Facing the Reality

Fri, 2 June 1972 00:00:00 GMT
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Osho - Upanishads - The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1
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Question 1:



MAN IS born with a Self, but not with an ego. Ego is a social construct, a later growth. Ego cannot exist without relationship. You can exist, the Self can exist, but the ego cannot exist in itself. It is a by-product of being related to others. So ego exists between "I and thou". It is a relata.

The child is born with a Self but not with an ego. The child develops the ego. As he becomes more and more social and related, ego develops. This ego is just on your periphery where you are related with others - just on the boundary of your being. So ego is the periphery of your being, and Self is the center. The child is born with a Self, but unaware. He is a Self, but he is not conscious of the Self.

The first awareness of the child comes with his ego. He becomes aware of the "I", not of the Self.

Really, he becomes aware first of the "thou". The child becomes aware first of his mother. Then, reflectively, he becomes aware of himself. First he becomes aware of objects around him. Then, by and by, he begins to feel that he is separate. This feeling of separation gives the feeling of ego, and because the child first becomes aware of the ego, ego becomes a covering on the Self.

Then ego goes on growing, because the society needs you as an ego, not as a Self. The Self is irrelevant for the society; your periphery is meaningful. And there are many problems. The ego can be taught and the ego can be made docile and the ego can be forced to be obedient. The ego can be made to adjust, but not the Self. The Self cannot be taught, the Self cannot be forced. The Self is intrinsically rebellious, individual. It cannot be made a part of society.

So the society is not interested in your Self. The society is interested in your ego - because something can be done with the ego, and nothing can be done with the Self. So the society helps to strengthen the ego, and you go on living around your ego. The more you grow, the more you become social, educated, cultured, civilized, the more polished an ego you have. Then you begin to function from the ego, not from the Self, because you are not aware of it at all.

So your essence goes on into the unconscious, into inner darkness, and a false construct, a social construct - the ego - becomes your center. Now you identify yourself with your ego - with your name, with your education, with your family, with your religion, with your country. These are all just part of your ego, not of your Self, because the Self doesn't belong to your parents, the Self doesn't belong to your country, the Self doesn't belong to any religion, the Self doesn't even belong to your self. It doesn't belong! The Self is a freedom. It is total freedom! It exists in its own right. It doesn't belong to anything else, it doesn't depend on anything else. It is!

But the ego belongs. It exists in a pattern. So if you are left alone for a long period, your ego will, by and by, subside. By and by, you will feel that your ego is being starved - because the ego needs constant help from others. It needs a constant energy, food from others. That's why love gives you a very heightened feeling of ego - because in love the other gives you significance, meaning. You become, for the first time, important. And in love, lovers help each other mutually. Love is a very subtle food for ego. The ultimate vitamin for the ego is love.

That's why Mahavir and Buddha and Mohammed and Christ, they all escaped from society. It was not really escaping from society: they all escaped into loneliness. It was not against society.

Basically, it was to know whether their egos could exist outside society. And Mahavir, continUously for twelve years, was in loneliness just to dissolve this ego, this social construct. He chose to be without a center for the time being so that a real center, the authentic center, could come up.

One has to be in a gap. Mm? That gap is bound to be a chaos, because you are centered in the ego and the real center is hidden behind. Unless you dissolve this false center you cannot reach to the real center - because there is no need. The ego goes on substituting for it.

The ego is enough as far as the world is concerned, society is concerned, relationship is concerned - the ego is enough. If you go on a lonely retreat in non-relationship, this ego cannot exist because it is a bridge between I and thou. If the thou is not there, the bridge cannot exist on one bank. It needs two banks to be there. That's why this retreating into loneliness became a deep sadhana.

But you can deceive yourself. If you go into loneliness and then begin to talk with God, then again you will create your ego. You have created the thou, the other, again. So if you retreat into loneliness and then pray to God and begin to talk with God, then you have created an imaginary thou. Now the ego can exist again. So to be in loneliness means to be without thou - no thou - to be totally alone. Then this ego Cannot exist. It will wither away, and you will be thrown into chaos because you will be, for a certain period, without any center. This chaos has to be faced. Unless you face it you cannot be centered in your Self. You have to pass through this.

Christian mystics have called this "The Dark Night of the Soul". Really, one just becomes mad, because when you have no center you are mad. You have nowhere to function from; you have no unity now. You are just fragments with no energy in them, with no center, with no focus. You are a crowd. You will be mad. This madness has to be faced. This is the only courage the religious revolution needs: to be mad, to be without a center. This is the real austerity: to pass through it without creating any false center again, to be so honest that unless the real center comes up you are not going to create any center any more. You will wait. This waiting may take any length of time.

Nothing can be said.

Mahavir had to be in loneliness for twelve years; Mohammed was in it only for thirty days. It depends on many things. I feel Mahavir had to wait for twelve years because he was the son of a great king.

He must have been deeply rooted in a false ego - more than Mohammed. He-was no ordinary man.

His ego was greater than Mohammed's. Mohammed was just a poor man with no developed ego, uneducated, really nobody. He was nobody! But Mahavir was somebody. He belonged to a great family. He had a great heritage, a very polished ego, well educated, cultured. In every way he had a very crystallized ego. Twelve years were needed to dissolve it.

Jesus was in loneliness for only forty days. He was also a poor man with nothing to help his ego.

The more civilization progresses, the more difficult it is - because every progressive civilization is bound to have a solidifying effect on the egos that constitute that civilization.

This passing through a chaos without any center, being a chaos, ultimately throws you down to the center, the real center, to the Self. There are many methods for how to go through this chaos and how to destroy this ego. But this is a foundational thing: to have the courage to be without a center for a certain period of time.

You can do it by surrender. You can surrender yourself to someone, to the teacher. If the surrendering is total, then you will be without ego. You can be a Self, but not an ego; that's why surrender is so difficult. And the more egoistic an age, the more difficult surrender becomes. In surrender you give up yourself, you become a shadow, you just follow the instructions. You don't think about them - you are no more.

But whenever surrender is to be contemplated, one begins to think: "If I surrender, then I will not be an individual." This is absolutely incorrect. If you surrender, only then can you be an individual, because the ego is not your individuality. It is false, it is just a facade. If you surrender the false, then you are bound to explode into the real. And this is the beauty of surrender: you cannot surrender the Self - mm? - that is impossible; you can only surrender the ego. You can give up only that which has been given tb you. You cannot give up your Self; that is impossible. There is no possibility. How can you give up your Self? You can give up something which has been put into you, which is a social penetration.

Really, you can give only that which doesn't belong to you, which you are not.

This will look contradictory, paradoxical. You can give only that which you are not. That which you are you cannot give. So in surrender you give up whatsoever you know yourself to be. Then only the Self remains, which you really are and you cannot give up. When the false is thrown, the real is encountered.

So there are two ways, two basic ways: one is surrender. Mm? There are many methods of surrender, but the foundation is always to surrender to someone. It is not significant to whom. It is absolutely insignificant to whom you surrender. The real thing is surrendering. So sometimes it happens that the teacher himself may not be a real one - but if you surrender, you may come to the real Self.

Even a false teacher can be a help, even a dead teacher can be a help - because the real thing is not to whom you are surrendering; the real thing is that you are surrendering. The happening is in you. To whom it is addressed is absolutely irrelevant. Krishna may be there or he may not be there; Buddha may be a historical person or he may not be; Jesus may just be a myth - it makes no difference. If you can surrender to Jesus, whether Jesus was ever there or not, the thing will happen to you. It is the surrendering that is meaningful.

So one way, one basic way, is surrender. Another is absolute will. Don't surrender, but then be absolutely yourself. I said that when you surrender, the Self cannot be surrendered. Whatsoever you surrender is bound to be the ego, the false, the PERSONA - not the essence. Another basic path is to be yourself totally, don't surrender - but then be a will.

Again, the ego has no will; it cannot have. The ego is absolutely will-less because a false entity cannot have the quality of will. Will belongs to the real. You are absolutely will-less. In the morning you decide something; in the afternoon you yourself cancel it. When you are deciding, at that very moment some part of you is cancelling it. You say, "I love." Go deep, and somewhere in the corner hate is hiding - in that very moment. You decide, "I am going to do this," and in that very moment the contrary is there.

Will means nothing contrary in the mind. Will means one - no duality. Ego cannot have any will. Ego means many contradictory wills simultaneously. You are a crowd as far as ego is concerned, and it is bound to be. It is natural, because as I said, ego is created by relationships. It is a by-product.

You have many relationships, so your ego is a construct of many relationships. It cannot be one; it is a crowd.

Really, look at it in this way: you have a part of your ego which was created with your mother - a fragment of your ego was created by you in relationship with your mother. Another part of your ego was created by you in relationship with your father; another was created in relationship with your wife. Now the fragment that was created by your wife cannot be the same as that which was created by your mother. They will be antagonistic. They will fight inside you. It is not only that your wife and your mother will fight outside. The ego part which is in you will also fight. It is not only that your father and your mother will fight outside. They have created fragments of your ego and they will fight inside. So you have many fragments, you have a crowd in the name of the ego - a crowd. A constant fight, a conflict, is going on. You cannot will anything.

Gurdjieff used to say, "You cannot will because you are not." Man is not because man is not one.

You are a crowd, and a crowd without any real unity. You have many faces, you have many wills. In a certain moment, in a certain situation, one fragment is the master. Then you say something, then you decide to do something. In that moment you feel that you have a will, but in the next moment that fragment has gone down. Another fragment has come up - and this fragment is not even aware of your decisions.

You are angry and then you decide, "I will not be angry again." The part that was angry has not decided this. This is another part, and they both may not meet at any time in your life. The second part which says, "I decide now not tb be angry," is not the part which was angry. And there is no meeting. The part which was angry will again be angry tomorrow, and when that part is angry you will forget completely what you had decided Again you will repent. The other part has come up again - and this goes on.

Gurdjieff used to say that we are like a house, the master of which is either asleep or has gone somewhere else. For years together the house has not known its master. There are many servants.

The servants have forgotten completely that there was ever any master. Either he is asleep or he has gone away. For years together the servants have lived in the house without the master. Someone passes by the house; some servant is outside and he asks the servant, "Who is the master?" The servant says, "I am the master." Another day the same man passes by the house and finds someone else there. He asks, "Who is the master?" The second servant says, "I am the master." Every servant claims that he is the master, and nothing can be decided because the master is asleep or has gone somewhere else. These servant-masters can decide something, but they cannot complete it. They can Promise something, but they cannot fulfill it. They are not the masters at all.

This is the situation of the ego. It cannot will. So the second path is to create a will. If you create a will, then the ego will disappear - because only the Self can will. So if you begin to will, if you insist on willing, then by and by you will go in. The ego cannot will; and if you insist on willing, the ego will disappear.

Surrender is one basic path - the path of the bhaktas. tap, will, is the second basic path - the path of the warriors, fighters. Each path has many techniques, but the essential thing is this.

Gurdjieff used the second path - the path of will. He called it crystallization. He said, "If you will, then by and by you will crystallize into your center." The ego cannot exist with a willing consciousness - it cannot exist. So Gurdjieff used very deep methods for inner integration. He would say, for example, "Don't sleep for seven days. Whatsoever happens, don't sleep." You can remain without food for seven days; it is not so difficult. But to be without sleep for seven days is very difficult. To be without food for seven days is not so difficult; a man can be alive without food for at least ninety days without any danger. But with sleep it is difficult.

Food is a voluntary thing. You may eat, you may not eat. Sleep is not a voluntary thing: it is non- voluntary. Either it comes or it doesn't. You cannot bring it; you cannot force yourself into sleep.

You can force yourself not to take food or to take more food; that is a voluntary thing. But sleep is a non-voluntary phenomenon. You cannot force yourself. And when sleep comes you will not be able, with your ego, to be awake. But you can insist. You can say, "Whatsoever happens, I will not sleep.

I am ready to die, but not to sleep." Gurdjieff's chief disciple, Ouspensky, was dying, but he would not lie down. He continued walking.

He was dying, and he was aware that death was just about to come - but he would not lie down.

Physicians insisted, persuaded, but he would not lie down. He said, "No, I am going to die walking.

I am going to die consciously." He used even death to create will, and he died walking. He was the first man in the whole history of humanity who died walking - consciously.

Consider, contemplate, what was happening inside of him. It is not simply sleep - it is death. And he was not ready to surrender even to death. Mm? This is an anti-surrender path. He was not ready even to surrender to death. He continued to fight. He went on walking for three days and three nights. The body was very ill, old. Those who were keeping watch over him couldn't follow him - they had to sleep. So someone would sleep and someone else would watch him. A group of twelve persons continued watching him, but for three days continuously, night and day, he continued walking. He would not sit. He would not allow any terms, any compromise with death. He died a crystallized man. He used death to create will.

You can fight with sleep, you can fight with food, you can fight with sex, you can fight with anything - but then no compromise! Then no surrender! Then be absolute in it! But ego cannot be absolute in anything. And if you insist on being absolute, ego will disappear and suddenly you will become aware of a different center in yourself. The ego cannot will, so if you will the ego cannot exist.

So either surrender totally or win totally. Then you will understand that these seemingly contradictory parts are not really contradictory, not so contradictory, because one thing is common: totality - total surrender or total will. The ego can never be total in anything. It is always fragmentary, divided. So be total, in any way, and the ego evaporates. And when there is no ego, for the first time you become aware of your real center.

I call it centering; Gurdjieff calls it crystallization. Words don't mean much. Through this centering you become a being through this centering you are in Existence. Before this you are in society, not in Existence. Before this you are part of a civilization, of a culture, of a language, of a religion, but not a part of Existence. Before this you lived in a man-created world. Before this you belonged to "this". And once you are centered, you belong to That which is beyond, which is not created, which is eternal. Then you come to the source. You may call it God, you may call it soul, you may call it whatsoever you like. The Upanishads call it "That" - that which is unborn, that which is deathless, that which is.

This centering is possible, it is not impossible. It looks impossible, it appears impossible; it is impossible for the ego - not for you. It is impossible for the ego because ego cannot attain it.

Rather, in attaining it ego will die.

The old yoga scriptures say, "Hear whatsoever the Teacher says and follow it - because he is your Self. Whatsoever he is saying, it is your own inner voice." So they say the real Teacher, the real Guru, exists in you. Outside you the Teacher is just a help to awaken the inner Teacher. So, really, surrendering to a Teacher is surrendering to the Self. It is just like this: you come to a mirror, and for the first time you become aware of your face - through the mirror. The Teacher is just a mirror. If you surrender you become aware of your own Self.

This is one way. The other is to find out your own will. And decide which is your way, because, as I know, there are many people who just go on thinking: sometimes they think of surrender; sometimes they think of will - rather, this is their way. Whenever you talk to them about surrender, they think about will. If you talk to them about will, they will think about surrender. This is how the fragments of the ego work.

If I say to you, "Surrender," then you will think, "How can I surrender? What will happen to my individuality, my freedom?" And you have none really - no individuality. no freedom. But then you become afraid of losing something which you don't have. "How can I surrender?" Then if I say to you, "Don't surrender! Create a will!" then you say, "I am so weak, how can I create a will? It is so difficult." And both these teachings can have counterparts in your ego. And then you can go on wavering. That wavering will never help you to come to your center.

Decide either this or that, and then follow it - and then follow it absolutely, totally, because that totality ultimately helps to destroy the false structure of the ego. And when the false center is no more, you will come to know the real center. There will be a gap - a gap of chaos. One has to face it. It is painful, but it is a birth pain. One has to pass through it; it is a necessity. But when you come to the center, then you know that you have paid nothing. What you have gained is invaluable, and whatsoever you have done is just nothing. But before you attain it, your effort is very valuable.

And, lastly, you can be in a confusion and you can go on thinking that you have become centered or that you are crystallized - only because you have a crystallized ego. So what is the difference?

How can you judge whether you are centered in the ego or centered in the Self?

Three things to be remembered: one, if you are existing in the ego you can never be in silence - never. Then you are in a crowd, in the marketplace. Your ego is a market production. You can never be in silence.

Secondly, you can never find even an iota of happiness, because happiness happens only to the real center, silence happens only to the real center. They are qualities of the real center. You need not make any effort for them; they are just there. So if you are in the ego, your happiness will always be in the future - never attained. always to be attained.

And, thirdly, your life motivation will be fear when you are in the ego. Whatsoever you do, your motivation will be fear-oriented, you will be fear-oriented. If you love, you will love because of fear.

If you pray, you will pray because of fear. If you think of God, you will think because of fear. If you accumulate wealth, you will accumulate because of fear. If you make friends... whatsoever you do, your basic motive will be fear-oriented.

These three things. No silence will be possible because there is a crowd, a conflicting crowd of tensions and tensions and conflicts. anxiety and anguish, but no silence, no happiness - because happiness belongs to the center, not to the ego. And there will be fearorientation because ego is constantly afraid of death - because ego is just a construct. It is not a reality, so it is afraid of death.

The Self is never afraid of death, the Self has never known death. Death is impossible to the center - to the real center. Deathlessness is the very quality of it, its nature. So remember these three things.

Mind will be a constant tension, anguish, a longing for happiness, but no experience; and everything will be trembling, fear-oriented. Your religion will be just a fear, your beliefs, your philosophies, just fear - existing only to hide the fear, to escape the fear, to deceive yourself.

If you are in the real center, silence will be your nature - not dependent on any situation. It is not that the situation is such that you are silent. Whatsoever the situation, you will be silent. You cannot be otherwise. Nothing can disturb you. Disturbance will be there but you will remain unaffected, untouched. Nothing penetrates to your center, it cannot.

Silence, then, is not situational. It is not that the day is good, not that you are successful, not that you are surrounded by friends - no. It is not anything situational. Silence is there. Whatsoever the situation, silence is there and happiness - not in the future but here and now. And this happiness is not a happening. It is a state. It is not that today you are happy - you cannot be otherwise. You are happiness, and fear dissolves. And with the dissolution of fear, the whole world that we have created around fear dissolves. You enter into a world of no-fear. And when there is no fear, only then is freedom possible. Fear and freedom cannot exist together. It is because of fear that we have created all our slaveries, all our bondages. Our imprisonment is because of our fear.

So remember these three things. And once you have known your real center, you are not the same.

The old man has died and a new one is born. It is a new birth! When the child is born, only a body is born. Then the ego is given by the society. You go on living with an ego and a body - with no Self.

Unless you dissolve this ego and find the Self, your life is wasted. The body is given by your parents and the ego is given by your society. Who are you? The body belongs to your parents, to heredity, to a long series, and the ego belongs to the society. Who are you?

Gurdjieff used to say that you are not. You are just a construct. Unless you find out something which has not come through the parents, not come through the society, not come at all to you; which you have always been - before your birth, after your death; that which you will be, which you have been, which you are; unless you find that, you are not a centered being, you go on living on the periphery.

This peripheral existence has been called SANSAR - the world, the this. This centered existence is called the Nirvana - the That.

Question 2:


"How can one differentiate between a projected experience and an authentic one?" It is difficult.

Because we have to speculate, that's why it is difficult. For example, how can you feel that you are touching a real fire or just an imagined one? If you have not touched a real fire, it is very difficult to think about it, to make any theoretical distinction. If you have touched a real fire, then it is not so difficult, then you know. A projected experience is just a dream experience.

But we can think certain things. If you have projected something, you have to go on projecting it; otherwise it will disappear. For example, if I project God and I say, "I see Him in the trees, I see Him in the sky, I see Him everywhere," if it is a projected experience, just my projection, my thought imposed on things, not a realization, but an idea, a theory imposed on things; if I project that I can see a tree as Divine - then I have to help this projection constantly. If I drop repeating, if I forget even for a single moment, the Divine will disappear and there will only be a tree.

In a projected experience you have to work for it continuously. You cannot have any leave, you cannot be on any holiday. The so-called saints cannot go on any holiday. They are continuously at work. They are working and working day and night. If you stop them for a single moment, the projected experience will disappear.

Some friends brought to me a Sufi mystic. He was an old man, and he said that for thirty years he had been experiencing God in everything. And it looked so, it appeared so! He was just ecstatic, dancing, his eyes aflame with some unknown experience. So I asked that man, that mystic, "For thirty years you have been experiencing - is there any effort you still have to make?" He said, "I have to constantly remember. Continuously, I have to remember. If I forget, then the whole thing disappears." So I asked him to stop all effort for three days and be with me.

He was with me only one night. The next morning he said, "What have you done? You have destroyed it! My thirty years' effort, and you have destroyed everything!" He began to weep. The same eyes which had been aflame with something unknown, became ugly. Thirty years' effort - and he said, "How, in what unfortunate moment, did I come to you? What have you done? Why did you say to me to stop for three days. Now how can I get into it again?" This is the projected experience. So I told him, "It is better not to get into it again, because you have wasted thirty years in a dream. You can waste thirty lives, but what are you gaining out of it?" Authentic experience needs no effort. You need not maintain it. When it happens, it has happened.

Now you can forget everything. You need not go on maintaining it; there is no constant maintenance.

It remains. You forget it - it is there. You don't look at it - it is there. You sleep - it is there. Now the tree cannot become a tree again; now it can never again be a mere tree. Whether I remember or not, it is Divine.

So one thing: you need effort before the happening. Mm? - remember, you need effort before the happening. In both, in the authentic and the projected, effort is needed before the happening. In the authentic experience there is no need after the happening, but in the projected experience there is a continuous need, you have to go on making effort. It is just like in a cinema hall. The projector is running continuously so that the screen is filled. If for a single moment the film is broken or the projector stops, the whole thing disappears, the whole dream disappears, and there is just a plain screen and nothing else. You have to run the projector continuously; then there is no screen, but a different world.

The same is the case if you have to run your mind continuously as a projector, or if you have to remember that you are Divine, that everything is Divine, that all around is God: you have to project continuously, with no gap. And if there is a gap, the whole thing disappears. Then it is a projection.

It is not authentic, it is not real.

If there is no need of this constant effort, then it is authentic, it is real. Then you can forget. The day you can forget God, only then have you realized. If you still have to remember Him, it is a projection.

The day you can stop your meditation and there is no difference - whether you meditate or not it is the same - then it is authentic. If you stop your meditation, if you stop your prayer, if you stop your effort and everything changes and you feel that something is missing, then it is a projection, a projected feeling. Then it is an addiction. Then someone is a drug addict and you are a prayer addict - but it makes no difference.

One of the rarest and deepest treatises on yoga in India is the "Gherand Samhita" - the most foundational one. It says: "Unless you go beyond meditation, your meditations are of no use. Unless you go beyond prayer, your prayers have not been heard. Unless you forget God completely, you are not one with Him." A Buddha will not talk about God; there is no need. Someone has said, "There has never been such a godless man as Gautam the Buddha - and yet such a godlike one." But he could be godless because he was so godlike.

So remember one thing: no constant projecting. There is only one thing you can do. and that is to make your mind thoughtless - because thoughts are the projections. If you have thoughts, then they will be projected. If you have no thoughts, it is just as if a projector machine is there without film. If no film is there, it cannot project. Your mind is a projecting machine, and thoughts are the film. If thoughts run and the machine is working then they will be projected, then the whole world is a screen. You go on projecting.

When you love someone, the person is just a screen: you project. When you hate someone, the person is just a screen: you project. It is your thoughts that you go on projecting. The same face is beautiful today, and the next day it becomes ugly - the same face - because your beauty, your ugliness, your feeling of beauty, your feeling of ugliness, is not concerned with the face at all. The face is just a screen with your thoughts projected on it.

No thoughts, no projections! That's why my insistence is that you come to a point of thoughtlessness, of thoughtless awareness - so that there will be no projection. Then you will see the world as it is, not as your thoughts make it. If you can see the world as it is, you have come to the Divine.

Now you can feel the difference. The world is there: you project the Divine on it: it is a thought.

You say, "The world is Divine" - it is a thought. You don't know. You have heard it, you have read it, someone has said it to you. You wish it should be so, you want, you long that it should be so - but you have not known it. You don't know the world is Divine. You know the world as the world.

This concept that "the world is Divine" is a thought. Now you can project. Repeat it constantly, let it remain in the mind constantly, let it be a constant thing between the world and you, then your mind will project through this thought, and some day the world will begin to look Divine. Man? This is a projection: you have thought of it as Divine, and now you feel it The authentic realization is totally different. You don't know what the world is. You don't say that it is Divine or not. You say, "I don't know." That's how a real, authentic seeker begins. He says, "I don't know." The false, the projecting one, always says, "I know! The world is Divine. Everywhere there is God." The real seeker will say, "I don't know. I know the tree, I know the stone - I don't know what the inside of Existence is. I am ignrant." This feeling gives you a humility, a deep humbleness. And when you don't know, you cannot project - because now you will not cooperate with any thought. Then drop all the thoughts and say, "I don't know." Drop all the thoughts. Don't be attached to knowledge. By and by, be aware that no thoughts should be there between you and the world. This is what meditation means - a no-thought relationship. You are here; I look at you with no thought, with no prejudice, with no image, with nothing in between. You are there, I am here, and there is space - unfilled. vacant.

If this can happen between you and the world, then the world is revealed to you in its totality, in its reality, in its essence. Then you know that which is, and that is Divine. But now it is not a thought. There is no thought at all. You are vacant, empty, silent. It is a revelation, not a projection.

So a meditative mind reaches to a state of thoughtlessness, and then only is revelation possible; otherwise you will go on projecting, you will go on projecting. Thought cannot do otherwise - it will project.

Go deep in meditation, and remain with reality without thoughts. Sit under a tree without thoughts, look at the tree with no thought in the mind, with no preconception. Let the tree be there, encountered by your consciousness. Be a mirror - silent, with no thought waves - and let the tree be mirrored in it. And then suddenly you will know that the tree never existed as a tree. That was only an appearance, a face, a persona. It was Divine - just clothed as a tree. The tree was just a clothing; now you have known the inside. No need to remember it! Wherever you move with this meditative state, God will be there, the Divine will be there.

I would like to say it in this way: the Divine is not an object; you cannot find the Divine as an object somewhere. It is a state of mind. When you have that state of mind, it is everywhere. And if you don't have that state of mind, you can create a false, thinking state. But that has to be continuously maintained - and you cannot maintain anything continuously.

So you will find saints weeping and repenting and feeling they have sinned because they haven't maintained continuously. How can you maintain continuously? If you are maintaining anything, you will have to relax. Any effort has to be relaxed. If you have tried to remember that the tree is not a tree but God, after a certain period you will have so much tensed the mind that you will need rest.

When you rest, the tree will just be a mere tree, and the God will have disappeared. Then try again, and go on trying. With effort, relaxation is bound to come, it will follow.

You can do anything with effort, but it cannot become your nature. You will go on losing it again and again. So if you go on losing a certain feeling, know that it is a projection. When you cannot lose it, do whatsoever you want to do or don't want to do, be whatsoever....

I would like to tell you a story: A Chinese Zen monk was living under a tree for thirty years, and he was known to be a very realized man. A woman of the village was serving that monk continuously for thirty years. The monk was known as absolutely pure. Now he was old, and that woman was also old. That woman was on her deathbed, so she called a prostitute from the village and asked her to go to the monk in the night, at midnight: "Just go and embrace him, and come back and tell me how he reacted." The prostitute asked, "What is the purpose of it?" The old woman said, "I have served him for thirty years, but still I feel that his purity is a maintained purity. It is not yet effortless. So before dying I want to know whether I was serving a right man or whether I was just deluded as he is deluded - because I have been a part in this. So just before my death, let me know it. I want to know." So the prostitute went. It was midnight and the monk was meditating - the last meditation of the night. The moment he saw that the prostitute was coming... he knew her, and he knew well. She belonged to the same village. And he knew well, moreover, because he had been attracted to her so many times before. Really, he was fighting against this prostitute for years. He was bewildered. He just ran out of the hut and cried, "Why have you come here? Don't touch me!" And he was trembling and perspiring. The prostitute laughed, went back, and told the old woman that this had happened.

The old woman said, "Then I was deceived. He is still the same. Nothing has changed - he reacts very ordinarily. He is afraid. His mind is still attached; his mind is still sexual." Sex can have just the reverse aspect also. You can be attracted in two ways - positively or negatively.

Negative attraction may not look like attraction, but it is.

The same happened to Buddha. Buddha was staying under a tree in a forest. Some young men had come for a picnic, to enjoy themselves. They had brought a prostitute with them. They were eating and they were drinking, and they became so intoxicated that the prostitute escaped. They were intoxicated so much that the prostitute escaped! When they became conscious that the prostitute had escaped, they followed her.

There was only one path. The prostitute must have passed where Buddha was sitting. So they came and asked the Buddha, "bhikkhu, have you seen a naked beautiful girl passing by here? - because this is the only path." Buddha opened his eyes and he said, "It is difficult to say whether she was a woman or a man; it is difficult to say whether she was beautiful or not; it is difficult to say whether she was naked or clothed. But someone has passed - to this much I can be a witness. Someone has passed.

"I cannot say whether that one was a woman or a man because I am not interested - not interested at all, not even negatively. Whether she was beautiful or ugly, I am not interested. Whether she was clothed or naked, I am not interested. For this much I can vouch: someone has passed.

"And one thing more. The night is so silent - is it good, young men, to go after the one who has passed, to find that person? Or is it better to come and sit beside me and to find yourself? The night is very silent, so what do you think? Is it better to find yourself or to go in search of someone else?" This is a very different mind - no negative, no positive attachment - as if it is meaningless. Meaning can exist even when you are antagonistic. It exists more, rather. Any maintenance for any state of mind, any effort to maintain it, shows that you are still fighting. It is not a realization; it is still an effort to impose something.

So be silent, thoughtless - and then know what is. Don't think about it and don't preformulate anything about it. Don't be concerned with philosophies and metaphysical theories, don't be concerned with ideas - only then is the reality revealed. If you are concerned with ideas, then you will project something onto the reality and the reality will just serve as a screen. And this is the danger: you can come to know anything you want, you can project anything you want.

Mind has two capacities: one is that it can project anything, and the other is that it can be totally vacant. These are the two possibilities. If the mind is used as a positive projection, then you can realize anything you like, but it is not a realization - you are living in a dream. Vacate the mind, and face reality with a vacant mind, with no thought - then you know what is.

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"Marxism is the modern form of Jewish prophecy."

(Reinhold Niebur, Speech before the Jewish Institute of
Religion, New York October 3, 1934)