Accept Your Reality
Osho on French Painter Paul Gauguin
Born on 7 June 1848, Eugene Henri Paul Gauguin was a French painter, sculptor, ceramist, printmaker, and writer. He is famous for his ‘primitive’ sense of expression in his work to display the spirituality and the innate denotation of the subjects of his paintings. While he was underappreciated in his time, Gauguin’s work with innovative color patterns and Synthetist style of painting earned him a well-deserved position as one of the first and most notable Post-Impressionist artists.
Gauguin was also well associated with the notable artist Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo through a lucky encounter at an exhibition of Gauguin’s Martinique paintings, prompting him to create his self-portrait sculpture “Jug in the Form of a Head”. He spent the last years of his life in French Polynesia, painting pieces such as ‘Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?’(1897) and ‘Nevermore’ (1897).
Osho talks about Gauguin, “..Paul Gaugin had to suffer just the way every creator suffers. Creativity is almost like pregnancy. The mother goes for nine months into deep troubled waters, and even after the birth of the child she is not free of responsibility. All creativity is a deep suffering, unless your creativity does not come out of the mind, but out of meditation. When it comes out of meditation, creativity is sharing the joy, sharing the blissfulness that you have. Mind has no joy — it is really a wound, very painful.
Paul Gaugin had no idea of any meditation, but he had a tremendous passion, almost a madness to create. And just to create, he dropped out of society, forgot all about his wife and children and responsibilities. He was possessed by the idea of creating. The possession was so total that he could not allow any distraction. But when you are possessed by something, you are working almost as a slave, and slavery cannot bring blissfulness.”
Man is unawareness, and man need not be. Man can become a light of awareness. And only when you are a light of awareness is your life worth living, is your life LIFE; otherwise you are simply dragging, somehow managing, pulling. It is ugly, it is desert-like. It has not known anything worth knowing. It has not seen beauty, it has not experienced good, it has not been able to touch anything that is sacred. It has not come across truth; it cannot — if you remain unaware. The only thing needed is to wake up.
And remember, you can even dream that you are awake, and many are doing that too. Have you not dreamed sometimes that in the dream you think you are awake and that you are going to the office? And then your wife comes and pulls you out of your bed and says, “What are you doing? And you are getting late, you have to go to the office, and it is not Sunday. ” Then you jump out of the bed, then you become aware that you were dreaming. That dream was a trick of the mind. Have you not dreamed sometimes, when your bladder is full in the night and you start dreaming, that you are going to the bathroom and you are in the bathroom? That is just a trick so that the sleep remains undisturbed. Dream is a support to your sleep. Ordinarily people think that dream is a disturbance in sleep; that is not right. All the psychological investigation that has gone into dreaming has proved something just the opposite. Now the psychologists who have been working on dreaming and sleep say that dreaming is a friend of sleep, not a disturbance. It keeps you asleep; otherwise there are a thousand and one chances of your waking up in the night.
But the dream gives you an explanation, a beautiful explanation. For example, you have fixed the alarm and the alarm goes off. You want to get up; it is three o’clock. You wanted to get up to catch a train, and it is cold, and you are sleepy, and the alarm goes off: you start having a dream that you are passing by the side of a hillock, and on the hill there is a beautiful temple, and the temple bells are ringing. Now a trick, a rationalization: the mind says, “It is not the alarm clock, it is just temple bells ringing.” And you turn over and pull up your blanket and tuck yourself in well and go to sleep. Your dreams are in the service of your sleep; they serve your sleep. They always manage to give you some explanation. There are many people who think that they are alert. They are not. There are many people who think they are virtuous. They are not. There are many people who go on thinking a thousand and one things, but they are not those things; those are just dreams. And remember this faculty of the mind: that it can rationalize anything.
A man walking along a country lane encountered an old lady who was holding two kettles up to her ears. He could not help asking her what she was doing.
“Well, if you hold two kettles to your ears,” the old woman said, “you can hear a noise like a football match.”
The man took the two kettles, held them up to his ears for a while, then said, “I can’t hear anything.”
“Ha ha ha ” cackled the old lady. “It must be halftime.”
You can always find an explanation.
Explanations help you to remain the way you are. If you really want to move in a new world, in a new consciousness, stop making explanations for your dreams. And even if the fact hurts, let it hurt, but don’t hide it behind a fiction. You go on doing things that you don’t want to do. You go on not doing things that you always wanted to do. You live in a very divided way. See to it that this division disappears. This division is the cause of all your misery and hell. A divided person is a miserable person, and a divided person is in constant turmoil; he is in a civil war, fighting with himself.
And all your politicians and priests want you to continue fighting with yourself so that they can go on exploiting you, so you don’t have enough energy to fight with them.
If you are fighting with yourself you can’t have energy enough to be rebellious. This is the basic strategy which has been perpetuated down the ages by all kinds of exploiters: divide the man and rule. And they have divided you in two: the outer and the inner, the lower and the higher, the good and the bad, the actual and the ideal, the earthly and the heavenly, the worldly and the other-worldly. They have divided everything.
You are living in thousands of fragments.
Drop all these divisions. See it: that these divisions are your enemies. Renounce these divisions, become utterly one. And what is the way to become one? Just accept your actuality. There is no other reality. You are the reality. Accept your reality, and in that very acceptance, grace descends. In that very acceptance, intelligence arises, because you accumulate so much energy. Not fighting, energy goes on and on; you become a reservoir of energy. And energy is delight. And great energy is great delight.
You can become infinite energy. You are, but you are caught in traps. Those traps have beautiful names, names of religion, morality, ethics, virtue; beautiful names. Your prison is called the temple, the mosque, the gurudwara, the church. Your jailers have become your priests. Your scriptures have become your knowledge and are preventing your wisdom from arising. And all that you have been doing has not helped you to become aware, so now do something that can make you aware. What can make you aware? Seeing the point that the society is not interested in your blissfulness or in your awareness, one drops out of this society. And by dropping out I don’t mean that you escape to the Himalayas. You remain in it, but deep down you are no more in it. That is Sannyas. That’s what it means to become a Sufi.
A man wanted to commit suicide. To make sure he did the job, he got a bottle of poison, a rope, a gun, some gasoline, and matches.
Pouring the gasoline all over his clothing, he climbed a tree and crawled out on a branch overhanging a lake. He hung himself from the limb, drank the poison, set his clothing on fire, and then shot himself.
Alas! He missed his head, the bullet hit the rope, he fell into the water and the water put the flames out. He swallowed so much water that the poison became harmless. Then he had to swim as hard as he could in order to save his life.
This is your situation. Beware. Watch what you are doing. Watch each act. De-automatize each act. Remain constantly alert. Walking, watch each step. Eating, watch. Even while going to sleep, go watchfully into it, into what is happening: slowly, slowly the body relaxes, the limbs relax. Watch, feel… the coolness of the bedsheet, the softness of the pillow. Be sensitive, be watchful: then slowly, slowly the mind is moving into another dimension, the dimension of sleep; you are just in between — a little awake, a little asleep. Watch. Go on watching, go on watching as long as you can, and one day it happens: you fall asleep, and yet watching continues. Then one learns how to watch the dreams. Then on another level, one day you can even watch your deep sleep, dreamless sleep. And then finally, when you have been able to watch your waking life, your dream life, your sleep life, you have arrived to the fourth state. Just the other day I was talking about turiya, the fourth state. You have come home, you are alert. This is one explanation that Bahaudin gave to his disciples, but hidden in it is another. Those disciples must not have been worthy enough, so he only indicated.
He says, “FOOLS! THIS MAN IS ACTING THE PART OF HUMANITY. WHILE YOU WERE DESPISING HIM, HE WAS DELIBERATELY DEMONSTRATING HEEDLESSNESS AS EACH OF YOU DOES, ALL UNAWARE, EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIVES.”
But who can act? Only one who has gone out of the act. Who can behave in such a way and depict humanity in its actuality, without any pretensions? Only one who has reached to the fourth stage, only one who is a witness now, aware, alert. It is reported that Jesus was thought to be a fool. It is also reported that Francis was also thought to be a fool; and so was the case with Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen in China; and so has the case been with thousands of Zen, Sufi, and Hasid mystics. They have been thought to be fools, and they were the most alert people. But they behaved like fools just to make you aware. If you could not see it in your own life, they functioned as mirrors so that you could see your ugly face. But people are such that if they see some mirror reflects their ugly face, they will destroy the mirror. They will say, “This mirror is not right. I am such a beautiful person, and this mirror must be a distorting mirror.
That’s why people killed Jesus; he was a mirror, and showed you in your total ugliness and nakedness. And they poisoned Socrates; he was a mirror, one of the best mirrors ever. Why do people become so angry with these people? Why are they so angry with me? Their anger is that what they are doing unconsciously is being done consciously here, deliberately. They can’t understand it. They can’t see the point. They become angry against the mirror.
This place is a mirror: it will show you in all your dirt, it will show you in all your perversions. It will need courage to be here. And if you are really courageous, then yours is going to be a great blessing. You can go beyond those perversions, because the only way to go beyond is by becoming aware, alert, watchful, a witness.
This man must have been a great mystic in his own right. He must have been invited by Bahaudin. He belonged to another school; that’s why he must have been invited, so nobody would recognize, so nobody would think that he was a Sufi at all, so his behavior would be thought of as the behavior of a madman. It is very easy to understand the behavior of someone who belongs to your own school; it is difficult to understand the behavior of one who does not belong to your own school. For example, Christians will not be able to understand Mahavira standing naked, and Jainas will not be able to understand Jesus being crucified either. Do you know what Jainas say? Once a Jaina monk came to see me and he said, “You talk about Mahavira, but in the same breath you talk about Jesus. That doesn’t look right. Jesus cannot be compared to Mahavira. Mahavira is the enlightened one. Jesus is not the enlightened one — maybe a good man, but not enlightened.” I said, “Why do you say that he is not enlightened?” He said, “How can he be enlightened? The theory of karma proves that: he was crucified, and one can be crucified only if he has committed great sins in his past.” Now that is a Jaina explanation.
They say when Mahavira used to move — he was naked, barefooted — on the mud roads of Bihar, if there were thorns on the road, either those thorns would jump outside the road because Mahavira was coming, or they would turn upside down so his feet were not hurt — because he was the purest one. All his karmas were burned; now no suffering was possible for him.
If this is the explanation, then certainly Jesus was a sinner, not a savior at all. If Jesus comes in the community of the Jainas, he will be thought of as a sinner. They may have compassion on him, but they cannot respect him. And the same will happen to Mahavira, because the Christians will ask, “What service have you done to humanity? The savior is one who serves.” Now Mahavira never opened a hospital, never ran a school, never went in search of lepers to kiss them. He will look utterly selfish just standing under beautiful green trees, meditating. “The world is suffering and you are meditating? What more selfishness is possible?” The world is on fire and Mahavira is enjoying ecstasies. What kind of man is this? He may be a good man, but not a savior — and utterly selfish.
It is very difficult to understand somebody who belongs to a different gestalt of thinking, a different style of life. Only a man who has arrived can see that Jesus, Mahavira, Krishna, Buddha, and many others, are all the same. Only one reality has expressed through them — in different languages, of course, in different styles of course. They have all painted the same reality; their paintings are different. For example, if you bring ten painters and the sun is setting and you tell them to paint, do you think their paintings will all be the same? Although they are painting the same reality, they are going to be different. And the greater the painters, the greater will be the difference. If they are just photographers, not real painters, then maybe the paintings will look alike. If they are real painters, geniuses — if Van Gogh is painting, and Picasso and Goya and Gauguin — then those paintings will be utterly different. You will not be able to figure out that it is the same sunset. Their individuality, their signature, will be there.
When Mahavira reflects, he is reflecting the same God, the same truth as Jesus, as Mohammed, as Bahaudin; but it is always difficult to recognize somebody who comes from a different gestalt. That’s why those people missed; otherwise he would have been seen as an awakened soul, an awakened consciousness. He must have been an enlightened person. His answers are almost like Bodhidharma’s: that is the second meaning, the deeper meaning of the story.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Secret
Chapter title: Accept Your Reality
15 October 1978 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken extensively on ‘art, poetry, music, dance, painting’ and painters & poets like Picasso, Michael Angelo, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Byron, Bhavabhuti, Coleridge, Dinkar, D.H. Lawrence, Kalidas, Kahlil Gibran, Keats, Omar Khayyam, Milton, Yeats, Shelley, Tagore and many more in the course of His talks. More on this subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:
- Ah This
- Be Still and Know
- Beyond Psychology
- Come Follow to You Vol.1-4
- The Guest
- Going All the Way
- This Is It
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Path of the Mystic
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder
- Beyond Enlightenment
- From the False to the Truth
- From Ignorance to Innocence