28th November is the birthday of the English poet and painter William Blake. Born in 1757, Blake lived during the Romantic Era when individualism, emotions and love for nature were elevated in art, music and literature. As a successor to the Enlightenment Era, Romanticism affirmed ‘harmonious coexistence with nature’ as opposed to ‘controlling nature’, a propensity fuelled by the Industrial Revolution. Blake’s quote sums it up well – You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough. Other famous Romantic Era writers include Byron, Coleridge, Dumas, Emerson, Hugo, Keats, Shelley, Thoreau and Wordsworth.
Although unrecognised during his lifetime, today Blake is considered a seminal figure in poetry and art. The philosophical and mystical undercurrents that make his work unique can be tasted from these famous lines –
To see the world in a grain of sand,
and to see heaven in a wild flower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hands,
and eternity in an hour. Osho has spoken on William Blake in His discourses. Osho saysWilliam Blake is one of the greatest poets the West has produced. He has many beautiful insights. Blake has said ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.’ Just a few steps more and he would have been an enlightened person. He could have been a RISHI, a seer. Just a few steps, maybe only one step, a little jump… he had come very close to the boundary of realization
Meditation starts by being separate from the mind, by being a witness. That is the only way of separating yourself from anything. If you are looking at the light, naturally one thing is certain, you are not the light, you are the one who is looking at it. If you are watching the flowers, one thing is certain, you are not the flower, you are the watcher.
Watching is the key of meditation: Watch your mind. Don’t do anything – no repetition of mantra, no repetition of the name of God – just watch whatever the mind is doing. Don’t disturb it, don’t prevent it, don’t repress it; don’t do anything at all on your part. You just be a watcher, and the miracle of watching is Meditation. As you watch, slowly, slowly mind becomes empty of thoughts; but you are not falling asleep, you are becoming more alert, more aware. As the mind becomes completely empty, your whole energy becomes a flame of awakening.
This flame is the result of meditation. So you can say meditation is another name of watching, witnessing, observing — without any judgment, without any evaluation. Just by watching, you immediately get out of the mind.
The watcher is never part of the mind and as the watcher becomes more and more rooted and strong, the distance between the watcher and the mind goes on becoming longer and longer. Soon the mind is so far away that you can hardly feel that it exists… just an echo in faraway valleys. And ultimately, even those echoes disappear. This disappearance of the mind is without your effort, without your using any force against the mind — just letting it die its own death.
Once mind is absolutely silent, absolutely gone, you cannot find it anywhere. You become for the first time aware of yourself because the same energy that was involved in the mind, finding no mind, turns upon itself. Remember: energy is a constant movement.
We say things are objects, and perhaps you have never thought why we call things objects. They are objects because they hinder your energy, your consciousness. They object; they are obstacles. But when there is no object, all thoughts, emotions, moods, everything, has disappeared. You are in utter silence, in nothingness – rather in no-thingness; the whole energy starts turning upon itself. This returning energy to the source brings immense delight.
Just the other day, I quoted William Blake, “energy is delight.” That man, although he is not a mystic, must have found some glimpse of meditation. When meditation comes back to its own source, it explodes in immense delight. This delight in its ultimate state is enlightenment.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune, India.
Chapter title: To know oneself and to be oneself
31 August 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Osho has spoken on eminent poets and philosophers like Aristotle, Byron, Bukharin, Camus, Coleridge, Dale Carnegie, Descartes, Dostoevsky, D.H. Lawrence, Gorky, H.G. Wells, Hegel, Huxley, Kahlil Gibran, Kalidas, Keats, Mark Twain, Milton, Nietzsche, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rumi, Shakespeare, Tagore, Tolstoy, Voltaire, William Blake, Wordsworth, and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses: