Freedom doesn't choose, it discovers
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOU SAY, "JUST BE YOURSELF"? HOW CAN I BE MYSELF WHEN I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM? I KNOW MANY OF MY PREFERENCES, LIKINGS, DISLIKINGS AND TENDENCIES, WHICH SEEM TO BE THE OUTCOME OF A PROGRAMMED BIOCOMPUTER CALLED THE MIND.
DOES JUST BEING ONESELF MEAN THAT ONE TOTALLY LIVES OUT THE WHOLE CONTENT OF THE MIND AS WATCHFULLY AS POSSIBLE?
Yes, it exactly means that -- to live as an awareness: awareness of all the programs the mind has been conditioned for, awareness of all the impulses, desires, memories, imaginations... all that the mind can do. One has to be not part of it, but separate -- seeing it but not being it -- watching it.
And this is one of the most essential things to remember, that you cannot watch your watchfulness. If you watch your watchfulness, then the watcher is you, not the watched.
So you cannot go beyond watchfulness. The point that you cannot transcend is your being. The point that you cannot go beyond is you. You can watch very easily any thought, any emotion, any sentiment. Just one thing you cannot watch -- and that is your watchfulness. And if you manage to watch it, that means you have shifted: the first watchfulness has become just a thought; now you are the second watcher.
You can go on shifting back, but you cannot get out of watchfulness because it is you:
you cannot be otherwise.
So when I say, "Just be yourself," I am saying to you, "Just be unprogrammed, unconditioned awareness." That's how you had come into the world, and that's how the enlightened person leaves the world. He lives in the world but remains totally separate.
One of the great mystics, Kabir, has a beautiful poem about it. All his poems are just perfect -- nothing can be better. One of his poems says, "I will give back the soul that was given to me at the time of my birth as pure, as clean, as it was given to me. I will give it back that way when I die." He is talking about awareness, that it has remained unpolluted. The whole world was there to pollute it, but he has remained watchful.
All that you need is just to be watchful, and nothing will affect you. This unaffectedness will keep your purity, and this purity has certainly the freshness of life, the joy of existence -- all the treasures that you have been endowed with.
But you become attached to the small things surrounding you and forget the one that you are. It is the greatest discovery in life and the most ecstatic pilgrimage to truth. And you need not be an ascetic, you need not be anti-life; you need not renounce the world and go to the mountains. You can be where you are, you can continue to do what you are doing.
Just a new thing has to be evolved: whatever you do, you do with awareness -- even the smallest act of the body or the mind -- and with each act of awareness you will become aware of the beauty and the treasure and the glory and the eternity of your being.
YOU SAY FREEDOM IS THE GREATEST VALUE FOR YOU. YOU ALSO SAY YOUR ATTITUDE TO LIFE IS THAT OF LET-GO. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU HAVE USED YOUR FREEDOM TO CHOOSE TO GIVE UP THE FREEDOM TO DECIDE ANYTHING, IN FAVOR OF LETTING EXISTENCE TAKE CARE OF YOU. IS THE ULTIMATE IN FREEDOM ACTUALLY TOTAL ENSLAVEMENT?
No, I have not chosen anything.
I have not chosen, out of my freedom, to allow the existence to take care of me. Freedom is choiceless. In freedom I have discovered, not chosen.
With the eyes free, with the consciousness free, I have discovered that let-go is the way existence functions. There was no question of choice -- whether to be with existence or not. It was not either/or, but just the realization that this is the only way existence works.
I relaxed with it.
The people who are not living a life of let-go are choosers, because they are going against nature, against existence; they have to choose. The ego is a chooser. When you are completely free of ego, of self, when you are simply freedom, you see it happening that the fight is disappearing and let-go is taking its place. You are nothing more than a watcher. If you choose it, then it is not let-go. How can it be let-go if you choose it?
It happened that one man came to Gautam Buddha, and he wanted to surrender himself unto Buddha's feet. Buddha looked at him and said, "You cannot surrender."
He said, "Why? Everybody else is allowed, and I am not allowed -- what is my disqualification?"
Buddha laughed and he said, "There is no question of disqualification. Just the nature of surrender is such that you cannot do it -- it happens. If you do it, it is your doing; it is not surrender. And if you do it, you can take it back. It is never total; you are outside of it. It was your action, so you can decide any moment: no more surrender! But if it happens then it takes all of you, the whole of you, leaving nothing behind which can ever do anything against it."
Simple things... but they become complicated because our mind is accustomed only to doing. And these are not mind things. Surrender, let-go -- these are not mind things. For the mind it is impossible to think of them. It can agree to surrender, it can agree to let-go, but it has to be the master, doing it, and it has to be an act -- and that's where everything goes wrong.
Surrender is once and forever; let-go is once and forever -- just as death is once and forever, because nothing is left that can change the course of things. All has been taken in. You are no longer there to have a second thought.
Just the other day I was shown a statement of Rajen, one of our therapists, who is doing as much damaging work as possible. His statement was, "Up to now I was helping Osho's work through surrender; now he has given me freedom. I will still continue to do his work but my work will be different. My work will be to help people to be free of Osho."
Now, in the first place if he was really surrendered, then there is no going back: you cannot do anything about it anymore. It has happened, and you are dissolved in it.
Secondly, I cannot give you freedom, because if I give you freedom I can take it back.
Freedom has to be your realization -- and that would have come through surrender, on its own. Surrender flowers into freedom, because in surrender the self is gone, and all the hell that the self creates is gone. Your whole energy is now available to blossom.
I cannot give freedom to anyone.
Freedom is not a commodity that I can hand over to you; it has to happen at the innermost core of your being. Surrender only removes the hindrances. You surrender only that which is blocking the way for freedom to come to you.
So on the second point also he is wrong. And then on the third he goes really stupid, saying that now his work will be to help people to be free of Osho. The whole world is free of me -- that is not helping them! But what he means... He is now persuading sannyasins not to be sannyasins. And he thinks he is helping people to be in a state of freedom.
There are things which only happen.
Let-go is not an action on your part, but just an understanding of the fact that this is the only way the universe functions, and if you are not functioning in this way, you are going to remain in misery. You are not being punished, you are simply being foolish. The old religions have given the idea to people that if you do wrong, you will be punished; if you do right, you will be rewarded -- because they were all dependent on doing, and that's their basic fallacy.
Religion begins when you cross the boundary of doing and enter into the world of happening. Then let-go happens, because you see that this is the only way things work. If you go against it, you are miserable.
Nobody is punishing you; you are simply being stupid. If you try to get out through the wall and hit your head, do you think it has been a punishment? And there is the door, always available for you to get out. Knowing about the door, you try to get out through the wall and smash your face. Old religions call it punishment. It is not punishment, it is simple foolishness. And the person who goes out of the door into the garden, in the sun, in the air, is not being rewarded; he is just being intelligent.
So if you ask me, I will say intelligence is the reward; unintelligence is the punishment.
In its ultimate form: unintelligence is hell, intelligence is heaven.
LIVING DECISIVELY, KNOWING WHAT ONE WANTS, SEEMS EASY.
HOWEVER, MY REALITY IS THAT I CAN NEVER MAKE UP MY MIND ABOUT ANYTHING. I CAN ALWAYS SEE BOTH SIDES OF AN ARGUMENT AND CAN NEVER DECIDE WHICH IS RIGHT. SO I AM LEFT HANGING BETWEEN THE TWO. ONE PART OF ME, LISTENING TO YOU, FEELS THIS IS OKAY, BUT IT MAKES ME FEEL STATIC, AS IF I AM ONLY PARTIALLY ALIVE. PLEASE COMMENT.
Mind is never decisive. It is not a question of your mind or somebody else's mind; mind is indecisiveness. The functioning of the mind is wavering between two polar opposites and trying to find which is the right way.
Mind is the wrong thing, and through the wrong thing you are trying to find the right way. It is as if by closing your eyes you are trying to find the door. Certainly you will feel yourself hanging between the two -- to go this way or that; you will be always in a condition of either/or. That's the nature of mind.
One great Danish philosopher was Soren Kierkegaard. He wrote a book, EITHER/OR. It was his own life's experience -- he could never decide about anything. Everything was always such that if he was deciding this way, then that way seemed to be right. If he was deciding that way, then this way seemed to be right. He remained indecisive.
He remained unmarried, although a woman was very much in love with him and had asked him. But he said, "I will have to think about it -- marriage is a big thing, and I cannot say yes or no immediately." And he died with the question, without getting married. He lived long -- perhaps seventy years -- and he was continually arguing, discussing. But he found no answer which could be said to be the ultimate answer, which had not its equal opposite.
He never could become a professor. He had filled out the form, he had all the qualifications -- the best qualifications possible -- he had many books to his credit, of such immense importance that even after a century they are still contemporary, not old, not out of date. He filled out the form but could not sign it -- because "either/or"...
whether to join the service or not? The form was found when he died, in the small room where he used to live.
His father, seeing the situation -- and he was his only son -- seeing that even going somewhere he would stop at the crossroads to decide to go this way or to go that way, for hours...! The whole of Copenhagen became aware of this man's strangeness, and children nicknamed him "Either/Or," so urchins would be following him, shouting, "Either/Or!"
wherever he would go.
Before he died his father liquidated all his businesses, collected all the money, deposited it into an account, and arranged that every month on the first day of the month, Kierkegaard should receive so much money, so for his whole life he at least could survive. And you will be surprised: the day he was coming home, on the first day of the month, after taking out the last installment of the money -- the money was finished -- he fell on the street and died. With the last installment! That was the right thing to do. What else to do? -- because after this month, what will he do?
And because of the urchins and other people harassing him and calling him Either/Or he used to come out only once a month, just on the first day, to go to the post office. But now there was nothing left -- next month he had nowhere to go.
He was writing books but was not decisive about whether to publish them or not; he left all his books unpublished. They are of tremendous value. Each book has a great penetration into things. On each subject he has written, he has gone to the very roots, to every minute detail... a genius, but a genius of the mind.
With the mind, that is the problem -- it is not your problem -- and the better mind you have, the more will be the problem. Lesser minds don't come across that problem so much. It is the genius mind that is opposed, with two polarities, and cannot choose. And then he feels in a limbo.
What I have been telling you is that it is the nature of the mind to be in a limbo. It is the nature of the mind to be in the middle of polar opposites. Unless you move away from the mind and become a witness to all the games of the mind, you will never be decisive.
Even if you sometimes decide -- in spite of the mind -- you will repent, because the other half that you have not decided for is going to haunt you: perhaps that was right and what you have chosen is wrong. And now there is no way to know. Perhaps the choice was better that you had left aside was better. But even if you had chosen it, the situation would not have been different; then this which would have been left aside would haunt you.
Mind is basically the beginning of madness.
And if you are too much in it, it will drive you mad.
I have told you that in my village I used to live opposite a goldsmith. I became aware at first, and then the whole town became slowly aware... and his life became hell. I used to sit just in front of his house, and I became aware that he had a curious habit: he would lock his shop, then pull the lock two, three times to see whether it was really locked or not.
One day I was coming from the river and he had just locked his shop and was going home. I said, "But you have not checked!"
He said, "What?"
I said, "You have not checked the lock!" He had checked it -- I had seen him three times pulling it, but now I had created a suspicion, and mind is always ready...
So he said to me, "Perhaps I forgot -- I must go back." He went back, and checked the lock again. That became my joy: wherever he would go...
In the market he would be purchasing vegetables and I would reach there saying, "What are you doing here? You have left the lock unchecked!"
He would drop the vegetables and he would say, "I will be coming back; first I have to go and check the lock."
Even from the railway station... He was purchasing a ticket to go somewhere, and I went and told him, "What are you doing? The lock!"
He said, "My God, have I not checked it?"
I said, "No!"
He said, "Now it is impossible to go to the marriage I was going to." He returned the ticket, went home, and checked the lock. But then it was too late to go back to the station -- the train had already gone. And he trusted me because I was always sitting in front of his house.
Slowly it became known to everybody, so wherever he would go, people would say, "Where are you going? Have you checked the lock?"
Finally he became angry with me. He said, "You must be spreading it, because wherever I go everybody is talking about the lock, and I have to come back home -- sometimes so many times that I forget completely for what purpose I had gone in the first place to the market! The whole day I have been checking the lock!"
I said, "You don't listen to them. Let them..."
He said, "What do you mean, `Don't listen to them'? If they are right then I am lost forever. I cannot take that chance. So knowing perfectly well that the man may be lying, I have to come back compulsively to check the lock. I know somewhere that I have checked it, but who knows for certain?"
Mind has no certainty about anything.
If you are between the two polarities of the mind, in a limbo -- always to do or not to do, you will go crazy. You are crazy! Before it happens, jump out and have a look from the outside at the mind... and that's what I am telling you continuously.
Be aware of the mind -- its bright side, its dark side, its right, its wrong. Whatever polarity it is, you just be aware of it. Two things will come out of that awareness: one, that you are not the mind, and second, that awareness has a decisiveness which mind never has.
Mind is basically indecisive, and awareness is basically decisive. So any act out of awareness is total, full, without repentance.
I have never in my life thought again about anything -- whether something else would have been better. I have never repented. I have never thought that I have committed any mistake, because there is nobody else who has been left to say these things. I have been acting out of my awareness -- that is my whole being. Now whatever happens is all that is possible.
The world may call it right or wrong -- that is their business, but it is not my problem.
So awareness will take you out of the limbo. Rather than hanging between these two polarities of the mind, you will jump beyond both, and you will be able to see that those two polarities are two polarities only if you are in the mind. If you are outside it, you will be surprised that they are two sides of the same coin -- there was no question of decision.
With awareness you have the clarity, totality, let-go -- existence decides within you. You don't have to think about what is right and wrong; existence takes your hand in its hand, and you are moving relaxedly. That's the only way, the right way. And that is the only way you can be sane; otherwise you will remain muddled.
Now, Soren Kierkegaard is a great mind, but being a Christian he has no idea of awareness. He can think, and think very deeply, but he cannot just be silent and watch.
That poor fellow had never heard about anything like watching, witnessing, awareness.
Thinking was all that he had heard about, and he had put his whole genius into thinking.
He had produced great books, but he could not produce a great life for himself. He lived in utter misery.
YOU SPOKE THE OTHER NIGHT ABOUT HONEST TRUTH. MYSTICS HAVE OFTEN SPOKEN OF THE "ULTIMATE TRUTH." CAN THE TRUTH BE ANYTHING OTHER THAN ULTIMATE?
Truth cannot be anything other than the ultimate.
But the mystics had to speak about "ultimate truth" for a certain reason. The reason was that philosophers have been speaking of "relative truth," and they have been emphasizing the fact that every truth is relative. Albert Einstein in this century brought the conception of relativity to scientific truths; otherwise they used to be ultimate -- they became relative. And he was right. Mahavira, Gautam Buddha -- they all have talked about relativity.
One thing that is missing is that nobody makes a distinction between truth and fact. Facts are relative, and truth is ultimate, but if you get mixed up and you start thinking of facts as truth, then they will be relative.
Two things first: Facts are relative, and you have to understand exactly what is meant by relative. It means that something can be true in a certain situation, and the same thing can be untrue in some other situation.
It was said that while Albert Einstein was alive there were only twelve people in the whole world who understood what he meant by relativity. It is a very delicate and subtle explanation about the universe. And Einstein was continually asked -- wherever he would go, in a club, in a restaurant -- wherever he would go people would ask, "Just say something about what this relativity is and say it so that a layman can understand it."
Finally he found a way: he said that if you are sitting on a hot stove, time will appear to you to be going very slowly; a single minute will look like hours because you are sitting on a hot stove. Your state is changing your conception of time.
But if you are sitting with your girlfriend, hours go by and it seems only seconds have passed.
He would say, "This is what I mean by relativity: time is relative to a particular situation.
There is nothing like ultimate time so that whatever you do it is the same. It has always been known that when you are happy time passes fast, and when you are miserable, time passes very slowly."
He has established relativity so deeply that it has become almost interwoven with all scientific findings. But only one thing I want you to remember: he is talking about facts and calling them truth. And because of that the mystics had to use the word `ultimate'.
They want to tell you that there is an experience which is beyond relativity. That's all their meaning is: truth is ultimate.
For example, what I have experienced in these thirty-five years in different situations -- it has remained the same, and I know even in my death it will not be different. This is truth:
that which remains the same, whatever happens around it... the center of the cyclone.
But the whole world is full of facts. Facts are relative. Now, it has to be made very clear to the scientists that what Einstein was talking about was not truth but fact. But for science there is no truth other than what they discover. The mystic's truth they don't accept, because the mystic cannot put it in front of the scientist so that they can dissect it and find out what constitutes it -- its measurement, weight, and things like that.
It is an experience, and totally subjective. It cannot be made objective.
So let us say it in this way, if they insist on calling it truth: objective truths are all relative, and subjective truth is always ultimate. But just not to get it mixed up, the mystics have been calling it the ultimate truth.
All truth is ultimate. But there are scientific truths which are really only facts. For example, if you are sitting on a hot stove the experience of time going very slowly is just a fact of your psychology; it has nothing to do with time. But nobody has pointed that out to Albert Einstein. When you are sitting with your girlfriend and time passes fast, it has nothing to do with time; it has something to do with your mind.
Time goes with its own speed. It does not change; otherwise there would be such a difficulty. Somebody is sitting on the hot stove, and somebody is sitting with his girlfriend -- what will poor time do? Go slow or go fast? Time remains the same; it is your mind, your concept of time which is relative.
All objective truths are relative. You cannot say that somebody is tall; that statement will not be correct, because the tallness of the person has to be relative. Tall in comparison to whom? You have to make it complete. Somebody is fat, but just that much is not right and not complete. You have to make it clear that he is fatter than Avirbhava, or thinner than Anando. Unless you make the comparison, you cannot use relative terms.
But we are using them. Because people are using relative words, the mystics have been compelled to say the "ultimate" truth; otherwise just saying "the truth" would be sufficient, because ultimateness is its intrinsic nature. But it has to be repeated; otherwise there are people who will get misguided, confused, because they have heard about relative truths and they will make your truth also into a relative truth. So a distinction has to be made. To draw that distinction, the word `ultimate' is used -- unwillingly.
I would not like to use it because it is a repetition, a tautology. "The ultimate" and "the truth" mean the same. You can use either, but to use both is an unnecessary repetition.
My father was very insistent that every Monday he had to receive a letter from me, while I was in the university. I told him, "If there is something wrong, if there is some problem, if I am sick, I will inform you. But unnecessarily writing the same thing again and again has no justification."
He said, "Justification or not, it is not a question of your arguments. I wait for seven days and I become worried about you. It is not your sickness that I am worried about; I am worried about what you are doing, what is happening to you. You may get into trouble any moment. So every Saturday you have to post a letter so that on Monday I receive it.
If I don't receive it on Monday, then I will unnecessarily have to come two hundred miles to the university."
So what I had done... I had written one letter, "Everything is all right here. I am not in any trouble. You need not be worried." And on other letters I had just made the sign `ditto.' He was very angry. When he saw me he said, "I feel like beating you! You write `ditto' on the letters!"
I said, "That's exactly the situation, because I have to write the same thing again. And do you think I write every Saturday? I have just asked one typist to type the first letter, and a hundred letters with the `ditto.' I have given them to one very particular man -- because I may forget and unnecessarily you may have to come -- and I have told him, `You have to post one of these "ditto" letters every Saturday.' He is so particular in everything that once you ask him, he will do it." He was a student, living in the same hostel.
But my father was very angry, "Have you ever heard of anybody writing in the letter just `ditto'? I wait for eight days and then I get a card on which the only message is `ditto'!
Not even your signature, because in `ditto' everything is implied from the first letter:
Refer to the last letter. You can read the first letter again when you get the ditto letter."
Life is not mathematics; it is not logic, it is not science. It is something more, and that something more is the most valuable.
The mystics have called that something more "the ultimate truth." They can be forgiven for calling it ultimate. But you have to understand that the reason they are calling it ultimate is because there are people who are calling every truth relative -- not only scientists, not only people who are working with matter.
Mahavira says that truth itself is relative: he has no ultimate truth. Buddha has no ultimate truth. Again the difficulty is that Mahavira and Buddha can be misunderstood when they say that there is no ultimate truth but that every truth is relative: it can be one thing in one situation, it can be another thing in another situation, and because it is related to situations it cannot have any ultimacy. This goes against all the great mystics.
Only Mahavira and Buddha, two people... But I know both, and I understand both better than their own followers, because none of their followers have been able to make any sense out of it: either all the mystics are wrong, or Buddha and Mahavira are wrong!
I say nobody is wrong. What Mahavira says is that truth has seven aspects, and Buddha says that truth has four aspects. They are really referring to the expression of truth. Truth can be said in seven ways according to Mahavira. He is really a logician. But what he is saying is not about truth -- there is a misunderstanding. What he is saying is about truth expressed, not experienced. When you experience it, it is always ultimate, but the moment you say it, it becomes relative.The moment you bring it into language it becomes relative, because in language nothing can be ultimate. The whole construction of language is relative. Buddha is not a great logician, so he stops at four, but the situation is the same.
They are not speaking of the truth which you experience in silence, beyond mind.
Nothing can be said about it. The moment you say something about it, you drag it into the world of relativity, and then all the laws of relativity will be applicable to it.
Perhaps Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the best logicians of this age, was right when he said, "That which cannot be said should not be said." This is a strange statement. It stands out in the whole history of thought, unique and original: "That which cannot be said, should not be said" -- because if you say it, you are contradicting yourself. First you say it cannot be said, and then you say it. You may make all kinds of conditions: "When I say it, it is no longer the same; when I say it, it even becomes untrue." But then, why say it?
Wittgenstein's statement will make it clear that Mahavira and Buddha both were talking about the truth said: then it is relative. And the mystics who are talking about "the ultimate truth" are talking about the truth experienced yet not brought into the world of language and objects. So I think it is better to allow them to use the word `ultimate', although it is a repetition, because it keeps it separate.
IS IT NOT TRUE TO SAY THAT BECAUSE WE CAN EVEN FORMULATE A QUESTION THAT WE HAVE AN INKLING SOMEWHERE OF THE ANSWER -- EVEN THOUGH WE ARE NOT AWARE OF IT?
IT SEEMS TO ME LIKE A DOCTOR LOOKING AT A PATIENT: THE FACT THAT HE ASKS THE PATIENT CERTAIN QUESTIONS AND NOT OTHERS INDICATES HE HAS SOME IDEA OF WHAT THE DIAGNOSIS -- AND HENCE THE ANSWER -- IS.
It is true. Whenever you ask a question, somewhere deep down you have some inkling of the answer, but it is in the darker parts of your consciousness. You yourself cannot pull it out and bring it to your consciousness.
The question is in the consciousness; the answer is in the unconscious -- vague, a shadow, with no certainty, but the inkling is certainly there.
The function of the master is exactly what Socrates has defined it as -- the master is only a midwife. He helps to bring everything that is hidden in you to consciousness. When your question disappears, that means your answer from the unconscious has been brought to the conscious.
It has to be remembered that this is the distinction between a master and a teacher: a teacher will give you an answer, which will not bring your own answer from the unconscious. He will force an answer into your conscious, repressing your question. He will make the situation more complicated. First you had only a question, and if you had silently waited, meditated, perhaps the unconscious answer may have surfaced and the question would have disappeared. And once the question disappears, the answer has no relevance in being there; it disappears also, and a pure emptiness is left.
But the teacher forces an answer on your mind, and makes the situation more complicated. Now you have a question and you have an answer which has not been able to dissolve the question, which has only repressed it. And your unconscious answer is still lying down there, to be released so you can be unburdened. The teacher burdens you, complicates you.
The master never gives you any answer that is going to burden you.
His every answer is an unburdening. He brings your own unconscious answer to the surface, where first the question disappears, then the answer disappears -- and not a trace of either remains behind.
This is real communion.
This is a clear-cut way, a criterion, to make the distinction between a teacher and a master.
In the West there seems to be no distinction. In the East the teacher is simply repeating inherited knowledge; he is not concerned with you, he is concerned with his own knowledge.
The master has nothing to impose upon you; he is empty and silent.
Your question does not give him a chance to impose something on you, but only gives him a chance to bring your unconscious answer to the surface. So if you go on simply listening to the master, slowly, slowly you will find your questions have disappeared...
and strangely, you don't have any answer.
People ordinarily think that when the question disappears you will have the answer in its place. No, when the question really disappears the answer has no relevance. It also disappears. And left without questions and without answers, you have immense freedom... unburdened... open sky.