White Cloud

A white cloud really has no way of its own. It drifts. It has nowhere to reach, no destination, no destiny to be fulfilled, no end. You cannot frustrate a white cloud because wherever it reaches is the goal.

Chapter 1: The Way of the White Clouds

Beloved osho, why is your way called the way of the white clouds?

Just before Buddha died somebody asked him: When a buddha dies where does he go? Does he survive or simply disappear into nothingness? This is not a new question, it is one of the oldest, many times repeated and asked. Buddha is reported to have said: Just like a white cloud disappearing....

This very morning there were white clouds in the sky. Now they are there no more. Where have they gone? From where do they come? How do they evolve, and how do they dissolve again? A white cloud is a mystery, the coming, the going, the very being of it. That's the first reason why I call my way The Way of the White Clouds.

But there are many reasons, and it is good to ponder, to meditate upon them. A white cloud exists without any roots. It is an unrooted phenomenon, grounded nowhere or grounded in the nowhere. But still it exists. The whole of existence is like a white cloud: without any roots, without any causality, without any ultimate cause, it exists. It exists as a mystery.

A white cloud really has no way of its own. It drifts. It has nowhere to reach, no destination, no destiny to be fulfilled, no end. You cannot frustrate a white cloud because wherever it reaches is the goal.

If you have a goal you are bound to get frustrated. The more goal-oriented a mind is, the more anguish, anxiety and frustration there will be, because once you have a goal you are moving with a fixed destination. And the whole exists without any destiny. The whole is not moving anywhere; there is no goal to it, no purpose.

And once you have a purpose, you are against the whole - remember this - then you will get frustrated. You cannot win against the whole. Your existence is so tiny - you cannot fight, you cannot conquer. It is impossible to conceive how an individual unit can conquer the whole. And if the whole is purposeless and you are with purpose you are going to be defeated.

A white cloud drifts wherever the wind leads - it doesn't resist, it doesn't fight. A white cloud is not a conqueror, and still it hovers over everything. You cannot conquer it, you cannot defeat it. It has no mind to conquer - that's why you cannot defeat it.

Once you are fixed to a goal, purpose, destiny, meaning, once you have got that madness of reaching somewhere, then problems will arise. And you will be defeated, that is certain. Your defeat is in the very nature of existence itself.

A white cloud has nowhere to go. It moves, it moves everywhere. All dimensions belong to it, all directions belong to it. Nothing is rejected. Everything is, exists, in a total acceptability. Hence I call my way The Way of the White Clouds.

The white clouds have no way of their own - they drift. A way means reaching somewhere. The White Clouds' Way means a pathless path, a wayless way. Moving, but not with a fixed mind - moving without a mind.

This has to be understood, because purpose is synonymous with mind. That's why you cannot conceive how to live without purpose, because the mind cannot exist without purpose.

And people are so absurd - they even come to me and ask: What is the purpose of meditation? Meditation cannot have any purpose because meditation basically means a state of no-mind: it is where you are, not going anywhere; where just being, just to be, is the goal.

The goal is here and now. Once the goal is somewhere else mind starts its journey. Then the mind starts thinking, then the mind starts a process. If future is there then mind can flow, then mind can have its course, then mind has space to move. With purpose comes future, with future comes time.

A white cloud hovers in the sky, timeless - because there is no future and no mind to it. It is here and now. Each moment is total eternity.

But the mind cannot exist without purpose, so mind goes on creating purposes. If the so-called worldly purposes are lost, then the mind creates religious purposes, otherworldly purposes. If money has become useless, then meditation becomes useful. If the so-called world of competition, politics, has become useless, then another world of new competition, of religion, achievement, becomes meaningful. But mind always hankers for some meaning, some purpose.

And to me, only that mind is religious which is purposeless. But that means that mind is no more a mind at all. Think of yourself just like a white cloud, with no mind.

In Tibet they have a meditation: monks sitting on the hills, lonely, absolutely in aloneness, just meditating on white clouds drifting in the sky, continuously contemplating, and by and by being merged. Then they become white clouds - just perching on a hill like a white cloud. No mind, just being there. No resistance, no fight, nothing to be achieved, nothing to be lost. Just enjoying the very existence, celebrating the moment - the joy, the ecstasy of it.

Hence I call my way The Way of the White Clouds. And I would like you also to become white clouds drifting in the sky. I say drifting, not moving, not moving to a point - just drifting wheresoever the winds lead you. Wheresoever you happen to be, that is the goal. So the goal is not something ending somewhere, the end of the line. The goal is every moment.

Here you are SIDDHAS to me, enlightened ones. Here you have achieved. Here you are as perfect as you can be, just like a Buddha, a Mahavira, or a Krishna. There is nothing else to be achieved. Right this very moment everything is there, only you are not alert. And you are not alert because your mind is in the future. You are not here. You are not aware of what has happened to you this very moment.

And this has been happening always and always. For many, many millions of lives this has been happening. Every moment you have been a buddha. Not for a single moment has it been missed. It cannot be missed, that is how nature itself is, how things are. You cannot miss it!

But you are not alert, and you cannot be alert because of a goal somewhere, something that has to be achieved. Because of that a barrier is created and that which you are already is missed.

Once this is revealed, once this is realized, once you become aware of this, the greatest mystery of being is revealed, that everyone is perfect. That's what we mean when we say everyone is Brahma - everyone is the soul, the ultimate soul, the divine. That's what we mean when we say TATTWAMASI - you are that. Not that you have to become that, because if you have to become that, then you are NOT that. And if you are not that already, how can you become? The seed becomes the tree because the seed is already that. A stone cannot become a tree. The seed becomes the tree because the seed is already that! So the question is not of becoming, the question is only of revelation. The seed is revealed this moment as a seed, next moment as a tree. So this is only a question of revelation. And if you can penetrate deeply, the seed is the tree this very moment.

Tibetan mystics, or Zen masters or Sufi dervishes, they have all talked about the white clouds. The white clouds have been catching many people's inner being. A rapport is achieved, it seems, with the white clouds. Make it a meditation and then many things will come to you.

Life should not be taken as a problem. Once you start that way you are lost. Once you think life is a problem it can never be solved. That's how philosophy moves - and that's how philosophy always moves wrongly. There are no right philosophies: there cannot be. All philosophies are wrong. Philosophizing is wrong, because philosophy takes the wrong basic step of thinking of life as a problem. Once life is a problem there is no solution to it. Life is not a problem but a mystery, which is how religion takes it.

A white cloud is the most mysterious thing, suddenly appearing, suddenly disappearing. Have you ever thought at any time that clouds have no NAM-ROOP - no name, no form? Even for a single moment the form is not the same. It is changing, it is becoming, it is a riverlike flow.

You can give a form to the cloud, but that is your projection. A cloud has no form; it is formless or continuously being formed, it is a flux. And that's how life is. All forms are projected.

This life you call yourself a man and just one life before you could have been a woman. This life you are white and the next life you can be black. This moment you are intelligent and the next moment you behave in a stupid way. This moment you are silent and the next moment you become mad, fiery, aggressive.

Have you got a form? Or are you continuously changing? You are a flux, a cloud. Have you got a name, any identity? Can you call yourself this or that? The moment you say you are this, that very moment you become aware that you are the contrary also.

You say to someone: I love you - and that very moment hate is there. You say you are a friend to someone and that very moment the enemy is laughing inside you, waiting for its moment. Some moment you say you are happy and that very moment happiness is lost and you have become unhappy. You have no identity. If you realize this you become a cloud with no form, with no name. And then drifting starts.

To me, the life of a white cloud is the life of a SANNYASIN, of a man who has renounced. The life of a householder is a fixed routine. It is a dead thing, it is a pattern. It has a name, it has a form. It moves on a particular track like railway lines. On the track trains are moving; they have a goal, they have to reach somewhere. But a sannyasin is like a cloud drifting in the sky - no iron tracks for him, no routes, no identities. He is no one and lives the life of a non-being, lives as if he is not.

If you can live a life as if you are not, you are on my way. And the more YOU are, the more disease will be there. The less you are, the more healthy you will be. The less you are, the more weightless you will be. The less you are, the more you will be divine and blissful.

When I say life is not a problem but a mystery, I mean you cannot solve it, you can become it. A problem is something to be solved intellectually; but even if you solve it, nothing is achieved. You have gathered a little more knowledge, but no ecstasy out of it. A mystery is something you can become. You can be one with it, merged. Then ecstasy arises, then bliss - then the ultimate that can happen to a being, the ultimate joy.

Religion takes life as a mystery. What can you do about a mystery? You cannot do anything about the mystery, but you can do something about you. You can become more mysterious. And then the similar can meet with the similar, the same can meet with the same.

Look for the mysterious in life. Wherever you look - in the white clouds, in the stars in the night, in the flowers, in a flowing river - wherever you look, look for the mystery. And whenever you find that a mystery is there, meditate on it.

Meditation means: dissolve yourself before that mystery, annihilate yourself before that mystery, disperse yourself before that mystery. Be no more, and let the mystery be so total that you are absorbed in it.

And suddenly a new door opens, a new perception is achieved. Suddenly the mundane world of division, of separation has disappeared, and a different, totally different world of oneness comes before you. Everything loses its boundary; everything is with others, is not divided but one.

This can be done only if you do something with you. If you have to solve a problem, you have to do something with the problem. You have to find a key, a clue. You have to work on the problem. You have to move in a laboratory - you have to do something. If you have to encounter a mystery, you have to do something with you; with the mystery nothing can be done.

We are impotent before a mystery. That's why we go on changing mysteries into problems, because with problems we are potent, with problems we feel we are in control. With mysteries we are impotent, we cannot do anything. With mysteries we face death, and we cannot manipulate.

That's why the more human intellect grows mathematical, logical, the less and less possibility of ecstasy is open before the human mind, less and less poetry is possible. Romance is lost; life becomes factual, not symbolic.

So when I say my way is The Way of the White Clouds, it is just a symbol. The white cloud is not being used as a fact, it is used as a symbol, as a poetic symbol; as an indication of a deep merger into the mysterious and the miraculous.

Beloved Osho, would you tell us what your relationship is to the white clouds?

I am a white cloud. There is no relationship, and there cannot be. Relationship exists when you are two, divided. So relationship is really not a relationship. Wherever relationship exists there is separation.

I am a white cloud. You cannot be related to a white cloud. You can become one with it and allow the white cloud to become one with you, but relationship is not possible. In relationship you remain separate, and in relationship you go on manipulating.

This is one of the miseries of human life, that even in love we create relationship. Then the love is missed. Love should not be a relationship. You should become the lover or the beloved. You should become the other and let the other become you. There should be a merger, only then conflict ceases. Otherwise love becomes a conflict, a struggle.

If you are, then you will try to manipulate, then you would like to possess, then you would like to be the master, then exploitation comes in. Then the other will be used as a means, not as an end.

With white clouds you cannot do that, you cannot make them wives and husbands. You cannot chain them or persuade them into a relationship. They won't allow it, they won't listen to you. They have had enough of it - that's why now they have become white clouds. You can be one with them, and then their hearts are open.

But human mind cannot think beyond relationship, because we cannot think of ourselves as if we are not. We are. Howsoever we hide it, we are there. Deep down the ego is there, and deep down the ego goes on manipulating.

With a white cloud this is not possible. With your ego you can look at the white cloud, think about it, but the mysteries will not be opened. The doors will remain closed. You will remain in a dark night. If your ego disappears you have become the white cloud.

In Zen they have one of the oldest traditions of painting. One Zen master had a disciple who was learning to paint, and through painting, of course, meditation. The disciple was obsessed with bamboos; he was continuously drawing and painting bamboos. The master is reported to have said to his disciple: Unless you become a bamboo, nothing is going to happen.

For ten years the disciple had been drawing bamboos; he had become so efficient that even with closed eyes in a dark night without light he could draw bamboos. And his bamboos were so perfect and so alive.

But the master would not approve. He said: No, unless you become a bamboo, how can you draw it? You remain separate, you remain an onlooker, you remain a spectator. So you may have known the bamboo from without, but that is the periphery, not the soul of the bamboo. Unless you become one, unless you become a bamboo, how can you know it from within?

Ten years the disciple struggled, but the master would not approve. So the disciple disappeared into the forest, into a bamboo forest. For three years nothing was heard of him. Then news started coming that he had become a bamboo. Now he doesn't draw. He lives with bamboos, he stands with bamboos. Winds blow, bamboos dance - he also dances.

Then the master went to find out. And really, the disciple had become a bamboo. The master said: Now, forget all about you and bamboo. The disciple said: But you told me to become the bamboo and I have become it.

The master said: Now forget this also, because now this is the only barrier. Deep down somewhere you are still separate and remembering that you have become the bamboo. So you are not yet a perfect bamboo, because a bamboo would not remember this. So forget it.

For ten years the bamboos were not discussed. Then one day the master called the disciple and said: Now you can draw. First become the bamboos, then forget the bamboos, so you become so perfect a bamboo that the drawing is not a drawing but a growth.

I am not related with white clouds at all. I am a white cloud. I would like you also to be white clouds, not related. Enough of relationship - you have suffered enough. Many, many lives you have been related with this or that. And you have suffered enough, more than enough. You have suffered more than you deserve.

The suffering has been centered on the wrong concept of relationship. The wrong concept is: you have to be yourself and then related. Then there is tension, conflict, violence, aggression, and the whole hell follows.

Sartre says somewhere: The other is hell. But really, the other is not hell - the other is the other because you are the ego. If you are no more, the other has disappeared.

Whenever this happens - between a man and a tree, between a man and a cloud, between a man and a woman, or between a man and a rock - whenever it happens that you are not, hell disappears. Suddenly you are transfigured, you have entered paradise.

The old biblical story is beautiful: Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden of Eden because they had eaten a forbidden fruit, the fruit of the tree of Knowledge. This is one of the most wonderful parables ever devised.

Why was the fruit of the tree of Knowledge forbidden? Because the moment knowledge enters, the ego is there. The moment you know you are, you have fallen. This is the original sin.

Nobody threw Adam and Eve out of heaven. The moment they became aware that they were, the garden of Eden disappeared. For such eyes, which are filled with ego, the garden cannot exist. It is not that they have been thrown out of the garden - the garden is here and now. It is just by your side. It has always been following you wherever you go, but you cannot see it. If the ego is not there, you enter again, the garden is revealed. You have never been out of it.

Try this: sitting under a tree, forget yourself. Let only the tree be there. This happened to Buddha under the bodhi tree. He was not: in that moment everything happened. Only the bodhi tree was there.

You may not be aware that for five hundred years after Buddha his statue was not created, his picture was not painted. For five hundred years continuously, whenever a Buddhist temple was created, only the picture of the bodhi tree was there. That was beautiful - because in that moment when Gautam Siddhartha became Buddha, he was not there, only the tree was there. He had disappeared for a moment - only the tree was there.

Find moments when you are not, and those will be the moments when you will be for the first time...really.

So I am the white cloud, and the whole effort is to make you also white clouds drifting in the sky. Nowhere to go, coming from nowhere, just being there this very moment - perfect.

I don't teach you any ideals, I don't teach you any oughts. I don't say to you be this, become that. My whole teaching is simply this: Whatsoever you are, accept it so totally that nothing is left to be achieved, and you will become a white cloud.

Beloved Osho, is it true that to really break through, to become totally present, to become a white cloud, we have to live through all our dreams, all our fantasies? And how can that reality be as real in response to 'hare Krishna, hare ram' in Poona as it would be in the garden of Eden in the heart of nature?

The question is not whether one has to live through all the dreams and fantasies or not. You are living in them. You are already in them. And it is not a question of choice - you cannot choose.

Can you choose? Can you drop your dreams? Can you drop your fantasies? If you try to drop your dreams you will have to substitute them with other dreams. If you try to change your fantasies they will change into another type of fantasy - but they will remain dreams and fantasies.

So what is to be done? Accept them. Why be against them? This tree has red flowers, that tree has yellow flowers. So it's okay. You have certain dreams - yellow dreams. Somebody else has other dreams - blue dreams, red dreams. So it's okay. Why fight with dreams, why try to change them? When you try to change them, you believe them too much. You don't think they are dreams, you think they are real and that changing them will be significant. If dreams are dreams, why not accept them?

The moment you accept them, they disappear. This is the secret. The moment you accept them they disappear - because the dreaming mind exists through rejection. The very phenomenon of a dreaming mind is rejection.

You have been rejecting many things - that's why they pop up in your dreams. You are moving on a street. You look at a beautiful woman or man. Desire arises. Suddenly you drop it: This is wrong! You reject it. Tradition, culture, society, morality: This is not good!

You can look at a beautiful flower, nothing is bad in it. But when you look at a beautiful face something immediately goes wrong - you reject it. Now this face will become a dream. The rejected becomes the dream. Now this face will haunt you. Now in the night this face will come around you. Now this body will be hovering. The desire that you have rejected will become a dream. Desires that you have repressed will become dreams and fantasies. So how to create a dream? The secret is: reject. The more you reject, the more dreams will be there. Those who go to the hills, those who reject life, they are filled with too many dreams. Their dreams become so real, hallucinatory, that they cannot make any distinction as to whether this is a dream or a reality.

Don't reject, otherwise you will create more dreams. Accept. Whatsoever happens to you, accept it as part of your being. Don't condemn it. The moment you become more accepting, dreams will dissolve. A person who accepts his life totally becomes dreamless, because the very base has been cut.That is one thing. Secondly, the whole is nature - the whole I say. Not only the trees, not only the clouds - the whole. Whatsoever has happened has happened because of nature. There is nothing unnatural - cannot be. Otherwise, how could it have happened? EVERYTHING is natural.

So don't create a division: this is natural and this is unnatural. Whatsoever is, is natural. But the mind lives on distinctions, divisions. Don't allow divisions; accept whatsoever is, and accept without any analysis.

Whether you are in the market or in the hills you are in the same nature. Somewhere nature has become hills and trees, and somewhere it has become shops in the market. Once you know the secret of accepting, even the market becomes beautiful. The market has a beauty - the life there, the activity, the beautiful madness that goes around. It has its own beauty! And hills would not be so beautiful if there were no markets, remember. The hills are so beautiful and so silent because the market exists. The market gives silence to the hills.

So everywhere - whether you are in the market, or doing "Hare Krishna, Hare Ram," or sitting under a tree silently - take it as one expanse, don't divide it. And when you are dancing, doing "Hare Krishna, Hare Ram," enjoy it! It is the way you are flowering, this very moment.

"Hare Krishna, Hare Ram" can become a flowering in you; it has become a flowering for many. When Mahaprabhu Chaitanya was dancing in the villages of Bengal and doing his kirtan, "Hare Krishna, Hare Ram," it was a flowering. It was one of the most beautiful things that has ever happened. Not only is Buddha sitting under a bodhi tree beautiful, a Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dancing in the streets with "Hare Krishna, Hare Ram" is also beautiful - the same, just the other extreme.

You can sit under a tree and can forget yourself so completely that you have disappeared. You can dance in a street and be absorbed in your kirtan, in your singing, in your dancing, so totally that you have disappeared. The secret is total absorption wherever it happens.

It happens to different people in different ways. We cannot conceive of Buddha dancing; he was not that type, not a dancing type. You may be a dancing type, so don't force yourself under a bodhi tree or you will be in trouble. Just forcing yourself, stilling yourself, will be violent. Then your face will not become like a Buddha. It will be tortured, it will be a self-torture. You may be like Chaitanya, you may be like Meera.

Find out the way your cloud moves, where it drifts, and allow it full freedom to move and drift. Wherever it goes, it will reach to the divine. Just don't fight, flow. Don't push the river, flow with it. A dance is beautiful, but you must be totally in it - that's the point. Don't reject anything, rejection is irreligious. Accept totally, acceptance is prayer.

Enough for today.

Chapter 2: The Mystery Beyond Mind

Beloved Osho, beautiful white cloud, why are we so fortunate to have you with us - and why are we with you?

Why's are always unanswerable. To the mind it seems that whenever you can ask a why it can be answered. But that is one of the fallacious assumptions. No why has ever been answered or can be answered. Existence is - no why about it.

If you ask, if you persist, you may create an answer - but that answer will be a created one; it will not really be an answer. Questioning itself is foundationally absurd.

The trees are - you cannot ask why. The sky is - you cannot ask why. Existence exists, rivers flow, clouds float - you cannot ask why.

The mind asks why, I know it. Mind is curious; it wants to know the why of everything. But this is a disease in the mind, and it is something which cannot be satisfied because if you answer one, why then another arises immediately. Every answer only creates more questions. And the mind will not be satisfied unless the ultimate answer has been given to you - and there can be no ultimate answer. By ultimate answer I mean that you cannot ask any why any more. But there is no possibility of such a state. Whatsoever is said, why again becomes relevant.

This has been the whole absurd effort of philosophies: Why is this world? So they thought and they created a theory about it: God created it - but why did God create it? Then again more theories and then finally: Why is God?

So the first thing to know about: this quality of the mind which goes on asking whys. Just as leaves grow out of trees, whys grow out of the mind - you cut one, many more grow. And you may collect many answers but the answer will not be there. And unless the answer is there, the mind goes on, restless in its search. So this is the first thing I would like to say to you: Don't insist much on whys.

Why do we insist? Why do we want to know the cause? Why do we want to go deep into a thing and come to the very base of it? Why? Because if you know every why, if you know every answer about a thing, you have become the master of it. Then the thing can be manipulated. Then the thing is not a mystery; there is no awe, no wonder about it. You have known it you have killed the mystery.

The mind is a killer, a murderer - the murderer of all mysteries. And mind is always at ease with anything dead. With anything alive mind feels uneasy, because you cannot be the total master. The living is always there - unpredictable. The future cannot be fixed with a living thing, and you don't know where it will go, where it will lead.

With a dead thing, everything is certain and fixed. You are at ease. You are not worried about it. You are certain.

To make everything certain is a deep urge in the mind because mind is afraid of life. Mind creates science just to kill every possibility of life. Mind tries to find explanations once an explanation is found, the mystery is dissolved.

You ask a why, and it is answered, then the mind is at ease. What have you achieved through it? You have not achieved anything, you have lost something - a mystery has been lost.

Mystery makes you uneasy because it is something greater than you, something which you cannot manipulate, something which you cannot use as a thing; something which overwhelms, something which overpowers, something before which you are naked and impotent - something before which you simply dissolve. Mystery gives you a feeling of death; hence so much inquiry about whys - why this? why that? This is the first thing to be remembered.

But don't think that I am avoiding your question. I am not avoiding it. I am telling you something about the mind - why it asks. And if you can retain the feeling of mystery, I am going to answer. If the feeling of mystery is retained, then answering is not dangerous, it can be useful. Then every answer leads you into a deeper mystery. Then the whole thing becomes qualitatively different. Then you ask, not to get an explanation, then you ask to get deeper into the mystery. Then the curiosity is not mental, then it becomes an inquiry - a deep inquiry of being.

See the difference? If you are hankering after an explanation then it is bad, and I will be the last one to fulfill it because then I become an enemy to you, then I make things dead around you. Theologians have made even God a dead thing - they have explained it so much, they have answered so many things about God, that's why God is dead. Humanity has not killed him - the priests, they have killed him. They explained him so much that no mystery has remained.

And what is God if there is no mystery in it? If it is just a theory you can discuss, a doctrine you can analyze, a belief you can accept or deny, then YOU are greater and this God is just part of the furniture of your mind - it is a dead thing.

Whenever I am talking to you, remember this always: whatsoever I say is not to kill your inquiry, is not to give you explanations. I am not interested in giving you answers. Rather, on the contrary, it is to make you more inquiring, deeply penetrating into the mysteries.

My answers will give you deeper questions, and a moment will come when all questioning will drop. Not that you have received all the answers but because every answer is futile. And then the mystery is total, then it is all around, without and within. Then you have become part of it, then you float in it, then you have also become a mysterious being, and only then do the doors open.

Now I can answer why I am with you, and why you are with me here.

First thing: it is not only here this moment that you are with me - you have been before. Life is so interrelated. It is a riverlike flow. We divide it into past, present and future, but the division is just utilitarian. Life is not divided. The flow of life is contemporaneous.

The river Ganges at the very source, the river Ganges passing through the Himalayas, the river Ganges on the plains, the river Ganges falling into the ocean - this is one! It is contemporaneous. The origin and the end, the beginning and the end, are not two separate things - it is one flow. It is not past and future. It is eternal present. This has to be understood very deeply.

You have been with me. You are with me. It is not a question of past. If you can be silent, if you can put your mind aside a little, if you can become a white cloud perched on a hill, not thinking, just being - you will feel it. You have been with me, you are with me, you will be with me. This being with me is not a question of time.

Somebody asked Jesus: You talk about Abraham...how do you know, because there is a long gap between the days of Abraham and Jesus - thousands of years. And Jesus said a very mysterious sentence, the most mysterious that Jesus ever asserted. He said: "Before Abraham was, I am." Before Abraham was, I am. Time dissolved.

Life is eternal present. We have been here and now always - forever, forever. Different shapes, different forms, of course, different situations. But we have been always and always.

Individuals are fictions. Life is not divided. We are not like islands, we are one. This oneness has to be felt. And once you feel this oneness, time disappears, space becomes meaningless. Suddenly you are transported from both time and space. Then you are - simply you are.

Somebody asked Buddha: Who are you? And Buddha said: I belong to no rank. I just am. I am, but I don't belong to any rank.

Right now, you can have the glimpse. If you are not thinking, then who are you? Where is time? Is there any past? Is there any future then? Then THIS moment becomes the eternity. The whole time process is just a long extended now. The whole of space is just expanded here.

So when you ask why I am here, or why you are here, it is because this is the only way of being. I cannot be anywhere else. You cannot be anywhere else. This is how we have become joined together.

You may not be able to see it right now. The links are not so clear for you because your own unconscious is not clear for you, because you don't know yourself in your totality. One tenth of your being is known to you, nine-tenths is just in darkness.

You are like a forest with a little clearing. Trees have been cut, and a small place has been created in which to live. But just beyond that small clearing the dark forest exists. You don't know the boundaries of it. And you are so afraid of darkness and the wild animals that you never leave your clearing. But your clearing is just part of this dark forest. You know only a part of your being.

I see you as your total darkness, the whole forest of you. And once I see a single individual in his totality, all individuals are involved because that forest is not separate. In that darkness boundaries meet, mingle and become one.

You are here. If I become too attentive to one individual, then I am focusing myself. But still, even focusing, I continuously feel your boundaries are mingling with the other. So for certain purposes I may take you as an individual, but in reality it is not so. When I am not focused I simply look at you without seeing you - just a look, then you are no more there. Your boundaries are meeting with everyone else's, and not only with man and human beings - with trees, with rocks, with sky...everything. Boundaries are fictions, hence individuals are fictitious.

I am here because I cannot be anywhere else. This is how life has happened. You are here because you cannot be anywhere else. This is how life has happened to you. But it is difficult to accept it. Why is it difficult to accept it? - because then you cannot manipulate it, then life becomes greater than you.

If I say you are here because you are a great seeker of truth, then you are at ease. If you are here because you are a great seeker, then the ego is fulfilled. Then if you choose, you can go. Then you are the chooser. Then you are controlling life, not controlled by life.

But I don't say that, I say you are here because life has happened this way. You could not have chosen, it is not your choice. Even if you leave, that will not be your choice. Again, that will be how life happens to you. If you choose to remain, that too is not a choice. Choice is not possible. Choice is possible only with the ego.

Whenever ego is not fed, uneasiness, discomfort, is felt. So there are two ways to be at ease. One is to go on feeding the ego, another is simply to drop it. And remember, the first way is temporary. The more you feed the ego, the more it demands, and there is no end to it.

So I tell you: Life has happened in such a way that I am here and you are here. And it has happened many times before, and it will continue happening the same way.If you can realize this, much more will immediately become possible. If you realize this, you will be more open, less closed, more vulnerable, more receptive. Then you are not afraid. Then life can pass through you. Then life becomes just a breeze, and you become an empty room, and life comes and goes...and you allow it. Allowing is the secret - secret of all secrets.

Hence I emphasize, insist, that you are not here because of any choice on your part. I am not here because of any choice on my part. As far as I am concerned there cannot be any choice, because I am not. As far as you are concerned, you may be under the delusion that you are here because of your choice, but that is not a fact.

And I am not going to feed your egos because they have to be destroyed. That's what the whole effort is: how to destroy you - because once your boundaries are destroyed you are infinite. Right this moment, this can happen. There is no barrier to it - there is only your clinging.

Many people come to me and ask: Have we been with you before? If I say yes, they feel very good. If I say no, they feel dejected, depressed. Why? We live in fictions. You are here with me - that is not so significant; you were with me in the past - that seems to be more significant. And you are missing this moment when you can be REALLY with me - because to be with me is not a physical phenomenon. You can sit by my side and you may not be with me. You can cling to me for years and you may not be with me for a single moment - because to be with me only means that you are not.

I am not, and if even for a single moment you are also not there, there will be a meeting - then two emptinesses meet. Remember, only two emptinesses can meet, there is no other meeting possible. Whenever you have a meeting, it means two emptinesses merging.

The ego is very solid, too substantial to merge. So you can struggle, clash, but you cannot meet. You may think that this clash of two egos is a meeting. It is a sort of meeting. You come together, but you are never together. You meet, and still you don't meet. You touch each other, and still you remain untouched. Your inner emptiness remains a virgin land, it has not been penetrated.

But when the ego is not there, when you are not feeling much I, when you are not thinking about yourself at all, when there is no self, that's what Buddha calls ANATTA - no-selfness. He was very much misunderstood. In India people were talking of ATMA - the self, the supreme self. Everybody was searching for the supreme self - how to become the ultimate self. And then Buddha comes and he says: There is no self to be attained, rather, please be a no-self. His teaching could not be accepted. Buddha was thrown out of this country. He was not accepted anywhere. A Buddha is always thrown out. Wherever he goes he will be thrown out, because he hits on you so deeply you cannot tolerate it. He says you are not.

When you are empty, when just a vacuum exists, meeting happens. Anybody who is capable of being empty will merge. And this is the only way to become one with existence. You may call it love, you may call it prayer, you may call it meditation, or whatsoever you like.

You are here because life has happened that way. I am here because this is how life has happened to me.

And this possibility of your being near me can be used, can be misused, can be missed altogether. If you miss, then too it will not be for the first time. Many times you have been with me. It may not have been exactly with me; many times you were with a Buddha and that was to be with me. Many times you were with a Jina, with a Mahavira, and that was to be with me. Many times you were around Jesus, or Moses, or Lao Tzu - that was being with me. A Lao Tzu or a Buddha cannot be defined in any way; they are two emptinesses, and two emptinesses have no qualities to differ.

You may have been with a Lao Tzu and I say you were with me, because there is nothing to make any distinction. A Lao Tzu is an emptiness. Two emptinesses are just the same, you cannot make any distinction. But you missed. You have been missing many times. You can miss again.

And remember, you are wise, clever, calculating. Even if you miss, you will miss very wisely. You will rationalize it. You will say there was nothing to be gained. Or you will find arguments that hide the fact.If you become alert to this possibility of missing, then meeting is immediately possible. And I say immediately - there is no need to postpone it.

And this is significant, that life has happened in such a way that you are here. Millions are there and life has not happened in such a way. You are fortunate, but don't make that point an ego food - because if your ego takes anything out of it and becomes stronger, you have missed that fortune. You are fortunate, but it remains an open possibility. You can grow into it, you can drop out of it. And this is rare - rare for many reasons.

First: it is very difficult to be attracted to a person who is empty - very difficult, because emptiness is not such a magnetic force. You are attracted to a man who has got something. Why are we attracted to a man who has got something? Because we have desires. We also want to get something.

You are attracted to a politician who has power because you are power-oriented, you want power. So whosoever has it becomes the idol, the hero. You are attracted to a person who has fabulous riches. Because you are poor, deep down you hanker after riches. So whosoever has them becomes the ideal. But why should one be attracted to a person who has nothing?

This is fortunate, a rare possibility. Sometimes life happens in such a way that you become attracted to a person who has got nothing, who is empty. You are not going to gain anything out of him; rather, everything has to be lost with him. It is a gamble. So you are gamblers - that's why you are here.

And unless you gamble totally you will miss, because this gambling cannot be partial - parts cannot be accepted. That is not the rule of this game. So don't hold back, put in everything you have. It is dangerous and risky. That's why I say it is rare to be attracted to a Buddha or to a Jesus. Very few are attracted.

You know about Jesus...very few, only twelve disciples. And very ordinary men: some fisherman, some woodcutter, some farmer - not significant in any way, just common people. Why are such common people attracted to Buddha or Jesus?

To be common is a very uncommon quality, because those who are not common, they are after some ego-trip - riches, power, status. A farmer, a fisherman, a woodcutter - insignificant people, absolutely ordinary, not looking for any achievement - they become attracted to Jesus.

To be common is rare; to be absolutely ordinary is really extraordinary. Zen Masters are reported to have said continuously: Become ordinary and then you become extraordinary. Every ordinary being is trying to be extraordinary - that is the ordinary thing. Just remain ordinary. That means not searching for anything, not seeking any achievement, really, not in any way goal-oriented, just living moment-to-moment, drifting. That's what I was saying to you - drifting like a white cloud.

Your being here is rare for other reasons also, because human mind is always afraid of death. It clings to life, a lust for life is there. Even in misery it clings to life...a deep fear of death. And when a person comes to me he is coming, really, to die, he is coming to dissolve.

I will be an abyss to him, a bottomless abyss in which he will fall and fall and fall and reach nowhere...! If you look into me you will feel dizzy. If you stare into my eyes you will see the abyss, and then the fear will grip you - and the falling and falling....

Just think of a leaf falling into an abyss - and the abyss is infinite and there is no bottom to it so it cannot reach anywhere - it can only disappear; falling, falling, falling, it will disappear.

The religious journey begins but never ends. You come to me, you fall into me, you disappear, you never reach anywhere. But that disappearance is the delight. No other delight has ever been known, no other delight is there. The delight of TOTAL disappearance! Just as a dewdrop in the morning disappears when the sun rises, or just as in the night an earthen lamp burns, the wind comes and the flame goes out and darkness...the flame has disappeared and you cannot find it anywhere - the same way, you disappear.

It is rare to seek suicide: this is suicide, the real suicide! You can kill the body anywhere, but you cannot kill the self anywhere. Here you are ready for the final suicide - to kill the self.

But don't make all these things explanations, they are not. I am always anti-explanation.

If all this makes you more mysterious, if all this makes you more vague, so far, so good. If your mind goes up in smoke and you don't know what is what, that's the best condition.

Beloved Osho, as with all clouds, white clouds are directed by the wind. What is the present direction of the wind? Are there special potentialities in this age?

White clouds are not directed by the wind. The phenomenon of direction exists only when there is resistance.If the white cloud wants to go east and the wind blows to the west, then there is direction - because resistance is there. But if the cloud is not going anywhere, east and west mean the same, there is no resistance. If there is no will on the part of the cloud, then the wind cannot direct it.

You can direct only when somebody is not ready to float, to relax, to let go. But the phenomenon of the cloud means it is the very let-go. If the wind says east, the cloud is ready; it is already on the move towards the east. There has not been a single thought of no; there has not been a single denial. If the cloud was moving to the west and the wind starts blowing east, the cloud moves to the east. The wind is not directing. Direction is needed only when someone is against.

People come to me and they say: "Direct us," and I know what they are saying. "Guide us," and I know what they are saying. They are not ready. Otherwise, what is the need of being directed and guided?

Enough it is that you are here with me, and everything will happen. The wind blows to the east and you start floating towards the east, but you say: Guide; you say: Direct. You are saying that you are against; you have a denial, you have a rejection; you will fight. And if there is no will on the part of the cloud, how can you make a distinction - which is the cloud and which is the wind? The boundary exists with will.

Remember this, this must become your foundational insight: the boundary between you and me exists because of your will. You are there, surrounded by a will. Then I come and there is conflict.

A cloud has no will, so where is the boundary? Where does the cloud end and the wind begin? The wind and the cloud are one. The cloud is part of the wind; the wind is part of the cloud. The phenomenon is one, undivided.

And the wind goes on blowing in all directions. So the problem is not to choose the direction; the problem is how to become the cloud. The wind goes on blowing in all directions. It moves, it changes. It is always running from this corner to the other. Really, there is no direction. There is no map; the whole thing is uncharted. There is no one guiding it and saying: Now go to the east, now go to the west. The whole of existence waves it. It is a waving existence - all directions belong to it.

And when I say all directions, I mean the good and the bad both, I mean the moral and the immoral both. When I say all directions, I MEAN all. The wind is blowing in all directions. This has always been so.

So remember: there has not been a specifically religious age nor an anti-religious age, there cannot be. People think this way because that too gives them ego-trips.

In India, people think that in the old days, in ancient days, there was a religious age on the earth and now everything has gone rotten - this is the darkest age. This is all nonsense. No age is religious, no age is anti-religious. Religiousness is NOT concerned with the time, it is concerned with the quality of the mind.

So it is not a question of whether the cloud is going to the east - then it will be religious, or going to the west and it will be anti-religious. No. If the cloud has no will, the cloud is religious WHEREVER it goes. And if the cloud has will, then wherever it goes it is irreligious.

And there are both types of clouds: very few who are will-less, millions who have their wills and projections and desires and ideas. They fight with the wind. The more they fight, the more anguish is created. And fighting leads nowhere, because nothing can be done. Whether you fight or not the wind will go to the east and you will have to go to the east. You can only carry a notion that you have been fighting and you are a great warrior. That's all.

One who understands stops fighting. He is not even trying to swim, he simply goes with the flood. This very current he uses as a vehicle; he becomes one with it and moves with it. This is what I call surrender, and this is what the old scriptures called the attitude of the devotee. Surrendered, YOU are not. Then wherever the wind leads you, you will go. You don't have any will of your own.

This has been always so. In the past there were buddhas, floating white clouds; in the present there are buddhas, floating white clouds. In the past there were mad black clouds filled with will, desire, future. They are there today also.With will and desire you are a black cloud - heavy. With no will, no desire, you are a white cloud - weightless. And the possibility for both these is always open. It is up to you whether to allow the let-go, or not.

Don't think of time and age. Time and age are indifferent. They don't force anyone to become a buddha; they don't prevent anyone from becoming a buddha. Time and age are just indifferent.

Allow yourself to be empty, and this is the golden age. Allow yourself to be too much filled with desire, and this is the darkest age possible, the KALI YUGA. You create your time and age around you. You live in your own age and time.

Remember we are not contemporaries in that way. A person like Jesus is ancient! He may be just here, but he is ancient. He lives so eternally...you cannot call him modern. He lives so totally that you cannot say that he belongs to a fragment of time. He is not part of the world of fashions which come and go. Living with the absolute, you become absolute. Living with the eternal, you become eternal. Living with the timeless, you become timeless.

But the question is still pertinent in another sense also. All over the world, people have the feeling that a certain age, a certain time, a certain climax, a crescendo, is nearing - something is going to explode, as if we are reaching a particular point in human evolution. But I would like to say to you: this is again the ego-trip for the age. Every age thinks that way: Something is reaching a climax with us; we are here, something special is going to happen on the earth. This has been always so!

It is reported that when Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, Adam said to Eve just as they passed through the door: We are passing through the greatest transformation ever known in history. The very first man saying and thinking: The greatest transformation....

Every age thinks that things are reaching to a crescendo, to an ultimate point, to an omega point, where everything will explode and a new being will be born. But these are hopes, ego-trips, not very meaningful. You will be here for a few years, then others will be here and they will think the same.

The crescendo IS reached - not with the age, but with the individual being. The climax is reached but it is always reached with consciousness, not with a collective unconscious.

YOU can become a religious person. And the time is good, the time is always good. Don't think of others too much because this may be just an escape from yourself. Don't think of the age and don't think of humanity - because mind is so cunning, human mind is so cunning, you don't know....

I have been reading a letter from a friend, and he says that he became so frustrated with all his love-affairs, whenever he was in love it was such misery, that he stopped loving any individual and started to love the whole of humanity. Now the whole of humanity is easy to love, and those who cannot love will always love the whole of humanity. There is no problem. To love an individual is very, very difficult, it can be hell itself. It can be hell itself because it can become heaven.

We go on avoiding. People start thinking about others just to avoid thinking about themselves. They start thinking about the age, the time, the planets, and what is going to happen to human consciousness, just to avoid encountering the basic problem: What is going to happen to my consciousness?

Your consciousness should be the target. Every time is good, all times are good for it.

Enough for today.

Chapter 3: To be Miserable or Ecstatic...?

Beloved Osho, you once told us a story about an old man who was over one hundred years old. One day, on his birthday, he was asked why it was that he was always happy. He replied: Every morning when I wake up I have the choice to be happy or unhappy, and I choose to be happy. How is it that we usually choose to be unhappy? How is it that we don't feel aware of the choice?

This is one of the most complex human problems. It has to be considered very deeply, and it is not theoretical - it concerns you. This is how everybody is behaving - always choosing the wrong, always choosing the sad, the depressed, the miserable. There must be profound reasons for it, and there are.

First thing: the way human beings are brought up plays a very definite role in it. If you are unhappy you gain something from it, you always gain. If you are happy you always lose.

From the very beginning an alert child starts feeling the distinction. Whenever he is unhappy everybody is sympathetic towards him, he gains sympathy. Everybody tries to be loving towards him, he gains love. And even more than that whenever he is unhappy everybody is attentive towards him, he gains attention. Attention works like food for the ego, a very alcoholic stimulant. It gives you energy; you feel you are somebody. Hence so much need, so much desire to get attention.

If everybody is looking at you, you become important. If nobody is looking at you, you feel as if you are not there, you are no more, you are a non-being. People looking at you, people caring about you give you energy.

The ego exists in relationship. The more people pay attention to you, the more you gain ego. If nobody looks at you, the ego dissolves. If everybody has completely forgotten you, how can the ego exist? How can you feel that you are? Hence the need for societies, associations, clubs. All over the world clubs exist - Rotary, Lions, Masonic Lodges - millions of clubs and societies. These societies and clubs exist only to give attention to people who cannot get attention in other ways.

It is difficult to become a president of a country. It is difficult to become a mayor of a corporation. It is easier to become the president of a Lions Club, then a particular group gives you attention. You are very important - doing nothing! Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs...doing nothing at all but still they feel they are something important. And the president goes on changing - one this year, another next year. Everybody gets attention. It is a mutual arrangement, and everybody feels important.

From the very beginning the child learns the politics. The politics are: look miserable, then you get sympathy, then everybody is attentive. Look ill - you become important. An ill child becomes dictatorial; the whole family has to follow him - whatsoever he says is the rule.

When he is happy nobody listens to him. When he is healthy nobody cares about him. When he is perfect nobody is attentive. From the very beginning we start choosing the miserable, the sad, the pessimistic, the darker side of life. That's one thing.

A second thing related to it is: whenever you are happy, whenever you are joyful, whenever you feel ecstatic and blissful, everybody is jealous of you. Jealousy means that everybody is antagonistic, nobody is friendly; at that moment everybody is an enemy. So you have learnt not to be so ecstatic that everybody becomes inimical towards you - not to show your bliss, not to laugh.

Look at people when they laugh. They laugh very calculatingly. It is not a belly-laugh, it is not coming from the very depth of their being. They first look at you, then they judge...and then they laugh. And they laugh to a particular extent, the extent you will tolerate, the extent which will not be taken amiss, the extent where nobody will become jealous.

Even our smiles are political. Laughter has disappeared, bliss has become absolutely unknown, and to be ecstatic is almost impossible because it is not allowed. If you are miserable nobody will think you are mad. If you are ecstatic and dancing everybody will think you are mad. Dance is rejected, singing is not accepted. A blissful man - and we think something has gone wrong.

What type of society is this? If someone is miserable everything is okay; he fits because the whole society is miserable more or less. He is a member, he belongs to us. If somebody becomes ecstatic we think he has gone berserk, insane. He doesn't belong to us - and we feel jealous.

Because of jealousy we condemn him. Because of jealousy we will try in every way to put him back to his old state. We call that old state normality. Psychoanalysts will help, psychiatrists will help to bring that man to the normal misery.

In the West, the whole society is turning against psychedelics. The law, the state, the government, the legal experts, the high courts, the legislators, priests, popes - everybody is turning against. They are not really against psychedelics - they are against people being ecstatic. They are not against alcohol, they are not against other things which are drugs, but they are against psychedelics because psychedelics can create a chemical change in you. And the old crust that the society has created around you, the imprisonment in misery, can be broken, there can be a break-through. You can come out of it, even for a few moments, and be ecstatic.

Society cannot allow ecstasy. Ecstasy is the greatest revolution. I repeat it: ecstasy is the greatest revolution. If people become ecstatic the whole society will have to change, because this society is based on misery.

If people are blissful you cannot lead them to war - to Vietnam, or to Egypt, or to Israel. No. Someone who is blissful will just laugh and say: This is nonsense!

If people are blissful you cannot make them obsessed with money. They will not waste their whole lives just accumulating money. It will look like madness to them that a person is destroying his whole life, just exchanging his life for dead money, dying and accumulating money. And the money will be there when he is dead. This is absolute madness! But this madness cannot be seen unless you are ecstatic.

If people are ecstatic then the whole pattern of this society will have to change. This society exists on misery. Misery is a great investment for this society. So we bring up children...from the very beginning we create a leaning towards misery. That's why they always choose misery.

In the morning for everybody there is a choice. And not only in the morning, every moment there is a choice to be miserable or to be happy. You always choose to be miserable because there is an investment. You always choose to be miserable because that has become a habit, a pattern, you have always done that. You have become efficient at doing it, it has become a track. The moment your mind has to choose, it immediately flows towards misery.

Misery seems to be downhill, ecstasy seems to be uphill. Ecstasy looks very difficult to reach - but it is not so. The real thing is quite the opposite: ecstasy is downhill, misery is uphill. Misery is a very difficult thing to achieve, but you have achieved it, you have done the impossible - because misery is so anti-nature. Nobody wants to be miserable and everybody IS miserable.

Society has done a great job. Education, culture, and the culturing agencies, parents, teachers - they have done a great job. They have made miserable creatures out of ecstatic creators. Every child is born ecstatic. Every child is born a god. And every man dies a madman.

Unless you recover, unless you reclaim your childhood, you will not be able to become the white clouds I am talking about. This is the whole work for you, the whole SADHANA - how to regain childhood, how to reclaim it. If you can become children again then there is no misery.

I don't mean that for a child there are no moments of misery - there are. But still there is no misery. Try to understand this.

A child can become miserable, he can be unhappy, intensely unhappy in a moment, but he is so total in that unhappiness, he is so one with that unhappiness, that there is no division. The child separate from unhappiness is not there. The child is not looking at his unhappiness separate, divided. The child IS unhappiness - he is so involved in it. And when you become one with unhappiness, unhappiness is not unhappiness. If you become so one with it, even that has a beauty of its own.

So look at a child - an unspoilt child I mean. If he is angry, then his whole energy becomes anger; nothing is left behind, no hold-up. He has moved and become anger; there is nobody manipulating and controlling it. There is no mind. The child has become anger - he is not angry, he has become the anger. And then see the beauty, the flowering of anger. The child never looks ugly - even in anger he looks beautiful. He just looks more intense, more vital, more alive - a volcano ready to erupt. Such a small child, such a great energy, such an atomic being - with the whole universe to explode.

And after this anger the child will be silent. After this anger the child will be very peaceful. After this anger the child will relax. We may think it is very miserable to be in that anger, but the child is not miserable - he has enjoyed it.

If you become one with anything you become blissful. If you separate yourself from anything, even if it is happiness, you will become miserable.

So this is the key. To be separate as an ego is the base of all misery; to be one, to be flowing, with whatsoever life brings to you, to be in it so intensely, so totally, that you are no more, you are lost, then everything is blissful.

The choice is there, but you have even become unaware of the choice. You have been choosing the wrong so continuously, it has become such a dead habit, that you simply choose it automatically. There is no choice left.

Become alert. Each moment when you are choosing to be miserable remember: this is your choice. Even this mindfulness will help, the alertness that this is my choice and I am responsible, and this is what I am doing to myself, this is my doing. Immediately you will feel a difference. The quality of mind will have changed. It will be easier for you to move towards happiness.

And once you know that this is your choice, then the whole thing has become a game. Then if you love to be miserable, be miserable, but remember, this is your choice and don't complain. There is nobody else who is responsible for it. This is your drama. If you like this way, if you like a miserable way, if you want to pass through life in misery, then this is your choice, your game. You are playing it. Play it well!

Then don't go and ask people how not to be miserable. That is absurd. Don't go and ask masters and gurus how to be happy. The so-called gurus exist because you are foolish. You create the misery, and then you go and ask others how to uncreate it. And you wi]l go on creating misery because you are not alert to what you are doing. From this very moment try, try to be happy and blissful.

I will tell you one of the deepest laws of life. You may not have thought about it at all. You have heard - the whole of science depends on it - that cause and effect is the base. You create the cause and the effect follows. Life is a causal link. You put the seed in the soil and it will sprout. If the cause is there, then the tree will follow. The fire is there - you put your hand in it and it will burn. The cause is there and the effect will follow. You take poison and you will die. You arrange for the cause and then the effect follows.

This is one of the most basic scientific laws, that cause and effect is the innermost link of all processes of life. Religion knows about a second law which is still deeper than this. But the second law which is deeper than this will look absurd, if you don't know it and experiment with it.

Religion says: Produce the effect and the cause follows. This is absolutely absurd in scientific terms. Science says: If the cause is there, the effect follows. Religion says the converse is also true: you create the effect, and see...the cause follows.

There is a situation in which you feel happy. A friend has come, a beloved has called. A situation is the cause - you feel happy. Happiness is the effect. The coming of the beloved is the cause. Religion says: Be happy and the beloved comes. Create the effect and the cause follows. And this is my own experience, that the second law is more basic than the first. I have been doing it and it has been happening. Just be happy and the beloved comes. Just be happy, and friends are there. Just be happy and everything follows.

Jesus says the same thing in different words: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, then all else will follow.

But the Kingdom of God is the end, the effect. Seek ye first the end - end means the effect, the result - and the cause will follow. This is as it should be.

It is not only that you place a seed in the soil and the tree follows; let there be a tree and there are millions of seeds. If cause is followed by effect, effect is again followed by cause. This is the chain! Then it becomes a circle - start from anywhere, create the cause or create the effect.

And I tell you it is easier to create the effect because the effect depends totally upon you; the cause may not be so dependent on you. If I say I can only be happy when a certain friend is there, then it depends on a certain friend, whether he is there or not. If I say I cannot be happy until I attain this much wealth, then it depends on the whole world and the economic situations and everything. It may not happen, and then I cannot be happy.

Cause is beyond me. Effect is within me. Cause is in the surroundings, in the situations - cause is without. EFFECT IS ME! If I can create the effect, the cause will follow.

Choose happiness - that means you are choosing the effect - and then see what happens. Choose ecstasy and see what happens. Choose to be blissful and see what happens. Your whole life will change immediately and you will see miracles happening around you - because now you have created the effect and causes will have to follow.

This will look magical; you can even call it the law of magic. The first is the law of science and the second is the law of magic. Religion is magic, and you can be the magician. That's what I teach you: to be the magician, to know the secret of magic.

Try it! You have been trying the other your whole life - not only this but many other lives also. Now listen to me! Try this magic formula, this mantra I give to you. Create the effect and see what happens; causes immediately surround you, they follow. Don't wait for the causes; you have waited long enough. Choose happiness and you will be happy.

What is the problem? Why can't you choose? Why can't you work on this law? Because your mind, the whole mind, which has been trained by scientific thinking, says that if you are not happy and you try to be happy, that happiness will be artificial. If you are not happy and you try to be happy that will be just acting, that will not be real. This is what scientific thinking says, that that will not be real, you will be just acting.

But you don't know. Life energy has its own ways of working - if you can act totally it will become the real. The only thing is, the actor must not be there. Move totally in it, then there is no difference. If you are acting half-heartedly then it will remain artificial.

If I say to you dance and sing and be blissful, and you try halfheartedly, just to see what happens, but you remain behind...and you go on thinking: This is just artificial. I am trying but this is not coming, this is not spontaneous - then it will remain acting, a waste of time.

If you try, then try wholeheartedly. Don't remain behind, move into it, become the acting - dissolve the actor into acting and then see what happens. It will become the real and then you will feel it is spontaneous. You have not done it, you will know then that it has happened. But unless you are total this cannot happen. Create the effect, be in it completely, see and observe the results.

I can make you kings without kingdoms, only you have to act like kings, and act so totally that, before you, even a real king will appear as if he is just acting. And when the whole energy has moved into it, it becomes reality! Energy makes anything real. If you wait for kingdoms they never come.

Even for a Napoleon, for an Alexander, who HAD big kingdoms, they never came. They remained miserable because they didn't come to realize the second, more basic and primal law of life. Alexander was trying to create a bigger kingdom, to become a bigger king. His whole life was wasted in creating the kingdom, and then there was no time left for him to be king. He died before the kingdom was complete.

This has happened to many. The kingdom can never be complete. The world is infinite - your kingdom is bound to remain partial. With a partial kingdom how can you be a total king? Your kingdom is bound to be limited and with a limited kingdom how can you be the emperor? It is impossible. But you can be the emperor. Just create the effect.

Swami Ram, one of the mystics of this century, went to America. He used to call himself Badshah Ram - Emperor Ram. And he was a beggar! Somebody said to him: You are just a beggar, but you go on calling yourself the emperor. So

Ram said: Don't look at my things, look at me. And he was right, because if you look at things then everybody is a beggar - even an emperor. He may be a bigger beggar, that's all. When Ram said: Look at me! in that moment, Ram was the emperor. If you looked, the emperor was there.

Create the effect, become the emperor, be a magician - and from THIS very moment, because there is no need to wait. One has to wait if the kingdom has to come first. If the cause has to be created first, then one has to wait and wait and wait and postpone. There is no need to wait to create the effect. You can be the emperor this very moment.

When I say: Be! just be the emperor and see - the kingdom follows. I have known it through my experience. I am not talking to you about a theory or a doctrine. Be happy and in that peak of happiness you will see the whole world is happy with you.

There is an old saying: Weep and you weep alone, laugh and the world laughs with you. Even the trees, the rocks, the sand, the clouds, if you can create the effect and be ecstatic, they will all dance with you; then the whole existence becomes a dance, a celebration.

But it depends on you, if you can create the effect. And I say to you, you can create it. It is the easiest thing possible.It looks very difficult because you have not tried it yet. Give it a try!

Beloved Osho, we hear what you say, but we in the west keep the information in our heads. How can we get out of our heads? What methods can we use, and can will-power help us?

No. Will-power will not help you. Will-power is not a power at all, because will depends on the ego - a very tiny phenomenon, it cannot create much power. When you are will-less, then you are powerful - because then you are one with the whole.

Deep down, will-power is a sort of impotency. To hide the fact that we are impotent, we create will. We create the opposite to deceive ourselves and others.

Persons who feel they are foolish try to show that they are wise. They are constantly aware that they are foolish, so they do everything to look wise. Persons who are ugly or feel they are ugly always try to beautify themselves - even a painted beauty, just a face, a mask. People who are weak always try to look strong. The opposite is created; that is the only way to hide the reality within.

A Hitler is a weakling. That's why he creates so much will-power around him, just to hide the fact. A person who is really strong will be unaware that he is strong. Strength will be flowing, it will be there, but he will not even be conscious of it.

Says Lao Tzu: A man of real virtue never knows that he is virtuous. A man who is really moral is never aware that he is moral. But a man who is aware that he is moral has immorality hidden deep down. A man who thinks he is good, saintly, a sage, is a sinner - and he knows it! And just to hide the fact he creates the opposite.

Will-power is not really power but weakness. A really powerful man has no will of his own - the whole is his will. He floats like a white cloud, one with existence, in tune with it. Your will will always create conflict. It will shrink you, make you an island, and then the struggle starts.

A will-less person will be naturally headless. And remember, you cannot get out of your head. You can cut it - and that is easier. Getting out of it is almost impossible, because even this concept of getting out is part of it. The head is a mess, it is a chaos. You think, and you also think against thinking. The thinking that is against thinking is also thinking. You are not moving out of it. You can condemn your thoughts, but this condemning is again a thought. Nothing has been achieved, you are moving in a vicious circle. You can go on moving, but you will not be out.

So, what to do? How to get out of the head?

Only one thing is possible: don't create any fight inside and don't create any effort to come out, because every effort will be self-suicidal. What can be done then? Simply watch. Be in and watch. Don't try to get out - be in and watch.

If you can watch, in those moments of watchfulness, there will be no head. Suddenly you will be beyond. Not out - beyond. Suddenly you will be hovering beyond yourself.

There is one Zen story - very absurd, as all Zen stories are. But they have to be absurd because life is such; they depict life as it is.

One Zen master used to ask his disciples: Some time ago, I put a goose in a bottle. Now the goose has grown, and the neck of the bottle is very small so the goose cannot come out. The bottle is very precious and I don't want to break it, so now there is a crisis. If the goose is not allowed out, she will die. I can break the bottle and the goose will be out, but I don't want to break the bottle - the bottle is precious. I don't want to kill the goose either. So what would you do?

This is the problem! The goose is in the head and the neck is very narrow. You can break the head, but it is precious. Or you can let the goose die, but that too cannot be allowed - because YOU are the goose.

That old Zen master continued asking his disciples, and beating them, and saying to them: Find out a way because there is no time. And only once did he allow an answer. One disciple said: The goose is out!

Many answers were tried, but he would always beat the person and say no. Someone would suggest doing something with the bottle, but again the master would say: The bottle will be broken, or something will go wrong, and that cannot be allowed. Or somebody would say: Let the goose die if the bottle is so precious. These were the only two ways; there was no other way. and the master wouldn't give any other clue.

But to this disciple he bowed down and touched his feet and said: He is right - the goose is out! It has never been in.

YOU ARE OUT! You have NEVER been in. The FEELING that you are in is just a false conception.

So there is NO real problem of how to bring you out of your head. Just watch. When you watch, what happens? Just close your eyes and watch the thoughts. What happens? Thoughts are there, in, but you are not in. The watcher is always beyond. The watcher is always standing on the hill. Everything moves around and around, and the watcher is beyond.

The watcher can NEVER be the in, can never be the insider - he is always out. Watching means to be out. You may call it witnessing, awareness, mindfulness, or whatsoever you choose to call it, but the secret is - watch!

So whenever you feel the head is too much, just sit under a tree and watch, and don't try to come out. Who will come out? No one has been in. The whole effort is futile, because if you have never been in then how can you come out? You may go on trying and trying and getting involved in it, you may get mad but you will never be out.

Once you know that in a moment of watchfulness you are beyond, transcending - you are out. And from that moment you will be headless. The head belongs to the body, not to YOU.

The head is part of the body, it belongs to the body, it has a function in the body, it is beautiful, it is good. The bottle is precious, and if you know the way, the secrets of it, it can be used. When I am talking to you, what am I doing? Using the bottle. When Buddha is preaching, what is he doing? - using the bottle. The bottle is REALLY precious, worth preserving. But this is no way to preserve it - to get into it and get caught into it, and then make efforts to come out. The whole life becomes chaos.

Once you know that watching you are out, you become headless. Then you move on this earth without any head. What a beautiful phenomenon, a man moving without a head! That's what I mean when I say become a white cloud - a headless phenomenon.

You cannot even imagine how much silence can descend upon you when the head is not there. Your physical head WILL be there, but the involvement, the obsession, is not there.

The head is not a problem! It is beautiful, a wonderful device, the greatest computer yet invented, such a complex, such an efficient mechanism. It is beautiful. It can be used, you can enjoy using it. But from where have you got the idea that you are in it? It seems to be just a false teaching.

You may not be aware that in old Japan, and still old people in Japan, if you ask them: Where do you think from? they will point to their belly, because in Japan it was taught that the belly is the center of thinking. So when for the first time Europeans reached Japan, they couldn't believe that a whole country thinks that the head is in the belly not in the head.

This is just a Western attitude that you are in the head. In old Japan thinking from the belly really worked, but now they are shifting from the belly to the head. There have been other traditions that have thought from other parts of the body. Lao Tzu says you think from the soles of your feet. So there are techniques in Taoist yoga to get out of the soles of your feet - because THERE the thinking is going on.

What is the reality? The reality is: you are beyond. But you can get attached to any part of the body - the head is a Western obsession, the belly was the Eastern obsession. You must have heard about D.H. Lawrence. He used to think that one thinks from the sex center, that that is the real thinking center, nowhere else.

And all are equal - equally wrong or equally right. There is nothing to choose because the witness is beyond. It is all around the body and beyond the body. You can get attached to any part of the body and start thinking that this is the part.

There is no need to come out because you have never been in. The goose is out - already out!

Watch...and when you watch you have to remember that while watching, don't judge. If you judge, watching is lost. While watching, don't evaluate. If you evaluate, watching is lost. While watching, don't comment. If you comment, you have missed the point.

While watching just watch...a river flowing, the stream of consciousness flowing, atomic thoughts floating like bubbles, and you sitting on the bank watching. The stream goes on and on and on. You don't say this is good, you don't say this is bad, and you don't say this should not have been, and you don't say this should have been. You don't say anything - you simply watch. You are not asked to comment. You are not a judge - just a watcher.

Then see what happens .Watching the river, suddenly you will be beyond...and the goose will be out.And once you KNOW this, that you are out, you can remain out. And then you can move on this earth without a head.

So, this is the way to cut the head. Everybody is interested in cutting others' heads - that won't help. You have already done that too much. Cut your own. To be headless is to be in deep meditation.

Enough for today.

Chapter 4: All Hopes are False

Beloved Osho, you have been telling us how easy it is to drop our egos and become one with the white cloud. You have also told us that we have had millions of lives and many of them have been with Buddhas, Krishnas and Christs - yet still we have not given up our egos. Aren't you creating false hopes in us?

All hopes are false. To hope is to be false. So it is not a question of creating false hopes: whatsoever you can hope will be false. Hope comes out of your falsity of being. If you are real there is no need for any hope. Then you never think about the future, about what is going to happen. You are so real, so authentic that the future disappears.

When you are unreal then the future becomes very significant, then you live in the future. Then your reality is not here and now, your reality is somewhere in your dreams. And you make those dreams look real because through those dreams you gain your reality. As you are, you are unreal. That's why so much hoping goes on. All hopes are false; you are real. My whole effort is how to throw you to yourself.

And the ego is all false hopes combined together. Ego is not a reality, it is the collectivity of all your dreams, of all that is unreal, of all that is false. The ego cannot exist in the present. Look at this phenomenon. The ego exists either in the past or in the future, never here and now - never, never. That is impossible. Whenever you think of the past, the ego comes, the I comes. Whenever you think of the future, the I comes. But when you are here, not thinking of past and future, where is your I?

Sitting under a tree, not thinking of past and future, just being there, where are you? Where is the I? You cannot feel it. It is not there. The ego has never existed in the present. Past is no more, future is yet to be. Both are not. Past has disappeared, the future has not yet appeared. Both are not. Only the present is and in the present nothing like the ego has ever been found.

So when I say drop the ego, what do I mean? I am not giving you a new hope, I am taking all your hopes away. And that is the difficulty; you live through the hope, so you feel that if all hopes are taken away you will be dead.

Then the question will arise: Why live? For what? Why move from one moment to another? For what? The goal has disappeared with the disappearance of the hope. So why go on and on if there is nowhere to reach? You cannot live without hope. That's why it is so difficult to drop the ego. Hope has become synonymous with life.

So whenever a man is hoping he appears to be more vital, appears to be more alive, appears to be very strong. When he is not hoping he appears to be weak, depressed, thrown back to himself, not knowing what to do, where to go.

And whenever there is no hope you feel meaninglessness come into you. Immediately you create another hope; a substitute is created. If one hope is frustrated, immediately another is substituted - because you cannot live in the gap. You cannot live hopelessly .And I tell you that that is the only way to live. Without any hope, life is real, for the first time life is authentic.

So the second thing to be understood is: when I say it is easy to drop the ego, I don't mean that it will be easy for you to drop it; I mean it is easy to drop it because the very phenomenon of ego is so unreal.

If the ego is false, how can it be difficult to drop it? If the dream is just a dream, how can it be difficult to come out of it? If it was real, then there would have been difficulty .If a dream is just a dream, where is the problem to come out of it? You can come out! The dream cannot catch hold of you. The dream cannot prevent you. The dream cannot become a barrier. The dream has no force - that's why we call it a dream. It is easy to come out of a dream. That's what I mean when I say it is easy to drop the ego.

But I don't mean that it will be easy for you, because the dream is still a reality for you, it is not a dream. The ego is not false to you, it is the only reality. Everything else is false.

We are living around the ego. We are seeking more and more egotistical journeys - somebody through wealth, somebody through status, power, prestige, somebody through politics, somebody through religion, priesthood. There are millions of ways. But the end, the result, the goal, is the same: seeking more and more the I, seeking more and more the ego.

To you it is a reality, to you I say it is the only reality. The false has become the real. The shadow has become the substance. That's why it is difficult - not difficult because ego is very powerful, no; it is difficult because you still believe in it, in its power.

If you believe in it, it is going to be difficult, because on the one hand you want to drop it, and on the other hand you go on clinging to it. It is going to be difficult .When I say to you it is a dream, you want to believe it because you have suffered so much through it, because you feel the truth of what I am saying. If you feel the truth of what I am saying you will drop it immediately. You will not ask how. There is no how to it. You see the point and you drop it.

You don't see the truth of what I am saying. When I say it is not realized that the ego is false and can be dropped, when I say that the ego can be dropped, you create a hope out of it. Because you have been suffering so much through it, you create a hope that if the ego can be dropped then all suffering will be dropped. You become happy with this hope.

I am not creating the hope, you are creating the hope. I am simply stating a fact that this is the construction of the ego. This is how an ego is structured, this is how an ego is created and this is how it can be dropped! And because it is false, no effort is needed. Just seeing the point it disappears.

A man is running, scared, afraid to death, and running because of his own shadow. You stop him and tell him: You are foolish! This is your own shadow - nobody is following you and nobody is going to murder you. There is nobody except you. You have become scared of your own shadow.

But once you start running the shadow also runs faster. The faster you run, the faster the shadow follows. Then the logical mind can say that you are in danger. And the logical mind will say: If you want to escape run faster and faster. But whatsoever you do the shadow will be following you. And if you cannot get rid of it, you will get more and more scared. You are creating the whole thing out of yourself.

But if I say to you: This is just a shadow, nobody is following you, and you realize the point, you look at the shadow and you feel the point, will you ask me how to drop this shadow? Will you ask about some technique, method, some yoga, how to drop it? You will simply laugh. You have dropped it! In the moment you see that this is just a shadow and nobody is following you, it has been dropped already. There is no question of how. You will have a good laugh. The whole thing was nonsense.

And the same happens with the ego. If you can see the truth of what I am saying, the thing has happened. In the very seeing of it the thing has happened. There is no more how to it .If you still ask how, the thing has not happened and you have not seen the point - but you have created a hope out of it. Because you have been suffering through this ego, you have always wanted to drop it, but this want has always been half of your mind.

All your suffering has come through the ego, but all your pleasures have also come through the ego. A crowd applauds you, appreciates you - you feel good. That is the only bliss you have known. Your ego rises high, reaches to a peak, becomes an Everest. You enjoy it! And then the crowd condemns you and you feel hurt. The crowd becomes indifferent; you are crushed by it. You fall into a valley, a depression. You have been gaining pleasure through the ego, you have been suffering through it. Because of suffering you want to drop it, but because of pleasures you cannot drop it.

So when I say that the ego can be dropped easily, hope is created in you. Not that I am creating it, your greed does that. It doesn't become a realization, it becomes a new greed, a new search for gratification. You feel that now there is a way, and there is a man who can help you to drop the ego and all the misery that ego creates. But are you ready to drop all the pleasures that the ego creates too?

If you are ready it is such an easy thing - just like dropping a shadow. But you cannot half drop it, and you cannot half carry it. Either the whole will go or the whole will cling to you. This is the problem and this is the difficulty.

All your pleasures and all your sufferings are related to only one phenomenon; you want to preserve the pleasures and you want to drop the sufferings. You are asking the impossible. Then it is difficult. Not only difficult, it is impossible. It is not going to happen to you. Whatsoever you do will be futile, no result will come of it.

You create hope out of it, a heaven, the intense blissfulness of a Buddha. Listening to me or listening to a Jesus or a Buddha, hope is created. But I am not creating it, you are creating it. You are projecting hope on it. And this is the problem, the complexity: every hope is food for the ego again. Even this hope of reaching a paradise, a heaven, becoming enlightened, is a hope. And every hope is food for the ego.

Who is trying to become enlightened? The one who is trying to become enlightened is the problem. Nobody ever becomes enlightened. Enlightenment happens, but nobody ever becomes enlightened. When the room is empty, enlightenment happens. When there is nobody to reach enlightenment, enlightenment is there.

Because of our language, because of the duality of the language, whatsoever is said about such deep things becomes false. We say: Gautam Buddha became enlightened. This is false. Gautam Buddha never became enlightened. Gautam Buddha was the unenlightenment. When he was not there, when he became absent, enlightenment happened. When suddenly one day he realized that he was following an absurd pattern, when he realized: I am the problem, so whatsoever I do will create more problems.... It is not a question of doing right or wrong, this or that. WHATSOEVER you do will strengthen the ego.

Once Buddha realized this - but this realization took many years of effort - when he realized that: Whatsoever I do will help my ego more and more, he simply dropped doing. In that moment of realization he simply became a non-doer, absolutely inactive.

Remember, this is the problem: you can even create activity out of your inactivity, or you can create activity just to help inactivity come to you. But then you miss. You can stand still, you can sit silently, but if you are making an effort to stand still, your standing is false. You are not standing, you are moving. If you are sitting silently and there is effort, if you are trying to be silent, that silence is false. You are not silent.

When Buddha realized that he was the problem, and that every activity of his gave more substance to the ego, he simply dropped. Then he was not making any effort to create a non-active state. He was not doing at all. Whatsoever was happening was happening.

The wind was blowing, and the tree must have been dancing; then came the full moon, and the whole existence was celebrating. And the breathing coming in, going out, and the blood circulating in the veins, and the heart beating, and the pulse - and everything was happening! But he was not doing anything. In this non-doing Gautam Siddhartha disappeared.

By the morning there was no one to receive enlightenment, but enlightenment was there. Under that bodhi tree a vacant vehicle was sitting - breathing of course, heart beating of course, better than ever. Everything functioning perfectly, but no doer there. Blood circulating, the whole existence around - alive, dancing. Every atom in Buddha's body dancing, alive. It had never been so alive, but now energy moving of its own accord - nobody pushing it, nobody manipulating it. Buddha became a white cloud. Enlightenment happened.

It can happen to you also, but don't create any hope out of it. Rather, seeing the point, drop all hopes. Become hopeless, perfectly hopeless. It is difficult to become perfectly hopeless. Many times you reach hopelessness but it is never perfect. One hope drops, you feel hopelessness. But immediately, to cover it up, you create another hope. And hopelessness is gone.

People go on moving from one master to another; that is movement from one hope to another. They go to one master with hopes that he will give through his grace, that through his energy the thing will happen. Then they try, then they wait, with a very strained mind, because a mind which hopes can never be at ease; with a very impatient mind, because a mind which is filled with hope cannot be patient.

And then they start feeling uneasy because the thing is not happening. So this master is wrong, they must move to someone else. This is not movement from one master to another, this is movement from one hope to another. People move from one religion to another; there are conversions just because of hope. You can go on doing it for many, many lives. You have been doing that.

Now, try to see the point! It is neither a question of a master nor a question of a right method. It is a question of a direct insight, an immediate penetration into the phenomenon of what is happening, of why you hope, of why you can't be without hope. And what have you gained out of all your hoping? See it. It drops by itself. You are not even required to drop it. That's why I say it is easy, and I know well it is very difficult. Difficult because of you, easy because of itself. The phenomenon is easy, you are difficult.

And this can happen any moment. When I say this can happen any moment, I mean the phenomenon of enlightenment, of egolessness, is not caused by anything. No cause is needed. It is not an outcome of many causes, it is not a by-product. It is simple insight. It can happen to a sinner; it may not happen to a saint.

So no necessary condition is needed really. If he can see, it can happen even to a sinner. If he becomes hopeless, if he feels that there is nothing to be gained and achieved, if he comes to see that the whole thing is just an absurd game, it can happen .It may not happen to a saint because the saint goes on trying to achieve. He is not yet hopeless. This world has become futile, but another world has become meaningful. He realizes that he has to leave this earth, but there are heavens beyond - he has to reach there.

And even people near a Jesus or Buddha go on asking things like this. Just on the last night when Jesus was going to be caught and the next day killed, his disciples asked him: Master, tell us. In the Kingdom of God, when you are sitting on the right side of God's throne, what will our positions be there? Where will we be sitting, in what order? God sitting on his throne, Jesus on his right side, the only begotten Son, and then these twelve disciples: Where will we be sitting and what will be the order?

People around Jesus asking such a foolish question! But this is how human mind is. They don't ask anything of this world - they have become beggars - but they ask of the other world. They are not really beggars, they are hoping. They have staked this world, but it is a bargain; where will we be there? Who will be sitting next to you?

There must have been competition among those twelve disciples. There must have been politics, ambition, somebody up, somebody down, somebody becoming the chief. There must have been much conflict, inner politics, undercurrents of violence and aggression. Even with Jesus one starts hoping. Hope is deep-rooted in you. Whatsoever is said, you convert it into a hope. You are a hope-creating mechanism, and this hope-creating mechanism is the ego.

So what is to be done? In fact, there is nothing to be done. You only need clearer eyes, more perceptive eyes, more penetrating eyes. All that is needed is to have a fresh look about you, your being, at whatsoever you have been doing, hoping - a fresh look.

And I say to you, in that fresh look, in that innocent look, ego drops by itself, of its own accord. It is the easiest phenomenon, and at the same time the most difficult. But remember well, I am not creating any hope in you.

Beloved Osho, in relation to what you've just said, zen has a saying: effortless effort. Would you talk to us about that, and how it applies to your dynamic meditation?

Meditation is an energy phenomenon. One very basic thing has to be understood about all types of energies. This is the basic law: energy moves in a dual polarity. That is the only way it moves; there is no other way for its movement. It moves in a dual polarity.

For any energy to become dynamic, the anti-pole is needed. It is just like electricity moving with negative and positive polarities. If there is only negative polarity, electricity will not happen; or if there is only positive polarity, electricity will not happen. Both the poles are needed. And when both the poles meet, they create electricity. Then the spark comes up.

And this is so for all types of phenomena. Life goes on...between man and woman, the polarity. The woman is the negative life-energy; man is the positive pole. They are electrical, hence so much attraction. With man alone, life would disappear; with woman alone, there could be no life, only death. Between man and woman there exists a balance. Between man and woman - these two poles, these two banks - flows the river of life. Wherever you look you will find the same energy moving into polarities, balancing itself.

This polarity is very meaningful for meditation, because mind is logical, and life is dialectical. When I say mind is logical, it means mind moves in a line. When I say life is dialectical, it means life moves with the opposite, not in a line. It zig-zags from negative to positive, positive to negative, negative to positive. It zig-zags. It USES the opposites.

Mind moves in a line, a simple, straight line. It never moves to the opposite. It denies the opposite. It believes in one and life believes in two. So whatsoever mind creates, it always chooses the one. If mind chooses silence, if mind has become fed up with all the noise that is created in life and it decides to be silent, then the mind goes to the Himalayas. It wants to be silent. It doesn't want anything to do with any type of noise. Even the song of the birds will disturb it; a breeze blowing through the trees will be a disturbance. The mind wants silence. It has chosen the line. Now the opposite has to be denied completely.

But this man living in the Himalayas, seeking silence, avoiding the other, the opposite, will become dead, he will certainly become dull. And the more he chooses to be silent, the duller he will become - because life needs the opposite, the challenge of the opposite.

There is a different type of silence which exists between two opposites. The first is a dead silence, the silence of the cemetery. A dead man is silent, but you would not like to be a dead man. A dead man is absolutely silent, nobody can disturb him. His concentration is perfect, you cannot do anything to distract his mind. His mind is absolutely fixed. Even if, all around, the whole world goes mad, he will remain in his concentration. But still, you would not like to be a dead man. Silence, concentration, or whatever it is called, you would not like to be dead - because if you are silent when dead the silence is meaningless.

Silence must happen while you are absolutely alive, vital, bubbling with life and energy. Then silence is meaningful. But then silence will have a different, altogether different quality to it. It will not be dull, it will be alive. It will be a subtle balance between two polarities.

Then such a type of man, who is seeking a live balance, a live silence, would like to move to the market and to the Himalayas both. He would like to go to the market to enjoy noise, and he would also like to go to the Himalayas to enjoy silence. And he will create a balance between these two polar opposites, and he will remain in that balance. And that balance cannot be achieved through linear efforts.

That is what is meant by the Zen technique of effortless effort. It uses contradictory terms - effortless effort, or gateless gate, or pathless path. Zen always uses the contradictory term immediately, just to give you the hint that the process is going to be dialectical, not linear. The opposite is not to be denied but absorbed. The opposite is not to be left aside, it has to be used. Left aside, it will always be a burden on you. Left aside, it will hang with you. Unused, you will miss much.

The energy can be converted and used. And then, using it, you will be more vital, more alive. The opposite has to be absorbed, then the process becomes dialectical.

Effortlessness means not doing anything, inactivity - AKARMA. Effort means doing much, activity - KARMA. Both have to be there. Do much, but don't be a doer - then you achieve both.

'Move' in the world, but don’t be a part of it. Live in the world, but don’t let the world live in you. Then the contradiction has been absorbed. Then you are not rejecting anything, not denying anything. Then the whole God has been accepted.

And that's what I'm doing. Dynamic meditation is a contradiction. The dynamic means effort, much effort, absolute effort. And meditation means silence, no effort, no activity. You can call it a dialectical meditation. Be so active that the whole energy becomes a movement, no energy is left static in you. The whole energy has been called forth, nothing is left behind. All the frozen parts of energy are melting, flowing. You are not a frozen thing now; you have become dynamic. You are not like substance now; you are more like energy. You are not material; you have become electrical. Bring total energy to work, to be active, moving.

When everything is moving and you have become a cyclone, then become alert. Remember, be mindful - and in this cyclone suddenly you will find a center which is absolutely silent. This is the center of the cyclone. This is you - you in your divinity, you as a god.

All around you is activity. Your body has become an active cyclone - everything moving fast, faster. All the frozen parts have melted, you are flowing. You have become a volcano, fire, electricity. But just in the center, amidst all this movement, there is a non-moving point, the still point.

This still point is not to be created. It is there! You are not to do anything about it. It has always been there. It is your very being, the very ground of your being. This is what Hindus have been calling the ATMA, the soul. It is there, but unless your body, unless your material existence, becomes totally active, you will not be aware of it. With total activity the totally inactive becomes apparent. The activity gives you a contrast. It becomes the blackboard, and on the blackboard is the white dot.

On a white wall you cannot see a white dot; on a blackboard the white dot appears to you. So when your body has become active, dynamic, a movement, suddenly you become aware of a point which is still, absolutely still - the unmoving centre of the whole moving world.

That is effortless. No effort is made for it. No effort is needed, it is simply revealed. Effort on the part of the periphery, no effort on the part of the center. Movement on the periphery, stillness at the center. Activity on the periphery, absolute inactivity at the center. And between these two....

This will be a little difficult, because you may get identified with the center Hindus have called atma, the soul. If you get identified with the center which is still, you have again chosen something between the two. You have again chosen something and rejected something.

There is a very subtle Eastern discovery, and that is: if you get identified with the still point you will never know God; you will know the self but you will never know God. And there are many traditions, particularly Jainas, who became too identified with the self - so they say there is no God, the self is the only God.

Hindus, who have penetrated really deep, they say about this still point and this activity on the periphery, that either you are both or you are none. Either you are both or you are none! Both mean the same. These are the two poles. These are the two dialectical poles, the thesis and the antithesis. These are the two banks, and you are somewhere between these two - neither moving nor non-moving. This is the ultimate transcendence. This is what Hindus call the BRAHMA.

Effort and effortlessness, movement and no movement, activity and no activity, matter and the soul - these are the banks. And between these two flows the invisible. These two are visibles. Between these two flows the invisible. That you are.

TATTWAMASI SWETKETU, says the Upanishad. That which flows between these two banks, that which cannot be seen, that which is really a subtle balance, nothing else, between these two, that art thou. That has been called the Brahma, the supreme self.

A balance has to be achieved. And balance can be achieved only when you use both the polarities. If you use one you become dead. Many have done that - even whole societies have become dead. This has happened to India. If you choose one, then unbalance, lopsidedness, happens.

It happened in India, in the East, that the silent part, the still point, was chosen and the active part denied. So the whole East became dull. The sharpness was lost. The sharpness of intelligence, the sharpness of body vigor, everything was lost. The East became more and more dull, ugly, as if life was just a burden to be carried somehow and dropped, a duty to be fulfilled, a karma to be suffered - not an enjoyment, not a vigorous dance, but a dull, lethargic movement.

And it had its consequences. The East became weak, because with a still point you cannot remain strong forever, for long. Strength needs activity, strength needs movement. If you deny activity, strength disappears. The East lost its muscles completely; the body became flabby. So anybody who desired to could conquer the East. For thousands of years, slavery was the only destiny for the East. Anyone who had just an idea to make anybody a slave would turn towards the East. The East was always ready to be conquered, because the Eastern mind had chosen a point AGAINST the polar opposite. The East became silent, but dead and dull also. This type of silence is not worth anything.

The opposite is happening in the West. It has happened in other societies also. They have chosen the active part, the periphery, and they think that there is no soul. They think this activity is all, and to be active and to enjoy, and to achieve and to be ambitious and to conquer is all that life consists of.

The ultimate result is going to be more and more madness in the West - because without that still point you cannot remain sane. You will become insane. With only the still point, you cannot remain alive, you become dead; with only the active, you become insane. People who are insane, what has happened to them? They have lost all contact with their still point. That's what their insanity is.

The West is turning into a big madhouse. More and more people are being psychoanalyzed, psychiatrically treated; more and more people are being put into madhouses. And those who are out, they are out, not because they are sane, but only because so many people cannot be put in houses for the insane; otherwise, the whole society would have to be put in a prison. They are normal, workably normal. But Western psychology says that now it is difficult to say that any man is normal. And they may be right. In the West it has happened: no man is normal. Activity alone creates madness - balance is impossible.

Active civilizations become mad in the end. Inactive civilizations become dead. This happens to societies, this happens to individuals.

To me, balance is all. Don't choose, don't reject. Accept both - and create an inner balance. Dynamic meditation is an effort towards that balance. Active...enjoy it, be ecstatic, be fully with it. Then silent...enjoy it, be ecstatic about it.

'Move' between these two as freely as possible and don't create any choice. Don't say: I am this or that. Don't get identified. Say: I am both. Don't be afraid of contradicting yourself. Contradict, BE BOTH, and move easily.

And when I say this, I say it unconditionally - not only for activity and inactivity. Whatsoever is called bad and good, that too is included; whatsoever is called the devil and the divine, that too is included.

Always remember: everywhere there are banks, and if you want to be a river use both the banks - unconditionally. Don't say: Because I was active, how can I be inactive? Don't say: Because I was inactive, now how can I be active? Don't say: I am this, so how can I be that?

You are BOTH and there is no need to choose. The only thing to remember is to be balanced between the two. Then you will transcend both. Then the devil and the divine will both be transcended. When both are transcended, that is Brahma. Brahma has no polarity against him, because he is just a balance between two polarities. There is no anti-pole to it.

'Move' in life as freely as possible. And use both the opposites, both the banks, as much as possible. Don't create any contradiction. They are not contradictory, they only appear to be contradictory. Deep down they are one.

They are just like your legs, right and left. You use the right, you use the left. While you raise the right, the left is waiting on the earth, helping. Don't become addicted. Don't be a rightist or a leftist. Both legs are yours, and in both legs your energy flows - undivided! Have you ever felt that the right leg has one energy and the left leg some other energy? You are flowing in both. Close your eyes: left disappears, right disappears. They are both you, and while moving, you can use them.

Use both! If you become addicted to the right, as many people have become, then you will be crippled, you cannot use the left. Then you can stand, but you will be crippled, and by and by you will become dead.

'Move' and constantly remember the unmoving center. Do and constantly remember the nondoer. Make effort and remain effortless. Once you know this secret alchemy of using the opposite, the contradictory, you are free. Otherwise, you create inner imprisonments.

There are people who come to me and say: How can I do this? I have never done this. Just the other day there was somebody who said to me: How can I do active meditation, because for many years I have been sitting silently?

He has chosen, and he has reached nowhere. Otherwise there was no need to come to me. But he cannot do the active meditation because he has become identified with an inactive posture. This is getting frozen.

Become more movement. Be moving and allow life to flow.

Once you know that between the opposites balance is possible, once you have a glimpse of it, then you know the art. Then everywhere in life, in every dimension of life, you can attain that balance very easily. Really, to say that you can attain is not good. Once you know the knack of it, whatsoever you do, the balance follows you like a shadow. This inner balance between the opposites is the most significant thing that can happen to a man.

Enough for today.

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