Tuesday, 4 December 2012

What to Believe

            We come from many backgrounds: many paths, teachers, books, opinions, ideas, and facts. Sometimes I wonder, of all the things I’ve been through which one makes the most sense?

            Sometimes we get very confused. Sometimes we don’t get confused at all. Sometimes everything is very, very clear. Other times nothing at all is clear. And this is life!

            We have so many religions. Sometimes I wonder, was a religion made by humans for us to have something to believe in? Does a religion come down from That that we can’t speak about and it makes us feel good? Does it come from both places?

            Is there a difference between the religions and the teachings of the beings that started these religions? There are many, many differences between their times and our time. I’ve looked at some of the things that Christ said and that Buddha said and that so many other magnificent beings said. The things that they said and the things that they did are very different from some of the religions that we have now which are supposedly based on these beings. It makes me wonder.

            Then we have concepts such as free will, karma, and predestination. I wonder about these things. The way we think about all these things makes a big, big difference in how we experience our lives. And we have many teachers that have spoken on these subjects.

            Then we have our daily lives, we have personality and self, and we have the word enlightenment. We have many things to consider. So when I’m here to talk about things that cannot be spoken about, which one of these things do I start on first? Which one of these things is more important?

            We also have the desire to continue. If we are honest with ourselves, I think most beings want to continue. When we hear someone say there is nothing to continue, we have a problem.

            Then if we have emptiness, what is emptiness? What is nothingness? Can something be nothing? The Buddha talked about having fullness in nothingness. How can we have fullness in nothingness? So—there are a lot of questions!

            What do we do with these questions? We can decide that we’re going to follow some kind of a path that has definite answers to these questions. If that’s our choice we can explore something that gives definite answers to any one of these topics. If we feel comfortable with those particular answers then we can follow this path, and we can move on within it. That’s one choice.

            Another choice is that we have no choice. Everything is predestined and therefore there is nothing we can do about anything—period. So there is nothing to do.

            A third choice is that there is nothing to follow as far as the absolute is concerned, but much to do in the relative world. This is very difficult. We have to take each one of the topics I just mentioned and look at it very carefully. We look at every one of them with our hearts, with our brains, with our experiences, with everything about us.

            We finally come to the conclusion

            that there is no one,

            there has never been anyone,

            who knows all the answers

            to these things.

            Is that good news or is that bad news? I don’t know. I think we have to be strong to take that news.

            Looking at all these different things and trying to find answers is the struggle I have had my whole life—looking at this and looking at that, trying to find out what is the difference between this and that. What is good about this particular way of looking at things and what is the advantage of the other way of looking at them? Trying to pinpoint the differences, and find something that made sense to me, led me to tremendous confusion.

            The reason I was so confused was that I was focused on the differences between all these things. I was looking at differences—as opposed to spending some time finding out what is the same about all these things.

            Is there something similar underneath all these teachings?

            we have to look at what might possibly be the same about all these beliefs.

            When we look at things that way, we start to find beautiful things that we like among all these teachings. And they all feel good! They all feel right. We don’t have to worry if something comes from this place or if it comes from that place—it just feels right! Then our knowing becomes much broader and is made up of all these things mixed together. Then we have no explanation about what we are. We are many, many things.

            But we still try to find some kind of a word or idea to express these things. Finally, we come to a conclusion that says there is nothing that can be said about what we are. Nothing at all. We have fallen in love with something we can’t express. We have a natural desire to speak about it. But it is something that is unspeakable. That’s the dilemma.

            Perhaps we eventually call this indefinable something absolute truth—or love, or consciousness, or god. We call it whatever we wish. And THAT is the essence that is underneath and determines everything else. Symbolically we can put That on one hand (holds up hand), and it will be the absolute truth of things.

            When we look at absolute truth,

            if we are honest and careful observers,

            we come to the conclusion that

            absolute truth is a magnificent mystery

            and it cannot be fully deciphered.

            It is a mystery beyond all mysteries and cannot be deciphered because in it are all the ultimate questions. Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? How are we to live? What is our place in all of this? What created god? What created god before god? What is the universe? How many universes do we have? What am I? What is going to happen to me? There are always questions. Those kinds of questions are interesting and we can talk about them, but they’re the questions that, as far as we can tell with the way the human brain is right now, we cannot possibly find the answers to.

            So, absolute truth is a mystery.

            Something is there

            that we can feel with our hearts

            even though we can’t explain it or discuss it.

            Something must exist, when we know we are here. When we look at the sky, at the trees, at the stars, at everything around us and we see the magnificence of existence, it doesn’t seem possible that there isn’t something underlying all of this.

            When we look at the way we are made, the way our universe exists, the way our body functions, the way we have billions and billions of cells inside of us, the way we have a whole universe inside of us—how can this just be for no reason? So we have—That!


Monday, 3 December 2012

Osho on Truth

Chidvilas asks: "What is truth?"

Asking has to disappear; only then do you know. If you ask, "What is truth?" what are you asking? If I say A is truth, B is truth, C is truth, will that be the answer? If I say A is truth, then certainly A cannot be the truth: it is something else that I am using as synonymous with truth. If it is absolutely synonymous, then it will be a tautology. Then I can say, "Truth is truth," but that is silly, meaningless. Nothing is solved by it. If it is exactly the same, if A is truth, then it will mean truth is truth. If A is different, is not exactly truth, then I am falsifying. Then to say A is truth will be only approximate. And remember, there cannot be anything approximate. Either truth is or it is not. So I cannot say A is truth.

I cannot even say, "God is truth," because if God is truth then it is a tautology -- "Truth is truth." Then I'm not saying anything. If God is different from truth, then I am saying something, but then I am saying something wrong. Then God is different, then how can he be truth? If I say it is approximate, linguistically it looks alright, but it is not right. 'Approximately' means some lie is there, something false is there. Otherwise, why is it not a hundred percent truth? If it is ninety-nine percent truth then something is there which is not true. And truth and untruth cannot exist together, just as darkness and light cannot exist together -- because darkness is nothing but absence. Absence and presence cannot exist together, truth and untruth cannot exist together. Untruth is nothing but the absence of truth.

So no answer is possible, hence Jesus remained silent. But if you look at it with deep sympathy, if you look into the silence of Jesus, you will have an answer. Silence is the answer. Jesus is saying, "Be silent, as I am silent, and you will know" -- not saying it in words. It is a gesture, it is very, very Zen-like. In that moment when Jesus remained silent, he comes very close to the Zen approach, to the Buddhist approach. He is a Buddha in that moment. Buddha never answered these questions. He had eleven questions listed: wherever he would move his disciples would go around and declare to people, "Never ask these eleven questions of Buddha" -- questions which are fundamental, questions which are really significant. You could ask anything else, and Buddha was always ready to answer. But don't ask the fundamental, because the fundamental can only be experienced. And truth is the most fundamental; the very substance of existence is what truth is.

Go into the question. The question is significant, it is arising in your heart: "What is truth?" -- a desire to know that which is, is arising. Don't push it aside, go into it. Chidvilas, whenever it happens again, close your eyes, go into the question. Let the question become very, very focussed -- "What... is... truth?" Let there arise a great concentration. Forget everything, as if your whole life depends on this simple question, "What is truth?" Let it become a matter of life and death. And don't try to answer it, because you don't know the answer.

Answers may be coming -- the mind always tries to supply answers -- but see the fact that you don't know, that's why you are asking. So how can your mind supply you an answer? The mind knows not, so tell the mind, "Keep quiet." If you know, then there is no need for the question. You don't know, hence the question.

So don't be befooled by the mind's toys. It supplies toys: it says, "Look, it is written in the Bible. Look, it is written in the Upanishads. This is the answer. Look, this is written by Lao Tzu, this is the answer." The mind can throw all kinds of scriptures at you: the mind can quote, the mind can supply from the memory. You have heard many things, you have read many things; the mind carries all those memories. It can repeat in a mechanical way. But look into this phenomenon: that the mind knows not, and all that mind is repeating is borrowed. And the borrowed cannot help.

It happened at a railway crossing. The gates were closed, some train was to pass, and a man was sitting in his car, waiting for the train to pass, reading a book. A drunkard who was just sitting by the side of the gate came close, knocked on the air-conditioned car's window. The man opened the window and said, "What can I do for you? Do you need any help?"

And the bum said, "Yes, for two days I have not eaten anything at all. Can you give me two rupees? That will be enough for me, just two rupees."
The man laughed and said, "Never borrow and never lend money," and showed the book to the bum and said, "Shakespeare -- Shakespeare says so. Look."
The bum pulled out of his pocket a very dirty paperback and said to the man, "You sonofabitch -- D. H. Lawrence."

Beware of the mind. The mind goes on quoting, the mind knows all without knowing at all. The mind is a pretender. See into this phenomenon: this I call insight. It is not a question of thinking. If you think about it, it is again the mind. You have to see through and through. You have to look deeply into the very phenomenon, the functioning of the mind, how the mind functions. It borrows from here and there, it goes on borrowing and accumulating. It is a hoarder, a hoarder of knowledge. Mind becomes very knowledgeable, and then whenever you ask a question which is really important the mind gives a very unimportant answer to it -- futile, superficial, rubbish.

A man bought a parrot from a pet shop. The shop-owner assured him the bird would learn to say hello within half an hour. Back home he spent an hour 'helloing' to the parrot, but not a word from the bird. As he was turning away in sheer despair, the bird said, "Number engaged."

A parrot is a parrot. He must have heard it in the pet shop. And this man was going on and on, "Hello, hello, hello," and the bird was listening, and waiting for him to stop. Then he could say, "Number engaged!"

You can go on asking the mind, "What is truth, what is truth, what is truth?" And the moment you stop, the mind will immediately say, "Number engaged" or something. The mind will give you an answer. Beware of the mind.

The mind is the devil, there is no other devil. And it is your mind. This insight has to be developed -- of looking through and through. Cut the mind in two with a sharp blow of the sword. That sword is awareness. Cut the mind in two and go through it, go beyond it! And if you can go beyond the mind, through the mind, and a moment of no-mind arises in you, there is the answer -- not a verbal answer, not a scripture quoted, not in quotation marks, but authentically yours, an experience. Truth is an existential experience.

The question is immensely significant, but you will have to be very respectful towards the question. Don't be in a hurry to find any answer, otherwise some rubbish will kill the answer. Don't allow your mind to kill the question. And the way of the mind to kill the question is to supply answers, unlived, unexperienced.

You are truth! But it can happen only in utter silence, when not a single thought moves, when the mind has nothing to say, when not a single ripple is in your consciousness. When there is no ripple in your consciousness, your consciousness remains undistorted. When there is a ripple, there is a distortion.

Just go to a lake. Standing on the bank, look down at your reflection. If there are waves, ripples on the lake, and wind is blowing, your reflection is shaky. You cannot figure out what is what -- where is your nose and where are your eyes -- you can only guess. But when the lake is silent and the wind is not blowing and there is not a single ripple on the surface, suddenly you are there. In absolute perfection, the reflection is there. The lake becomes a mirror.

Whenever there is a thought moving in your consciousness it distorts. And there are many thoughts, millions of thoughts, continuously rushing, and it is always rush-hour. Twenty-four hours a day it is rush-hour, and the traffic goes on and on and on, and each thought is associated with thousands of other thoughts. They are all holding hands and linked together and interlinked, and the whole crowd is rushing around you. How can you know what truth is? Get out of this crowd.

That's what meditation is, that's what meditation is all about: a consciousness without mind, a consciousness without thoughts, a consciousness without any wavering -- an unwavering consciousness. Then it is there in all its beauty and benediction. Then truth is there -- call it God, call it nirvana, or whatsoever you like to call it. It is there, and it is there as an experience. You are in it and it is in you.

Use this question. Make it more penetrating. Make it so penetrating; put everything at stake so that the mind cannot befool you by its superficial answers. Once the mind disappears, once the mind is no longer playing its old tricks, you will know what truth is. You will know it in silence. You will know it in thoughtless awareness.


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Enlightenment !

 When we can accept that what we are is beyond name and form, when we can accept that what we are is isness itself, then we can see that no matter what is happening, the essence of what we are cannot possibly be affected by these things of name and form.

            Only the mind can be affected.

            Only the body can be affected.

            But our essence cannot be affected.

            This understanding,

            is what is known as enlightenment.

            Enlightenment isn’t any complex kind of a thing. Contrary to what we may believe, it’s not cannons firing into the sky and all of a sudden we know something that happens only to a select few and not to others. It isn’t that suddenly we are above it all and everything is perfectly smooth in our lives or that we no longer have to face the daily situations of life.

            We tend to say to ourselves—“How could I be enlightened? How can I think of myself as knowing, when I have done these terrible things or I have had these terrible thoughts during my life? It can’t be. That title has to be given to somebody that we revere and put on a pedestal.” But all these things we are saying to ourselves are just conceptions of a mind. Every being is enlightened. The only difference is that some people may not want to believe it.

            The mind believes that a holy person is supposed to do certain things and an unholy person does other things. The mind says that only holy people are enlightened and for me to be enlightened and to understand the truth, I must do certain things. I have to follow the footsteps of a great teacher. I have to read 55,000 books on the subject. I have to spend 10 years as a monk in some monastery. I have to go to Tibet—and on and on and on. And we do these things. But eventually there comes a time when we have to become courageous enough to say—

            I’ve had enough of all these various teachings.

            I know who I am.

            I’ve had enough of being a follower of this or that. I know who I am. If I know that I am consciousness, if I know that I am That that can’t be identified, if I know that I am beingness, who can possibly teach me anything of more importance on that subject?

            We call these meetings we do satsang— meaning association with truth. In association with truth, a true teacher is really not a teacher because in these things that I am discussing there is no teacher, no teaching, and no students. But we have all become accustomed to either being a teacher or a student. We feel comfortable in being one or the other. It requires bravery to listen to someone like me say that there is nothing further to do, nothing further to hear.

            We have to trust in our own intuitive Essence.

            We have to trust in this very, very tiny voice that once in a while tries to talk to us. But so often we slap it in the face and put it down. We say, “I couldn’t possibly be That. I’m not worthy of It.” But we are! It is already what we are.

            So if there is any practice to be done it is just being alert when this intuitive voice comes. Be with it. Spend time with the best friend that you will ever have. Spend time with who you are. Spend time with Consciousness.

            This little voice gets louder as time passes. It gets a little louder and you become better friends with that little voice. That voice becomes bigger and soon you fall in love with it.

            Your physical form, your mind, and who you are

            become a beautiful circle—

            all of you loving each other

            without being enemies to each other.


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Zen Biology Lesson for Enlightenment