involved in choosing and the observer, who is ever-impartial. You will come to place yourself knowingly in this presence free from choice. Here, what we call everyday life takes root and flourishes. Here, there is no person bound by fear, desire or anxiety, to choose, intervene, or interrupt the natural flow of life.

From what you have said you would think that everyday life was nothing but a burden. Who for? Drop the ‘who’, and you will see that there is no burden to bear.

Question: How can I free myself from mental confusion?

Answer: Constantly witness your doings. Vigilance purifies the mind and sooner or later will place you knowingly beyond it.

You encounter ups and downs in your search for the Self because you do not yet see things in their true perspective—as a whole. They will continue just as long as you consider yourself in terms of “I am my body”. The mind will lead you astray until you perceive its true nature.

The basis for re-establishment in true reality is the act of listening, free from the past, to what the teacher has said, and to the reminders that this creates.

The unspoken word, acting as a background to all that takes form, enables this truth to bec6me experience. Be clear-headed, and don’t hang on to what you are not. The universe of which you are the source obeys its own laws. Don’t look for reasons for what you believe to be. It is a completely useless expense of energy. What you are basically is without cause, beyond improvement. Thinking in terms of a doer responsible for his acts stems from the illusion of the ego and its characteristics.

You must frequently turn to this background, as often as the chance to do so occurs. Your attention is constantly turned either towards objects or to ideas, and you have no sense of being, it is completely unknown to you. Become the spectator, become aware of the natural flow of life, your motives, actions, and what results from them. Observe the walls you have built around yourself. As you become more aware of your body and mind you will come to know yourself. As this image subsides of things, as you believe them to be, you will have a clear-headed insight of what you are, something quite other than a product of the mind. This insight results from elimination. All confirmations come from memory, are outside real experience. You will gradually feel less and less involved in whatever should come up. You will discover yourself to be the perceiver. Once you free yourself from the idea, “I am the body” and the consequences, you will awaken to your natural state of being. Give yourself up entirely to this discovery. True awareness cannot be obtained by projecting known factors in terms of concepts and perceptions. What you are fundamentally cannot be experienced through reason and is only reached once you eliminate what you are not.

A willful ego hinders you from being. The witness must enter upon the scene, enabling the ego to be recognized for what it is, an object. This witness opens the door to being. The ego cannot “know” itself, it identifies with what it thinks, feels, experiences. The teacher leads the disciple away from what he believes himself to be, in order to enable him to get to know his real Self and awaken to all his perceptions. For the ego, there is nothing but resistance, defense, agitation. It is the witness that shines forth and shows up the ego for what it is, an illusion.

The meditative state leads us to discover what we really are. We become aware of our body and thought patterns, of the reasons that motivate our actions of which we were scarcely conscious. By allowing our thoughts to follow on one from another, to develop fully without our intervening, this meditative state becomes a purification, a letting go, without there being a person that purifies or lets go. It is an uninvolved observation post. A whole world of unsuspected energies releases itself, frees itself. Mental activity ceases to be agitated and follows its natural course, allowing us to discover ourselves as the witness, the onlooker. We completely abandon the “I am this, I am that” reflex. The onlooker transcends the experience and the experiencer. He is pure awareness.

The world exists when we think about it, it is ever renewed. It is only memory that gives the false impression of continuity. The individual does not exist outside the ultimate knower, he is but a shadow, nothing, a reflection on the mind’s screen. He is a fabrication of both memory and habit. Always agitated he hopes and claims, searching for confirmation and security, striving to accumulate. Basically, he is frightened and does not dare question himself profoundly.

All perceptions, all experiences are connected with time, but the ultimate knower transcends time. It is a lack of clear-sightedness that causes us to identify with temporality. Any perception of what you think, feel or do is only transitory. The feeling of being acts as a support and is permanent. Accept the invitation that the souvenir of this very feeling creates in you, plunge deep within it, until you are carried away by reality.

-Jean Klein

From Neither This Nor That I Am

Witnessing Without a Center

Perhaps this can be helpful to someone. I have noticed recently that when I watch thoughts (content) there is a container (me). But when I watch the activity (not content), there is only witnessing.

This is important because that means that as long as I am engaging in the content the “me” remains. And if I take one step back and watch the movement, witnessing is, without a center. And this witnessing without a center is delicious.

This “take one step back” is really a misnomer. It is not a question of doing anything but simply “not doing.” Engaging in the content is “doing.” To watch without either grasping or rejecting is not doing and it is by watching without engagement that one finds oneself first witnessing the movement without content and when that movement is also witnessed without engagement, then one is Not, and only awareness Is.