Each human being is a longing of existence

Fri, 7 March 1987 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
The Razor's Edge
Chapter #:
am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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Question 1:



Anando Visarjano, seven years or seventy years, it makes no difference. Whenever you realize, from that very point your authentic life begins. Before that you were asleep.

And always remember, every individual has his own pace. A few run fast, a few go slowly - in fact going slowly has its own quality. The slower you go, the more established you become, the more centered you become. The person who goes very fast never comes to such crystallization as the person who goes slowly.

You are saying, "The more I am here with you, the more I am confused, excited and amazed that you exist. I have been a sannyasin for seven years and realize now that I took you for granted. "Beloved Osho, how is it possible that it took me seven years to start slowly, slowly seeing you?"

Seven years is not a long time as far as seeing clearly without any prejudice, without any conditioning, is concerned. It is a small period in the long journey of thousands of lives behind you. You may have come across many living masters in your past lives and you did not realize.

It has to be remembered that thousands of people came to Gautam Buddha, but only a few remained with him. The others could not see that a great phenomenon was present just before their eyes. They remained concerned with their own minds, with their own chattering thoughts - and there is so much rubbish in the mind that covers your eyes.

Seven years are not long. You should not feel confused; you should feel rejoiced. Now begins your real sannyas. Seven years before you had taken sannyas perhaps just out of curiosity. There was no trust, no love, but only a curiosity to know what it is all about. Now you are feeling my presence, now your heartbeats are in harmony with my heartbeats. This is the beginning of a new and a real sannyas.

It is certainly amazing that out of millions of people who are all capable of becoming self-realized, it happens rarely, to very few people. It is as if you are sowing seeds, thousands of seeds, and only one seed becomes a sprout, comes to foliage, brings flowers and fragrance.

What happened to the thousands of other seeds? They never gathered courage to disappear in the soil. They remained protective of themselves. The protection became their death. The one who dared to die in the earth began a new life, started rising upwards against gravitation, started transforming the earth into green foliage, into the beautiful colors of the flowers, into great fragrance.

But the first step was the most difficult - to drop your defenses. A seed is a defense measure. Inside is the potential, and the seed is defending it. It is good, as long as it has not found the right soil.

That's why I continuously emphasize the fact that as the context changes, what was good becomes bad, what was bad becomes good.

A seed needs total protection, because it is carrying a womb, a child within itself. But only to the point when it comes to meet with the soil. Then it has to drop the protection. Now the protection should not become its imprisonment. It was good up to now, but now it is evil. At the moment it drops its defenses, the earth takes it into its own heart and pours all its juices into it. And a miracle starts happening - the seed is gone, but the potential of the seed starts becoming a reality.

I call it a great miracle, because it has to grow against gravitation. And if the tree grows one hundred or one hundred and fifty feet high.... The scientists in the beginning were very much puzzled, that it has no pumping system for the juices to reach one hundred and fifty feet high. But slowly they discovered that the tree has its own mechanism, a very subtle mechanism, by which it becomes capable of going against gravitation.

The tree consists of millions of layers, and the strategy the trees have used for millions of years is very simple, non-mechanical, more natural. When the uppermost layer becomes dry, the layer just beneath it gives its juice to it. Now that it has given its juice to the upper layer, it becomes dry, so the layer beneath it gives its juice to it. And this way, from the roots to the flowers, a continuous flow of juices, water goes on rising against the tremendous force of gravitation.

And when the tree comes to its maturity, it is again amazing, that in the small seed so much was hidden - all these branches, all these leaves, all the flowers, all the fruits. The small seed was carrying them in a miniature form - so small that they are not available even to scientific instruments.

If you cut the seed, you will find nothingness there. But that nothingness is fullness, just you have to give it the right soil, the right water, the right help to be itself. Because it is happening all around you, you don't feel amazed. You feel amazed when it happens to one man amongst millions, and every man has the same potential.

Every man has a birthright to become a Gautam Buddha. But people go on sleeping. A seed is fast asleep; the tree has awakened. And the awakening brings all the fruits and all the flowers.

Remember not to remain asleep. Wake up!

You are not what you appear to be. You are much more, immensely much more. You have to be provoked, challenged, to find that "much more" within you. But because the whole crowd goes on living sleepily, you also go on imitating them.

There are societies in South Africa which are cannibal. Living in thick forest, the child is born amongst the cannibals, and from the very beginning he starts eating human flesh - because everybody else is doing it; this is the right thing to do. He never becomes aware that to eat human flesh is so ugly that even animals feel ashamed of it. No animal eats the flesh of its own species; no lion will eat another lion, no bird will eat another bird of its own species.

Man seems to be perverted in many ways.

One cannibal tribe, just in the beginning of this century, had three thousand members. Now there are only three hundred left. Because nobody passed through that forest, afraid that they may be caught, they started eating their own people, their own mothers, their own fathers, their own children.

From three thousand to three hundred... now three hundred... now three hundred will not take much time to disappear.

I have heard that one Christian missionary was very adamant to go to the tribe and teach them the right way of living, and preach to them that cannibalism is the ugliest thing you can do. As he reached there he was welcomed, because the cannibals had been waiting for somebody to come for many days. And this missionary was so fat that the whole tribe started dancing. The missionary thought, "These people seem to be very good people, very nice." They gave him a good welcome, garlanded him with flowers, took him on their shoulders, and went inside the jungle where there was a big pot of boiling water.

Seeing the big pot and the boiling water, the missionary thought, "Perhaps these poor people don't have bathrooms and they have prepared hot water - it is very cold here - just for me to take a bath."

But instead of giving him a bath, they threw him in the pot. He could not believe it. Still he was thinking that they were giving him a bath. Just standing in the pot, as it was getting hotter and hotter, he asked them, "Have you ever tasted something of Christianity?"

They said, "Not up to now, but soon, as you become a soup, we will have our first taste of Christianity."

Even small children were dancing and enjoying - what a great foodstuff they have found.

In different societies people are imitating the crowd; but on the whole, the whole world is asleep, because everybody else around them is asleep. Hence it seems amazing, when you come across a Gautam Buddha, or a Mahakashyap, or a Bodhidharma, or a Chuang Tzu.

The amazing part is how they avoided the gravitation of the society, how they made it possible for themselves to get out of the grip of the crowd. But even if one man can get out of the crowd, he shows you the path. He indicates to you that you are also capable - just a little courage, just a little intelligence....

Solly has been tossing and turning all night long, unable to sleep. "Solly, what is the matter?" asked Becky. "It is that five hundred dollars I owe Benny. I have to repay him tomorrow, and I have not got it." Becky opens the window wide, and yells at the house opposite, "Benny, Benny, you know that five hundred dollars Solly owes you? He is due to pay you back tomorrow, right? Well, he has not got it." She shuts the window and says, "Now, let him do the worrying. You go to sleep."

Somebody has to wake you up... not to send you to sleep. The whole society is geared for sleep, because the people who are asleep are not rebellious, are not disobedient, are not against any stupid superstitions that the society thinks are great truths.

What does it matter to a man who is asleep, what is truth and what is untruth? He moves like a drunk in his life. This mystery school is just to wake you up, not to send you to sleep. I don't give you any doctrine, any belief system, any scripture; I simply give you only one thing: a hard shaking, so that the dormant, the asleep potential starts becoming aware of its own reality.

The master cannot give you anything except a kind of seduction. He can seduce you that wakefulness is beautiful, that wakefulness is blissful, that wakefulness is the ultimate ecstasy.

Forget about those seven years; they don't count. Start counting your life from today. This recognition of my presence will soon become a realization of your own presence.

Question 2:



Maneesha, Ouspensky is right. In the work, the first condition is understanding what one wants to gain and how much one is prepared to pay for it because one has to pay for everything.

I can understand your doubt about Ouspensky's statement. You say, "In the marketplace we accept that nothing is free; yet as far as non-material things are concerned, like love, happiness, meditativeness, we tend to think this law does not apply." This law still applies, but in a more subtle way, in a more invisible way.

For example, you cannot get love if you are not ready to give up your ego - that is the payment. You cannot be happy unless you drop things that are preventing your happiness from arising. You cannot be meditative unless you disperse all your thoughts. Nothing is free; one has to pay for everything, material or immaterial.

Of course, in the marketplace you have to pay for commodities in a material way. You can see that you are paying something for getting it. But in a non-material world, also you are paying something for getting something; but because it is non-material, you need a deeper insight to see this.

Meditation is not free. That does not mean that you have to pay the way you pay to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi two hundred and fifty dollars - but you have to pay by dropping your thoughts, by dropping your emotions, by dropping your moods. Only then you can be silent, still.

You have to pay with your mind, only then you can get meditation. You cannot keep both, the mind and meditation together; either you are in the mind or you are in meditation. And there is always a subtle balance.

Ouspensky is right, that one has to be clearly aware of what he wants and how much he is ready to pay. His statement is very significant, because if God is free, everybody would like to have it. What is the harm? You don't have to pay for it; if meditation was free, I don't think anybody would like not to have it. But it is more arduous than paying for something with money. You have to pay with mind, you have to drop your ego, you have to drop your unconsciousness - because these things are inner and not visible to the eyes; hence your question has arisen.

You are also saying, "We seem to take them for granted, as if they are our due." They are our due, but you cannot take them for granted; you will have to prepare yourself to receive them. And that very preparation is the payment. You are also saying, "Things that life owes us...." Life does not owe anything to you. You owe everything to life.

This is a great misunderstanding which should be dropped: "things that life owes to us, because we have been good enough to grace existence with our presence." The reality is just the opposite.

Existence has been generous enough even to accept you, even to make a place for you. It is very rare that existence feels your grace, because you don't have grace. Yes, when a man becomes awakened, existence starts owing something to him.

There are beautiful stories... not historical of course, because the East has never been interested in history. History consists of trivial facts. The East has paid its attention not to facts, but to the essential values. Those essential values can be expressed only in parables. For example, it is said that when Mahakashyap became enlightened, flowers showered on him like rain. This is not a fact - this cannot be a historical fact - but it is not untrue. It is absolutely true. It is something greater than facts; it is a truth.

When a man becomes enlightened, the whole existence feels that it owes something to this man. He has graced the whole existence. His blissfulness has spread all over the existence; his finding the truth, his finding the ultimate reach of consciousness is a joy to the whole reality. It is a poetic way to express this - that when he became enlightened, suddenly he was puzzled - what is happening?

Thousands of flowers raining over him... flowers not of this world, flowers of the unknown that he had never seen, and the fragrance of which he is not at all acquainted with. He is drowned in that fragrance and in those flowers.

You would not have seen them if you were present while Mahakashyap became enlightened. It was seen by Mahakashyap himself. It would have been possible for you to also see, if you were in the same space, in the same consciousness, in the same enlightenment. Then you would have seen the flowers, then you would have felt the fragrance.

But ordinarily, Maneesha, you are neither good enough nor do you have any grace. On the contrary, existence is so compassionate to you that even though you are not good enough, it continues to support you, to keep you alive in the hope that some day you may be good enough. Although you don't have the grace right now, existence goes on dreaming and hoping that the potential of grace that is in you, one day.... Somewhere, some place, your grace will start overflowing your being.

Existence has not to be thankful to you; you have to be thankful to existence - thankful that, "I do not deserve even to be alive, I do not deserve even to be born," but existence gives you out of its abundance, life and all the potentials that can make you blissful, ecstatic, knowing, experiencing the truth.

Existence is almost like a gardener who goes on sowing seeds with the hope that one day the spring will come and there will be flowers. It is not necessary, it is not inevitable - still existence trusts its own dreams, its own longings.

Each human being is a longing of existence. You should be grateful to existence. And you should remember that to have love you will have to drop many things - you will have to drop jealousy, you will have to drop possessiveness, you will have to drop the desire to dominate.

To have meditativeness you will have to drop your whole mind, your whole thinking process. To be blissful you will have to drop your old habits of being miserable. They are very deeply ingrained in you, because you have been miserable for so long that you have started taking the misery for granted - that this is how life is.

You will have to change your whole attitude and approach. And this is what Ouspensky is saying:

you have to pay for everything; nothing can be taken for granted, and nothing can be taken without paying the right amount to have it.

Mr. Smith and his wife were on their first cruise. Mrs. Smith wanted to go to bed early every night, but Mr. Smith wanted to join in the fun and games - but he did not want to upset his wife. After three days, he tells his wife that he is going to a discussion group while she sleeps. She thinks for a moment and then agrees.

In the discussion, everybody drew a piece of paper from a hat and had to speak for five minutes on the subject written on the paper. Mr. Smith's paper said: Sex. He speaks about sex and makes everyone laugh at his jokes.

When he returned to his wife later that evening, she asked what the discussion was about. He said, "Sailing." She grunted and went back to sleep. The next morning a large-breasted young woman stopped Mrs. Smith and said, "Your husband was very funny last night. I did not realize he was so experienced." Mrs. Smith was annoyed, "Experienced?" she said, "he has only done it three times - three times in all the years we have been married. The first time he complained because his hat flew off and he lost it. The second time he got all his clothes soaked, and the third time he fell in and nearly drowned!"

Maneesha, it is just a misunderstanding. Ouspensky is a disciple of George Gurdjieff and he speaks a different language than I speak. He approaches the same truth, but the concepts and the philosophy and the direction is totally different from mine. So I cannot say that he will agree with what I am saying about his statement. But whether he agrees or not, one thing is certain, that I am making his statement more significant than he himself would have been able to make it.

In Gurdjieff's groups you will be surprised, it was really paying for everything in a very materialistic way. Gurdjieff himself has written one book, ALL AND EVERYTHING. It is a one thousand page book and absolutely unreadable. And he himself gives the recognition to the fact that it is unreadable. Only one hundred pages are cut and open; nine hundred pages are still joined and uncut!

The book begins with a statement. The statement is, "you read first one hundred pages - it is the introduction. If you feel you can manage to understand what is being said, you can open the other pages. If you feel it is beyond you, you can return the book and take your money back."

And how much money was he charging for that book in those days? One thousand dollars - because Gurdjieff and Ouspensky both believed that unless a person pays for something, he is not going to be deeply involved in it. When a person pays one thousand dollars, he has to read the book.

And because there were nine hundred uncut pages, even people who could not understand the introduction were curious about what was inside the book; and they had already paid one thousand dollars, so it was better to cut it and see.

But the book goes on becoming more and more difficult - difficult in the sense that Gurdjieff used to make words of his own. So first you cannot find their meaning in any dictionary. Those words have never existed in any language. He would mix three languages and make one word. And his words are so long that sometimes the whole sentence is one word. You cannot even pronounce it.

His paragraphs are so long that one paragraph may take the whole page. By the time you come to the end of the paragraph, you have forgotten with what it had begun. Sometimes even lines run into whole pages.

Gurdjieff had his own ways. And when he says you have to pay for everything, he means it in a very materialistic way.

One countess was introduced to Gurdjieff by another of his rich followers, and the same evening Gurdjieff sent a message to the countess, "You give all your ornaments, diamonds, and money and everything, so that from tomorrow your teaching can start." She was worried, "What kind of teaching is this? Even if there is some fee I can pay, but all my diamonds and all my ornaments?" She was very rich, and she had very valuable stones.

She asked her friend, "What to do? What kind of man is this Gurdjieff? He wants everything, and then only tomorrow morning will the teaching begin." The other woman laughed; she said, "Don't be worried. He also asked me for all. I gave all my ornaments, all my money, everything that I possessed, and next day, when the teaching started, the first thing he did was he returned all the money, the whole bag. So you need not be worried."

So the countess collected all her diamonds and ornaments and money in a bag, and sent them to Gurdjieff. The next morning she was waiting, that before the teaching starts... but the bag never came back. She was very much puzzled - he has taken everything, she is now a pauper. She asked her friend, "You were saying that he returned yours."

She said, "That is absolutely true. You can see, all my things are with me. I am also amazed about what has happened. Perhaps he forgot or something, that's why he has not returned them." Those things were never returned, and when the woman asked, "I had given them because of my friend's assurance that they will be returned tomorrow morning, but three days have passed. The teaching has started, but I cannot concentrate on the teaching; my whole mind is thinking about my money and my diamonds and my ornaments, because that was all that I had."

Gurdjieff said, "The first woman's things were returned because she offered them with love and trust.

Yours will not be returned because you offered them with the idea that they will be returned - and first you made sure of it by asking your friend. You have not given out of trust and love. This is your first teaching, that if you are going to be with me, you will have to trust. And nothing is free."

So perhaps Ouspensky will not agree with my interpretation. But I am absolutely certain that my interpretation is far more spiritual, far more poetic, far more mystical, far more Eastern. And I don't care whether Ouspensky agrees with me or not.

I am not here to teach you the philosophy of Ouspensky or Gurdjieff; my path is totally different.

Their path never crosses my path. Still, I love those people, because they created a tremendous desire for a spiritual search in the West.

Many of you might not have come here if Gurdjieff and Ouspensky had not existed. You may not have heard their names, but they created the climate for spiritual search, and I have tremendous respect for them both. But I do not agree with them as far as the path is concerned. I have my own understanding, how you have to become awakened, enlightened.

Question 3:



Deva Abhiyana, you are dwelling too much on what is missing. And your focus should be on what is growing. Attention is nourishment; if you give attention to what is missing, you will find that more and more things are missing. And that will create a misery in you, a pain.

If you focus your attention on what is happening to you, what is growing within you, it will grow faster.

And perhaps with its growth, what is missing will not be missing anymore.

You say, "Each day, each word, each gesture penetrates unknown layers... unimagined flowers opening, unexplained music dancing. And with each, a deeper longing for something missing."

It is natural that as you start on the path, as new experiences start showering on you, a desire for more arises simultaneously - because this is what we have been accustomed to for centuries in the ordinary world... our mind is always asking for more.

In India, we have an ancient parable: A king had a very beautiful man, very happy and joyous. His only work was to give the king a good massage early in the morning, and he used to get one gold coin every day. That was his whole work, and then the whole day he was free. He used to live just in front of the palace; and he was a lover of playing on his flute.

Having nothing else to do, and one gold coin was too much, he was living the richest and the most comfortable and luxurious life. And one gold coin was absolutely certain every day, so he never saved anything. The king was always puzzled, "This poor man looks so joyous, even when he is playing on his flute. You can feel his joy and his blissfulness. And here am I, a king of a great country, continuously worried, problems upon problems, cannot sleep in the night, and when he comes in the morning to give me a massage I feel jealous of him. He is in a far better condition than I am; and I am the king, and that poor fellow gets only one gold coin."

He asked his prime minister, "What is the mystery? I have such a big kingdom, such a great treasure, and the treasure goes on becoming bigger and bigger. But I don't feel any happiness; I have not smiled for years - I don't even remember when I have smiled. What is the mystery, that this poor guy goes on playing on his flute in the daytime, in the full moon night.... He is so healthy, with no worry in the world, and he has nothing because whatever he gets in the morning he finishes by the evening."

The prime minister said, "Just give me a little time, and I will solve the mystery." And that morning, when the man came to give a massage to the king he was looking sad. This was the first time his face had lost the joyous aura. And every day he was becoming more and more miserable.

The king called his prime minister and asked, "What is the matter? What have you done? Now I don't hear the flute. Perhaps he does not feel like playing on the flute and he has become a miserable person, just like me."

The prime minister said, "Nothing, just a simple thing. I threw in his house a bag containing ninety- nine gold coins." The king said, "I don't understand, what can your bag do? He should be more happy, that he has got ninety-nine gold coins."

The prime minister said, "You don't understand a simple psychological fact. The next day he was sad, because he thought,'Ninety-nine coins... if I can save one coin, I will have one hundred coins.'

So that day he did not eat anything. He said, 'There is no harm in fasting one day just to save one coin; don't waste it.' And since then the desire for more - one hundred and one, one hundred and two, one hundred and three.... Now he is eating less, not living the way he used to live. Saving has become his problem. And he is hoping that soon he will have two hundred."

The king said, "But this is not... you will kill the poor man!" The prime minister said, "You had asked, what is the mystery? The mystery is, the mind goes on asking for more and more and more - the more you get, the more it goes on asking for. And there is no end to it."

Your accumulation becomes great, but your desire for more also becomes great; this is the habit of your mind. When you enter into the spiritual world, you go on keeping the old habit for more and more, unconsciously.

You are saying, "Each day, each word, each gesture penetrates unknown layers... unimagined flowers opening, unexplained music dancing. And with each, a deeper longing for something missing."

Nothing is missing. But if you become concerned about the missing, all that you are experiencing will be destroyed. You have to drop the old habit... just a little intelligence. Enjoy that which you are getting. Pour all the nourishment into that which you are getting, so it becomes stronger, with more flowers, with more beauty.

And don't be bothered about the missing. Those missing flowers will grow on the same tree. But if you think only of the flowers that are missing and forget the tree, and forget to give nourishment to it, those flowers will never be attained; on the contrary, you may miss even the tree, the tree may die.

But mind is a strange thing. It is always concerned about that which you have not got. That which you have got you don't rejoice in, and you are miserable for that which you have not got.

A sannyasin has to shift his whole focus. It is a simple matter of understanding. Deva Abhiyana, don't behave stupidly. You are growing in the right direction, but if your mind becomes worried about something more which is missing, you will go astray. And not much intelligence is needed.

But we are all living with a very small fraction of our intelligence. We don't use our whole intelligence; otherwise, everybody will have such grace and such beauty and such joy and such love - so much of it that he cannot contain it within himself; he will have to share it.

Two Polish men are driving along and they have to stop at a shopping mall. So they find a parking space, get out of the car, slam the doors and the driver says, "Oh, shit, I just locked the keys in the car." "What we are going to do now?" says the other man. "I don't know," replies the driver, "I guess we will have to break the windshield and get them out."

"No," says his friend, "you can't break the windshield. Maybe you can find a coat hanger and open the door that way." "That is too difficult," says the driver. "Well," says his friend, "you had better think of something fast, because it is starting to rain and the top is down."

But this is the standard of the whole humanity. Nobody seems to be using intelligence at all. You are not supposed to use it; you are supposed always to rely on the advice of your bosses, of your father, of your mother, of your teacher. Slowly, slowly you forget that you also have intelligence.

Always asking for advice is a disease.

First try your own intelligence; give it a chance to become sharp. And about your problem, it is very simple. I can understand your longing for more and more. It will be coming, you need not worry about it, but right now relish, rejoice, dance, with all that is happening to you.

Your rejoicing will create more space, more capacity for many more things to happen. And anyway, you had better think of something fast, because it is starting to rain and the top is down.

Okay, Vimal?

Yes, Osho.

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