A longing for the beyond
I OFTEN HEAR YOU SAYING THAT EVERY CHILD COMES TO THIS WORLD WITH AN EMPTY MIND, AS A TABULA RASA. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT WE, IN SPITE OF THIS, CARRY MEMORIES AND CONDITIONINGS FROM PAST LIVES? WOULD YOU PLEASE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?
One distinction has to be understood, the distinction between brain and mind. The brain is part of the body. Every child is born with a fresh brain but not with a fresh mind. Mind is a layer of conditioning around the consciousness. You will not remember it; that is why there is a discontinuity.
In each life when a person dies the brain dies, but the mind is released from the brain and becomes a layer on the consciousness. It is nonmaterial; it is just a certain vibe. So on our consciousness there are thousands of layers.
Whenever I have said that a child is born with a mind as a tabula rasa, I meant the brain. The mind is very ancient, as ancient as existence. It has no beginning but it has an end. The day you are able to drop all those layers accumulated in centuries, mind dies. It has an end. In the same reference it has to be understood that enlightenment has a beginning but no end. Then you connect them both.
Mind has no beginning; it has been always there with you. Then at a certain moment you drop it.
The end of the mind is enlightenment.
Then enlightenment continues. It has a beginning but no end. Together they cover the whole eternity, from the past to the future.
But the brain is born every time you enter a body and it dies every time you leave the body. But its content - that is the mind - does not die; it remains with the consciousness. That's why it is possible to remember your past lives - even when you were animals or trees or rocks. All those minds are still with you. But because psychology makes no distinction between mind and brain, and science accepts no distinction... in the English language mind and brain are almost synonymous. That's why sometimes I forget and instead of using brain, I use the word mind.
In languages where a deep search has been made into the inner reality there are many words describing different phenomena. In those languages there is a word for brain which cannot be in any way confused with mind. The English word has also come from Sanskrit, manas - it has come as mind - but manas means each layer; then there will be animal manas, vegetable manas, as many different stages of evolution as you have passed.
And in Sanskrit the whole is not called manas, the whole is called chittam. It is called chittam because it is not part and parcel of the body, but part and parcel of consciousness. Consciousness in Sanskrit is chetana. Because it clings to chetana it is chittam. Those languages are clear- cut about the words, their meanings. But the reason is clear: they have worked and found these differences.
Chittam is the whole past, all the minds that are clinging collectively to chetana, to consciousness.
They will be dropped collectively, and once they are dropped it is as if you have dropped your clothes and your consciousness is naked. This naked consciousness is the ultimate experience of being.
The dropped minds will remain in the basement of your brain, so even if an enlightened person wants to go through them he can go through them, just the way you can go to the basement of your house and look through all the junk you have been throwing there.
The brain is the latest layer, but the brain itself is not the layer, the content. The brain itself is only a mechanism; it is a biocomputer. When you purchase a computer it is empty; it has no input, it is new.
Then you start putting things into it, whatever you want - history, science, religion, mathematics, anything that you want to feed the computer. It collects it, it has a memory system, just as the brain has a memory system. And whenever you want any information you can ask the computer and it will give you the information.
There is a danger that in the future the computer is going to destroy people's capacity for memory, because it will be far more accurate, and just a small remote controller that you can keep always with you... Either you can have your own computer in the house or you can be joined with the collective computer in the city, and on your remote controller you can figure out anything. You can even find out on what date Socrates was married! But it can give you only that information which has been fed into it. If you ask it any new question that has not been programmed before, the computer is helpless; no answer will be coming.
The same is the situation of the brain. The brain is a computer, just like a memory system. And all of our education is nothing but feeding the computer. It will be able to answer only that which has been fed into it. If you have not learned physics and some question is asked about it, the mind cannot answer because it is not in your memory. So what you call thinking is just futile: you are just going through the memory system finding some answer for a question it has no answer for. Any new question and it stops; it is helpless.
That's why I insist you cannot think about truth, you cannot think about enlightenment, you cannot think about love. You cannot think of all great things in life because they cannot be fed into the computer ahead of time.
A scholar has a more full computer; his memory is richer. A professor has more. There are people who are respected only for their memory. Our whole education is nothing but a training in memory, it is not an education for intelligence. Intelligence will be a totally different thing. Our education simply tells you what has to be memorized.
In the Soviet Union they realized the fact that the brain is exactly like a computer. Then why torture it and why unnecessarily harass it? Hence in examinations students are allowed to go into the library to consult books or to bring any book they want. All the books that may be needed are available in the examination hall. What is the need to unnecessarily remember something when it is written in the books? But one thing was discovered, and it changed the whole situation: people who were not coming in first started coming in first. People who had been coming in first started losing their grip, started going down - second class, third class.
What happened? In order to search for the answer you need intelligence and those books are big and the time is limited - three hours. You have to answer five questions. You have to be very alert and intelligent to find all the relevant facts and figures to give an answer. The people who had always been coming in first started losing ground because they don't have any intelligence, they have only memory. Now that memory was of no use.
This is all so primitive. Each student can be supplied with a small remote controller and he can just check what answer is needed. His intelligence will be in how to use the remote controller - how to use it wisely, how not to get mixed up, how to understand the question intelligently so that he can find the answer intelligently. But it is not a question of memory. A different kind of education will be needed which teaches you intelligence.
It is a known fact that people of great intelligence don't have that great a memory. And there have been people of great memory, but they don't have any intelligence at all. Their memory is almost miraculous, unbelievable, but it is absolutely mechanical.
When the fountain pen was invented it was found that people started losing their beautiful handwriting. With just a simple old-fashioned pen you can write better than with a fountain pen.
The fountain pen is speedy and you need not dip it again and again into the ink; it has ink in it.
Because of the speed and the ink supply people started writing fast. The grace that was there in writing slowly, suddenly disappeared.
The same is going to happen with computers. It will help you immensely to remember, but it will help also in a negative way - you will not have memory. Even the names of your friends you will have to check on the computer. Even the street number where you live you will have to check on the computer, because now there is no need for your own computer to work - you have a mechanical device.
The brain is not a problem because the brain is only a machine. The problem is the contents in the brain which is the mind. The brain is only a container, and each life you get a new container. The old content is shifted as a layer surrounding your consciousness.
So when I say you get a fresh beginning I mean in the brain, not the mind. But in English they are being used synonymously. If you start going into past lives you will be entering the world of the mind, which is immense, and each layer will reveal one life. When all the layers have been passed through consciously, only then you come to the center of your consciousness.
The Hindu temple is called mandir. The boundary wall represents the mind, and if you go inside, at the center there is the statue of God. The Jaina temple is called chaityalaya for the same reason. If you can pass totally through chitta, the layers of mind, you will reach to consciousness which is the center of the temple.
In Japan there is only one temple which represents more precisely than any other temple the reality of mind and no-mind, mind and consciousness. It has only walls. Inside it is empty; there is no statue of Buddha, there is nothing. You simply go inside and sit in silence. It has been asked why this is so, but even the priests cannot say why, because they have forgotten the symbology. It has nothing to do with the temple, it has something to do with human mind.
For five hundred years after Gautam Buddha's death, in no temple was there any statue of Gautam Buddha. Instead, on the wall inside the temple the bodhi tree was engraved in the marble. And underneath the tree where Buddha had sat and become enlightened it was empty. It was a strange symbolism but very significant: by the tree they have indicated the place where Gautam Buddha became enlightened - but when he became enlightened there was no Gautam Buddha. It was empty, it was nothingness, it was just silence. Those temples were beautiful, but they have all disappeared, been destroyed.
I have seen one temple in India... it is difficult to comprehend how they have made it. It has no foundation. It is a huge temple - a round temple, very high, maybe fifty feet high - and it has no foundation. You can take a thread, pass it underneath the wall, and then you can move around the whole temple. And you can find that the wall has no foundation anywhere, no connection with the earth!
I asked the priest, "What is the meaning of it?" They have a stupid story... and I said, "This is not the meaning. You are saying something which will appeal only to idiots - that this is a temple from heaven and two parties of gods..." In Jainism and Buddhism there is no God, but anybody who is in heaven is called a god, so there is a plurality of gods. "Two parties of gods were fighting for the temple and the temple slipped from their hands and fell on the earth. That's why it has no foundation."
I said, "This is such a stupid story. In the first place you don't understand where heaven is and if it is somewhere beyond the stars this temple would have burned on the way - it is such a small thing."
Every night we see thousands of stars falling, but no stars are really falling because stars are very big - these are just big stones which are wandering in space.
Whenever a star is created or a planet is created... It is liquid but it goes on turning on its axis, and because it is liquid, and moving, many parts of it are thrown away...
The moon was taken out of the earth in the same way; it used to be part of the earth. And it is because of the moon that we have such big oceans. These oceans are the places from where the liquid earth has dropped out. Thousands of small pieces have fallen into space until they came into some gravitational field.
When the gravitation pulls those small pieces the force is such and the speed is such that they burn up. So when you see a star falling, it is just a stone that is burning. Because of the speed it becomes so hot that at some point it simply bursts into flames. Mostly it is finished in the sky. Only very big stones have been able to reach the earth, for example the stone in Kaaba. Mohammedans think it is divine; it is nothing divine, it is a big stone that could not get burned completely and reached the earth. And there are many other places where such stones are.
So I said, "This temple would have disappeared. It is not possible. And there are no gods - and what kind of gods will be fighting for this rotten temple? There is nothing special in this temple, except that it has no foundation."
But my understanding is that the walls represent the mind, and inside... there is no statue inside.
The inside emptiness represents consciousness. And no foundation represents that your mind has no foundation; it can be dropped any moment you decide to drop it. It is unfounded. It is just clinging around the consciousness, glued to it, but it has no foundation.
A great philosophical insight has been translated into architecture, and those idiots are talking about the gods fighting and the temple slipping out of their hands and falling on the earth. They have destroyed the whole meaning. But the people who created the temple must have had the insight into what they were doing. It must have taken tremendous effort to make it without any foundation.
It is a huge structure and it has survived almost fifteen centuries.
There is the brain which comes every life, new, fresh; it is part of the body. There is the mind which is as eternal as life. Until you become enlightened it remains clinging to you. It is just the dust of all the lives that you have lived, the memories that the mind releases after you die. And those memories go on sticking around the consciousness. It becomes a thick layer.
Meditation is the way to dig a hole into this thick layer to reach to the waters of consciousness.
Hence meditation has a beginning but no end.
IN A FEW DAYS I AM GOING TO VISIT MY EIGHTY-YEAR-OLD FATHER WHOM I HAVE NOT SEEN FOR SEVEN YEARS. HE IS VERY INSISTENT ABOUT SEEING ME BUT AT THE SAME TIME VERY UNHAPPY THAT I AM A SANNYASIN. HOW TO MAKE HIM FEEL GOOD AND STILL NOT FEEL LIKE A HYPOCRITE?
You are not going... that's the only way! In the first place to go to Europe in such conditions of nuclear radiation is dangerous; there is no point. Secondly, to make him unhappy while he is dying at the age of eighty is not good. If you go as a sannyasin he will be more unhappy than if you don't go.
For seven years you have not gone. If you go as a non-sannyasin you will feel unhappy that you are being a hypocrite, and there is every possibility that it will be discovered that you are simply pretending to be a non-sannyasin. So why harass the old man? And it is not certain that he is going to die. As far as I know the longer a person lives the less is the possibility of death. Have you ever heard of anybody dying at one hundred twenty, one hundred thirty? The longer one lives the less is the possibility of death!
He has already passed the time to die - he has missed. Seventy is the right time; he is ten years late. So don't be worried. Just let this radiation thing settle, then you can go. Death is never so certain. There is no guarantee that at eighty he will die, just we feel afraid that perhaps he may die.
But if you decide to go, then go as a sannyasin so you need not be a hypocrite. And he may throw a tantrum. Take it joyously. Sit silently and tell your father, "Say whatsoever you always wanted to say.
Be angry or if you want to slap me, slap - but don't hurt yourself, you are too old. I can slap myself on your behalf." Make it a joke; let him laugh.
Be with him but not very seriously, not as if he is going to die and that's why you have come. Tell him, "My master says you have passed ten years already - you are late, and once a person is late the queue does not stop for him. The queue goes on moving." Now when somebody else is late and there is a gap in the line perhaps your father may get a chance; otherwise now there is no possibility to die. So don't be sad and don't make him sad.
First he will be angry. First he will tell you that you have not done right. Say yes to everything, but tell him, "I am just your son, and I cannot be a hypocrite because I know that will hurt your pride - that your son is a hypocrite. So I have come the way I am. And I am ready to take your anger or whatever punishment you want to give to me.
"The teaching of my master is that when a person is dying let him be finished with all desires, so if this is your desire, to beat me, beat me. Don't die with such stupid desires because they will lead you into a stupid life again; you will again get a son like me - perhaps me again - who will become a sannyasin. So you do whatever you want to do so we have a clean relationship." The whole thing will end within half an hour; longer it cannot last.
Then help him to meditate. Tell him, "This has nothing to do with sannyas. You can meditate.
Particularly it is good when you are old and you have missed the chance to die, and you are ten years late. This will help you to become silent, to be peaceful. And if death comes there will be no fear about it." So help him to learn vipassana - the simplest thing. Say, "Just watch your breathing lying down."
So you have to decide. The best thing is not to go, because I don't think he can catch the train so soon. But if you are afraid that he is going to catch the train, then go. But be a sannyasin. And there is no need to be afraid. Just say, "I am the same person, just a little better. Your son has not gone astray." Tell him what you have been doing and ask him what is wrong in it.
And make a communion possible again. Sit by his side and help him to meditate. There is no problem if you go joyously and he can see that you are happy, that whatever path you have chosen has made you joyous, more independent, has given you a certain integrity - that it has not enslaved you, but has made you more free than you ever were before.
He will be happy. And he is an old Frenchman, and Frenchmen have always loved freedom.
Whatever you have been doing, Frenchmen have been doing it for centuries. There is no problem about it. No Frenchman is really a Christian; they don't have time for it. First you have to be finished with girlfriends. By that time you are already eighty and it is time to go home, not to the church.
So just tell him good news. And tell him, "Come back soon and again be a Frenchman; this is a good place. And I am following in your path, so there is no problem. Christian or sannyasin, basically I am a Frenchman. And I have not really come to see you but my girlfriend." Just say the truth!
I ONCE OBSERVED A HYPNOTIST HYPNOTIZING PEOPLE AND REGRESSING THEM INTO REMEMBERING PAST LIVES. IT WAS QUITE CONVINCING AS THE HYPNOTIZED PEOPLE WERE DESCRIBING DETAILS, THEIR SURROUNDINGS, THE SITUATION AND SO ON. IN ALMOST EVERY CASE PEOPLE WERE DRAWN TO A TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE WHICH USUALLY CULMINATED IN THEIR DEATH. IT SEEMS THAT, RIGHTLY USED, THIS COULD BE A VALUABLE TECHNIQUE. IN THIS CASE, HOWEVER, I FELT THE HYPNOTIST WAS QUITE INSENSITIVE TO THE PEOPLE AFTER THEIR EXPERIENCE. I THINK I SHOULD ALSO ADD THAT THIS HAPPENED IN CALIFORNIA. PLEASE COMMENT.
It is good that you have added that it happened in California. In California anything is possible. And what struck you as strange would not have struck you so, if you had understood that anything can be used by a technician, particularly hypnotism.
The man knew simply the technique; he had no idea what was happening to those people. He had no idea that he had to be sensitive to those trusting people who were going into their death experiences, past lives. He was just a technician. His interest was more to use hypnotism as a profession. He may have sold tickets, and his whole interest was in how much he earned. These are the people who have made hypnotism condemned all over the world.
Before India became divided... To me the greatest loss with the division of India and Pakistan is that some beautiful things have disappeared from Indian streets. Otherwise on any street in India you would find magicians and hypnotists doing such miracles that you could not believe - but they were all Mohammedans.
And it was something like a family secret so they wouldn't give it to anybody else. Their earning was not much: if they could get five rupees in one show from the crowd throwing small coins, that was enough. And what they were doing was tremendous. But they had no idea what they were doing; they just knew the technique. They were technicians and they were using those techniques - which can make a man illuminated, liberated - for attracting crowds on the street.
It has been a great loss, because when India was divided all those Mohammedans moved to Pakistan. I don't know whether they still continue to do those things or not. Pakistan is a small country, and so many magicians were all over India... hypnotists and all kinds of people doing tricks, rope walkers. If they have all reached Pakistan... Pakistan is a small place; it cannot afford so many shows. Nobody is going to bother about them. Most probably they have chosen another profession.
In India it was possible because it is a big country and you can go on moving from one city to another city. But the question is... I have also experienced again and again, without any exception, that they were all insensitive people. They were not concerned at all with any spiritual growth or what was happening to the person. Their whole interest was money.
So what you have seen in California was a technician who knows a simple method of hypnotism and can earn some money out of it. He is not bothered, he is not interested in these people or their past lives; his interest is the money. And moreover he will be doing the same show five times a day - on this street corner, on that street corner, in this theater, in that auditorium.
It happens just like doctors become insensitive in hospitals. The whole day they are seeing pain, misery, fractures, operations - it all becomes technical; otherwise they will die if they are too sensitive.
In India you will not find a Jaina doctor. I have been in search all over the country. Wherever I went I enquired, "Has this place any doctor who is a Jaina?" I have not come across any. And the reason is that the Jaina cannot do surgery, he is brought up with such a sensitivity about violence. He cannot kill an ant, how can he cut a human body? And before cutting a human body he has to cut frogs and this and that. That is impossible.
I know only one young man who insisted on joining the medical college, but when he had to cut a frog, the frog was not cut. He fell into a fit, became unconscious, and had to be released from the college: "You join something else; this is beyond you. If you cannot cut a frog, a living frog, then how are you going to manage operations, surgery?"
I know the person. He himself told me the story about how he had been turned out of the medical college. He had dared to go against his parents and friends who said, "No Jaina can do this kind of work." But he wanted to take up the challenge.
He said, "What is it? - just cutting frogs ... I will see, I will become accustomed to it." But then you have to cut a living frog; and if you have been brought up with a great reverence for life you simply become frozen, your hands will not move.
Doctors become very insensitive and you cannot blame them, they also have to live. They become like robots. They can cut your hand without feeling anything, they can take your eyes out without feeling anything, because if they feel for every patient the whole day, they are going to die with a heart attack soon. It is impossible for them to remain sensitive.
The same happens with people who start using hypnotism, mesmerism, or that kind of thing. These things are very mysterious so people get interested, and their whole point is how to make you interested. They will go on talking nonsense to make you interested, but the people who are going through the trauma are being used. It is shameful; it should not be done.
Hypnosis has to be taken out of the hands of professionals, people who are using it for money. It has to become a temple method, something holy. It is something holy.
IT IS TRUE THAT LISTENING TO YOU I OFTEN FEEL SURROUNDED BY SOFTNESS, PEACEFULNESS, SILENCE, BUT WITHIN ALL THAT IS SUCH A DEEP LONGING. IT HAPPENS ALSO SOMETIMES WHEN I AM OVERWHELMED AND DELIGHTED BY A SUNSET, A FULL MOON, A BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF MUSIC. THERE IS ALWAYS A LONGING, ALMOST LIKE A SWEET PAIN. OSHO, WHAT IS IT THAT I LONG FOR?
Anything of beauty, anything reminding you of the beyond, will create a longing in you, a longing that you cannot figure out what it is for. You don't know the name of the object because in fact it is not for any object.
Listening to beautiful music, looking at a sunset or just a bird on the wing or beautiful roses, or sitting here in silence, a sweet pain can be felt.
The longing is how to become one with this state of feeling. It should not be a fleeting thing that comes and goes but something that remains with you, that becomes you, because the same music which was sweet today may not be sweet tomorrow, may be boring the day after tomorrow.
So it is not the music. It is something else that is triggered in you: the longing to be peaceful, to be musical, to have all the beauty of existence and to have it forever. It is a spiritual longing, a longing for the beyond, beyond all fleeting experiences; a longing to stop time and to be here now, in this moment eternally. This is true religiousness.
The true religiousness has nothing to do with churches, mosques, priests - they are all technicians exploiting you. Their ideologies, theologies, are simply supplies to fill this longing within you. They cannot fulfill it. So people are Christians, Hindus, Mohammedans, but still in some corner of their heart there is a search, an ongoing quest. And if they can understand that that is the true direction of religion, then they will drop Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, and they will follow the longing.
It is a longing to make your life more creative, so that it becomes a music, so that life itself becomes a sunset. It is a longing to make it so meditative that life itself becomes the presence of the unknown surrounding you, releasing a fragrance that is not of this world.