A little more courage, a little more love
THE OTHER NIGHT, FOLLOWING THE ENERGY BETWEEN MY EYES, I WENT INTO MYSELF, LOOKING FOR "WHO AM I?" AT A CERTAIN POINT I FOUND MYSELF IMMERSED IN GREAT NOTHINGNESS. THE SENSATION WAS VERY STRONG. I COULDN'T GO ON; I FELT SO AFRAID OF THIS EMPTINESS THAT I STOPPED. OSHO, WHAT IS THIS ENERGY THAT IS FELT BETWEEN THE EYES? IS IT THE SO-CALLED "THIRD EYE"? IF THIS WAS THE RIGHT WAY, WHY WAS I SO AFRAID AND TREMBLING?
Ramaprem, this is the right way. That's why you became so afraid, because the right way means a certain death, the death of your ego, the death of your personality as you have known it, and the beginning and the birth of your essential self. But the death comes first, hence the fear and trembling. The resurrection comes later.
You have been in a very beautiful space. This is the third eye that in the East has been talked about for at least ten thousand years. It is only symbolic. You have two eyes to see the world of duality - the day and night, the beautiful and the ugly, the true and the false. The whole world consists of dualities. The third eye is a poetic and symbolic expression that your two eyes have become one, that all duality has disappeared.
For the outside world two eyes are needed, for the inside world only a single clear vision - because inside there is no duality, there is only oneness.
Your question is, "The other night, following the energy between my eyes, I went into myself looking for 'Who am I?' At a certain point I found myself immersed in great nothingness." These are the spaces if you go inside. But this nothingness is not negative; just a little more acquaintance with it and you will be surprised: it appeared as nothingness because there was nothing that you have ever known before or even dreamt before. But once you become acquainted with the nothingness you start feeling an immense fulfillment, an overflowing energy. This nothingness is the beginning of fullness and wholeness.
"The sensation," you say, "was very strong. I couldn't go on; I felt so afraid of this emptiness that I stopped." Just be a little more intelligent.
The nothingness was surrounding you, but you were not nothing. You were witnessing it; you were separate from it. The emptiness may be surrounding you, it may be vast and may create trembling in you, but you are not it; otherwise who will become afraid and who will stop going forward? Who will turn back?
Your being is totally separate from the nothingness and emptiness that you have felt. If you had remembered only this much, "I am not it," the fear would have disappeared. Perhaps next time, remember that you cannot be anything that you come across. You cannot come across yourself; you cannot meet yourself. So whatever you come across is separate from you. There is no need to be afraid.
But Ramaprem, it happens to almost everybody. You are alone, surrounded by nothingness, emptiness, and a deep fear arises that perhaps you are coming close to death, because in our minds the association with nothingness and emptiness is with death. But even death is not you. You pass through it; it is a passage. And if you are alert, you can pass through without any fear. On the contrary, you can enjoy the silence, the peace, the immensity, the infinity that is surrounding you.
You are almost in an oceanic state of consciousness.
But now you know the door, the third eye. Travel more into it so that you become more and more acquainted, and nothingness, rather than making you afraid, will make you dance, because it is not destructive. It will give you individuality, it will give you freedom, and if you go on and on you will reach to your innermost center, which is life.
Death always happens to the body, but never to you.
And if you have found the deathless in you, all your fears, forever will disappear - and a man without fear is truly and authentically dignified. You will be proud that you have found the right path.
Very few people have traveled inwards because of this fear. As they move in, the fear stops them and they turn back into the mundane world where everything is ephemeral, where everything is going to die, where all that you possess is going to be taken away by death.
Death is impotent only against a person who knows himself. But before you can know yourself, you will have to pass through this beautiful space of nothingness, emptiness, aloneness. So rejoice and be grateful that a great experience has happened to you.
A Catholic priest visited a Catholic family. There was a little boy sitting very happily beside his cat, which had just given birth to six kittens.
The priest asked, "Why are you so happy?"
The boy said, "Because all the kittens happen to be good Catholics." Very satisfied, the priest went home.
Two weeks later he visited the family again. As soon as the little boy saw him, he began crying desperately. "What's the matter?" asked the priest. "Why are you so sad?"
The boy replied, sobbing, "The kittens are no longer Catholic."
"How can you say that?" asked the priest.
The little boy replied, "They have all opened their eyes."
The moment your inner eye starts opening, you will not be a Catholic, you will not be a Protestant, you will not be a Hindu, you will not be a Mohammedan, you will not be a Jew - you will be simply yourself; hence, all the organized religions have been avoiding the very subject.
The science of how to enter into yourself has been known for thousands of years, but no religion wants you to enter into yourself. They want you to look upwards at the sky for a fictitious God. If your inner eye remains closed, you are going to remain a Catholic, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a communist, but once the inner eye opens, you start becoming free of all these fetters and all these imprisonments.
Every person has the potential, but you have been diverted into looking for God outside yourself - and He is sitting inside you. All the priests of the world are against God, because once you know that God is within you, the whole profession of the priesthood is finished. Churches will be empty, mosques will be empty, temples and synagogues will be empty, and the whole politics of numbers and the power that it brings to the priests will be gone.
You are only an individual without any adjective.
The world will be immensely beautiful if there are only individuals, not belonging to any religion or any political ideology, but belonging to their own inner self. That's enough, more than enough.
Belonging to life itself is the only true religion, the only truth that has to be discovered. And it is not far away, just a little fear has to be dropped.
And if you go on trying, as you will become acquainted with the beauties of nothingness, the fear is going to disappear automatically. You have accidentally found the right path - now don't lose it.
Don't become again a Catholic. Keep the eye open.
A FEW MONTHS AGO, I EXPERIENCED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE THAT YOU ARE NOT.
I SAW THE PERFECT MIRROR. IT APPEARED TO ME THAT EVEN THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE IS JUST AN IDEA; THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE NIGHTMARE. ONLY ONE SENTENCE CRUSHED THROUGH MY HEAD: "HE KILLS US! HE KILLS US!" YOUR PRESENCE IN ALL OF MY FRIENDS IS AN IMMENSE HELP TO FOCUS MY ENERGY INTO THE HEART.
SIMULTANEOUSLY I STARTED TO GO THROUGH THE FEAR IN MY DAILY LIFE, BUT IT SEEMS AS IF THERE IS NO END. I'M NOT SURE ANYMORE WHETHER THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY.
WOULD YOU PLEASE COMMENT?
Dhyan Astiko, the way is right, but YOU are not right - you are in utter confusion. And if you are not right, even the right way cannot help.
Just look at your question and you will understand what I mean - that you are in utter confusion.
"A few months ago I experienced for the first time in my life that you are not." That is perfectly true.
"I saw the perfect mirror." I have been repeating to you continually that I am only a mirror. So if a donkey looks into me, he finds a donkey; if a monkey looks into me, he finds a monkey; and if a Yankee looks into me, he finds a Yankee.
People become angry, annoyed, not knowing that they are being annoyed with their own faces. And even those faces are not authentic, they are masks; they are not originals.
I have heard about one ugly woman who used to destroy any mirror anywhere the moment she would see it. And her logic was very clear - "The mirror makes me ugly; otherwise I am perfectly okay."
The people who are annoyed with me are annoyed with a mirror. If they are a little conscious, they will see that they are annoyed with their own life. They were not aware of it; looking into the mirror, they have become aware of it. Rather than changing their life and its style, they try to destroy the mirror; otherwise, there was no need to crucify Jesus. A mirror was crucified, because the man was becoming a nuisance.
I at least remain in one place; it is your responsibility if you come and look into the mirror.
Jesus used to move on his donkey from one place to another place, showing people who were not ready, their faces. He irritated all the Jewish rabbis. Rather than listening to him and changing themselves - because he had brought the whole science of transformation with him - they crucified the mirror.
Poisoning Socrates was poisoning the mirror. He had become a problem in Athens. People had become so worried about him... even to say hello to him was dangerous, because that would start a dialogue. And soon he would get you involved in a discussion in which your old prejudices, nonsense, superstitions that you used to think your great treasure, would start dropping away. He annoyed so many people in Athens that they finally decided that this man had to be finished.
This has happened to many mystics, but such is the mediocrity of humanity that rather than changing themselves, they start destroying the mirror.
I used to know one of my professors, a certain Professor Bhattacharya. He was a Bengali, and very tradition-oriented. He believed in celibacy and all kinds of unscientific, unnatural ideas, but he would never discuss them. I used to harass him. He lived alone, and I would just knock on his door - he had to open the door, and I would immediately enter his house. He would say, "I don't want any discussion."
I said, "You are starting it! I have entered silently and you have started the discussion. Why don't you want the discussion?"
He said, "My God! How to get rid of you?"
I said, "Just close the door; sit on your chair. Now there is no way; you have started it...."
He used to walk the year-round, any season, rain or summer or winter, with an umbrella so close to his head that he could see only two or three feet ahead, just to avoid people.
In the class he used to speak with closed eyes. And he spoke so fast, without even giving anybody any chance to ask a question. He would come, close his eyes, and start speaking. He was so afraid... no question should be raised against his fragile beliefs. But that is the situation of almost all human beings. They may not be carrying umbrellas, but in a subtle and invisible form they are protecting themselves... against the mirrors.
You say, Dhyan Astiko, "It appeared to me that even the physical universe is just an idea." It is perfectly true. That does not mean that there is no physical universe, but the physical universe of your thinking is just an idea. You don't know the reality of the physical universe. You don't know the reality even of your own consciousness.
A man who does not know himself, all his ideas are going to be empty, without content. What do you know about the trees? What do you know about a roseflower? You may say it is beautiful but that is only your idea, you cannot prove it; you cannot produce any evidence. It can simply be refuted.
Albert Einstein's wife was a poet and he was a mathematician - that was a strange couple. On the first night she wanted to show him a few of her poems, but she could not show more than one because the very first poem became a problem. In that poem she had compared the moon with the face of her beloved.
Einstein said, "Wait! I cannot tolerate such idiotic things: moon? and face? - there is no similarity.
The moon is a dead planet and so vast that if you put it on somebody's head, that man will be finished. Do you want to kill your beloved?"
Frau Einstein, the wife, had never thought about it, that somebody would bring this argument. And Einstein said, "What is the beauty in it? - just a rotten piece of land where there is no water, no greenery, nothing grows, no life. Is your beloved dead?"
She was an intelligent woman. She never again mentioned any of her poems to him because poems are not mathematics, not physics, not science.
Your idea of the universe is not the universe.
When all your ideas disappear and you also become a mirror, then you see the reality of existence reflected in you. But then it is no longer an idea, it is a true reflection.
I said that you are very much confused, because these were beautiful experiences and you are saying, "There are no words to describe the nightmare." I don't see anywhere any nightmare.
Experiencing me, that I am not, is a truth.
Experiencing me as a mirror is a truth.
Experiencing that the universe is only your idea is a truth. How can truth be a nightmare?
This was not a nightmare; you were coming out of nightmares.
"Only one sentence rushed through my head." Naturally, if it was a nightmare to you, you must have become immensely afraid. "Only one sentence rushed through my head, 'He kills us! He kills us!'"
That, too, is true.
To be a sannyasin is to commit suicide - suicide of the ego, suicide of the personality - because only after this suicide can you discover your original face. Every master kills you so that he can give you back your reality that you have forgotten.
The ancient UPANISHADS say, "The master is death" - a tremendously significant statement. Those who come to a master should be prepared to die, because only after death is there a possibility of resurrection.
"Your presence in all of my friends is an immense help to focus my energy into the heart." What happened to your nightmare? What happened to the fear - "He kills us! He kills us!" Suddenly you have reached to the heart. Your mind is jumping like a monkey from one tree to another tree without any relevance.
"Simultaneously I started to go through the fear in my daily life..." and you are back again.
The heart does not know fear; it only knows love.
It is the mind that knows fear; it never knows love.
The mind is the center of fear and the heart is the center of love - don't get confused. You need a clarity about your being, about your experiences, about what you say - because if in this question there is so much confusion, there must be a million times more confusion in your head. This is an edited version.
"Simultaneously I started to go through the fear in my daily life, but it seems as if there is no end. I am not sure anymore whether this is the right way." Neither am I.
Looking at your question, even the right way will turn into a wrong way; it all depends on you.
There is a great statement of Jalaluddin Rumi, a Sufi mystic. One of his disciples asked him, "Are we going to paradise?" Jalaluddin laughed and said, "I cannot say that we are going to paradise, but wherever we are going, there will be paradise. It all depends on us - what we make out of our being, out of our creativity, out of our love, out of our consciousness."
He was right: wherever we are going, don't be worried, it will be paradise.
You are asking about the right way; I am worried about you. First put yourself in a right state of being, then whatever path you follow will be right, because the paths are not outside. We are not talking about highways and superhighways.
The path is inwards.
But with a confused mind you cannot move inwards.
It is good that you asked, Dhyan Astiko, that you exposed your mind a little bit. I know millions more confusions must be there. You have presented just a sample, but it is enough indication that you need to meditate more, go through psychotherapies.... Psychotherapies are just to clean the ground, and meditation is to sow the seeds. Then wait patiently. When the spring comes, you will also have flowers in your being. And to have blossomed is right. It shows that you have followed the right way.
It happened at the AIDS prevention clinic... a German walks in and asks the clerk for six condoms.
"Six condoms?" says the clerk. "Why six?"
"Ya!" says the German, and begins to count on his fingers: "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Sunday I rest!"
Next an Italian walks in and asks the clerk for eight condoms. "Eight condoms? Why eight?"
"Mama mia! It is for-a Monday-a, Tuesday-a, Wednesday-a, Thursday-a, Friday-a, Saturday-a, and twice-a on Sunday!"
Just then an Englishman walks in and politely asks for twelve condoms. "Twelve condoms?" exclaims the clerk, very impressed, "Why twelve?"
"Simple, old chap. January, February, March...."
Dhyan Astiko, laugh a little more and be a little less serious; there is nothing better than laughter to destroy confusion.
THIS, MY FIRST YEAR OF SANNYAS, IS THE BEGINNING OF LIVING, AND EACH MOMENT IS A FRESH OPPORTUNITY TO DIVE DEEPER INTO MYSELF AND INTO YOU. YOU SPEAK OF THREE PHASES: THE STUDENT, THE DISCIPLE, AND THE DEVOTEE. AS DISCIPLE, YOUR LIGHT DRAWS ME CLOSER - MY INNER FLAME IS BURNING! AND YET, THE MIND STILL INTERPRETS AND INTERFERES. A TRUE KNOWING, MERGING WITH YOU AS A DEVOTEE, A DISTANT, UNDISCOVERED STAR. BELOVED OSHO, PLEASE SHED LIGHT ON THIS GAP I AM EXPERIENCING - THIS PHENOMENON OF DISCIPLE TRANSFORMING INTO DEVOTEE.
Nirava Chandira, the question you have asked is based on a wrong assumption. You have accepted, without understanding the meaning, that you are a disciple. You are not yet a disciple, you are only a student - because only for the student does the distance between himself and the state of a devotee seem to be very big, almost unbridgeable.
And what you say in your question gives enough proof that you are at the stage of the student, not the stage of the disciple. I will read the question and make it clear to you. It is always good to know where you are, because then progress becomes very easy. If you imagine to yourself that you are somewhere else, where you are not, no progress is possible.
"This, my first year of sannyas, is the beginning of living, and each moment is a fresh opportunity to dive deeper into myself and into you. You speak of three phases: the student, the disciple, and the devotee. As disciple, your light draws me closer - my inner flame is burning! And yet, the mind still interprets and interferes. A true knowing, merging with you as a devotee, is a distant, undiscovered star."
This recognition that the mind still interprets and interferes shows that disciplehood has not happened. You are still at the stage of the student. These three stages are parallel to three centers in your being.
The student is in the head.
The disciple is in the heart.
And the devotee is in the being.
The student thinks, interprets. The disciple loves, and simply drinks the very presence of the master.
The disciple is in tune, his heartbeat is harmonious with the master's heartbeat. There is no question of interpretation or interference. The heart does not work through thoughts. And from the heart, the state of devotee is not very far, but very close. As love deepens and becomes trust, as harmony with the master grows and becomes one organic unity, the devotee is born.
It will be immensely good for you to be clearly aware that you are still in the head. Perhaps your head feels convinced of what I am saying, but there are underlying doubts. To avoid those doubts, your head interprets in such a way that it fits with your own prejudices, your own ideologies.
The student does not get in tune with the master; on the contrary, whatever the master says, the student tries to make it in such a way that it becomes in tune with his old mind. Hence, interpretation and interference are absolutely necessary, but they are indicative that you have not moved from the head. And it is your head that is going continuously into a desire, into a longing to be a devotee.
To be a devotee is not a desire and is not a longing. The disciple is so satisfied, so contented, that the state of devotion happens on its own accord. It is not a desire, not a longing - because every desire and every longing makes things complex and difficult.
The distance between the disciple and the devotee is almost nil. The disciple is the beginning of relaxing with the master, and the devotee is the fulfillment of that relaxation. The disciple is the beginning, the devotee is the end.
Chandira, whatever is happening is not bad. It is good that you are feeling yourself diving deeper and deeper into yourself. But remember that you are still a student and that you have to get rid of your thoughts. For that purpose there are so many meditations - do any meditation that appeals to you, that feels good to you, because I don't want you to torture yourself. Remember Chuang Tzu's statement, "Easy is right."
So find a meditation which is easy for you, comfortable, blissful, and comes without any effort. It is almost a relaxation, a rest.
If the mind stops its madness, its constant chattering, its distortions of everything, you will become a disciple. The bridge between the student and the disciple is meditation, and the bridge between the disciple and the devotee is love. It is only a question of two steps - one step of meditation and one step of love - and you have arrived home.
But drop the idea completely that you are already a disciple, because that will become a tremendous hindrance. Without meditation coming to a fulfillment, love cannot arise. That's why to be a devotee seems to be a faraway star. It is not only far away, it is impossible. One should be very factual and very scientific in judging oneself, where one is.
Don't feel hurt, because even to be a student is a rare thing. In millions of people around the world, to be a student in a mystery school is a rare, very unique opportunity. And you will become a disciple...
but keep your focus on moving away from the head towards the heart. Right now the devotee should not be made a goal.
Once your mind is gone and your heart is singing and dancing with joy and love, you will see that the devotee is just one step more. The love has to become crystallized into trust, and the harmoniousness has to come even closer and become oneness.
The master and the devotee are one. The master and the disciple have a little distance. The master and the student are really far away - but everybody has to begin from being a student. That is the right beginning. Don't start thinking of yourself as a disciple. Start from the right beginning as a student; your goal is to be a disciple.
Once you have reached to the point of disciplehood, you cannot ask such a question, saying that the state of devotee looks like a faraway star. It is just within the reach of your hand - A little more courage, a little more love, a little more risk, a readiness to dissolve into the master, who is not.
Dissolving into the master is only a device.
The moment you dissolve into the master, you will be surprised that you have dissolved into existence itself; the master was only a window. Through the master you can enter into the open sky. Then all the stars are yours and the whole existence is yours. You are part of it.
But be intelligent in recognizing where you are. Only the unintelligent cannot grow; the intelligent have no difficulty in growing - and everybody has the intelligence, but is not using it.
A gum-chewing American and a Frenchman are sitting together in a restaurant. The American feels really proud to be an American, so he starts a conversation. He asks the Frenchman, "When you eat bread, do you eat all of it?"
"Of course," says the Frenchman.
"Well," says the American, "We only eat the soft part of it; the rest we collect in containers, take to a factory and put through a mill. What comes out are little breads that we sell in France.
"And what about steaks?" he continues. "Do you eat all parts of them?"
"Yes, we do," answers the Frenchman.
"Oh, we don't!" says the American. "We only eat the meaty part of the steak; the greasy part we collect in containers, take to a factory, put through a mill, and what comes out are little steaks that we sell in France."
Now the Frenchman gets really upset. He asks, "So what do Americans do with their used condoms?"
"Of course we throw them away," says the American.
The Frenchman replies, "Ha! We collect them all in containers, take them to a factory and put them through a mill. What comes out is chewing gum that we sell in America!"
So don't feel bad about being a student; enjoy it. But don't chew American chewing gum. That is the most idiotic act in the whole world. And soon you will grow... just avoid chewing gum. That chewing gum goes into the head and makes all kinds of ideas, interpretations, interferences, ideologies. Just avoid it... and slip back down towards the heart.
The head is good for science, but not for religion. The heart is not good for science, but it is an absolute must for religion, because it is the heart that finally grows into devotion, into merger, into love, into trust, into self-realization, into the experience of the divine.