Man is lost because of words, symbols, language. You are not lost in reality, you are lost in a linguistic dream – because the reality is always there in front of you, but you are not always there in front of reality. You are somewhere else, always somewhere else, because you are a mind and a mind means something gone astray. A mind means now you are not looking at that which is, you are thinking about it. The ‘about’ is the problem, the ‘about’ is the way to miss reality.
Philosophy is the way to miss reality.
The moment you think about it, the target will never be reached. What is thinking? It is a substitute. If you know love, you never think about it. There is no need to think about it. If you don’t know love, you think about it – really, you don’t think about anything else. How can you know love through thinking? Because it is an existential experience. It is not a theory; it is not speculative. To know it, you have to be it.
Why does mind think about things which are not experienced? Because this is a substitute; the whole being feels the need, so what to do? Just to think about it you feel a little at ease, as if something is happening, as if you are experiencing. It happens in the dream; it happens while you are awake – because the mind remains the same whether you are asleep or awake.
All dreams are substitutes and all thinking also; because thinking is dreaming while awake, dreaming is thinking while asleep.
They are not qualitatively different; they are the same process. If you can understand dreaming, you will be able to understand thinking. Dreaming is more primitive, hence more simple. Thinking is more complicated, more evolved, hence more difficult to penetrate. And whenever you want to penetrate a thing, it is better to penetrate from the simplest form of it.
If you have not eaten the day before, in the night you will have dreams about food: you are being invited by the king, you are eating delicious foods. If you are starving for sex, you will have a sexual dream. If you are starving for power and prestige, you will have a substitute dream for it: that you have become an Alexander or a Napoleon or a Hitler, you dominate the whole world. A dream is always about that which is lacking while you are awake; that which you have missed in the day, it comes in the dream. If you don’t miss anything in the day, dreaming will disappear.
A man who is totally content will not dream. That’s why Buddhas never dream. They cannot dream even if they want, because everything is complete and finished, nothing remains hanging on the mind.
A dream is a hangover; something incomplete goes on trying to be complete. And desires are such that you can never complete them. They go on growing and become bigger and bigger. Whatsoever you do, something is always lacking. Who will fulfill that hole? A dream fulfills that hole. You fasted, a hole is created in you. It is uncomfortable to carry that hole, so in the night, in dreams, you eat. The mind has deceived you, the eating has not been real. It cannot become blood in you; you cannot digest a dream, you cannot live on it. So, what is it going to do? One thing: it can help a good sleep; it is a sleep-support… …
So what is the deep meaning of dreaming? The deep meaning is that reality as such is so harsh you cannot I tolerate it. Reality as such, naked, is too much, you are not ready to bear it. The dream fills the gap; it gives you a reality you can tolerate. Reality is given to you by the mind in such a way that you can adjust to it.
The more you grow, the less dreaming will be there because there will be no problem of being adjusted. The more you grow, the less dreams. If you grow perfectly in awareness, dreaming stops because, perfectly aware, you don’t want to change reality. You simply become one with it. You don’t fight with it because, perfectly aware, you come to realize that the real cannot be changed. All that can be changed is your attitude, your mind – the real will remain the same.
You cannot change reality, you can change only this false process of mind. Ordinarily we are trying to change reality so that reality adjusts to us. A religious person is one who has dropped out of that foolish effort. Now he is not trying to change reality to fit him because that is nonsense. The whole cannot fit to the part, and the whole cannot in any way follow the part; the part has to follow the whole.
My hand has to follow my organic body, my whole body; my body cannot follow the hand, it is impossible. The part is minute, atomic. Who are you before this vast reality? How are you going to adjust this reality to you? This is the ego which says, “Go on making effort; some day or other the reality will have to adjust to you.” Then you become burdened with anxiety, because this is not going to happen. This cannot happen in the very nature of things: a drop trying to change the ocean, a drop trying to influence the ocean according to his ideas!
What is your mind? Not even a drop in this vast ocean! And what are you trying? You are trying to make the reality follow you, truth should become a shadow to you. This is the foolishness of all worldly men, all those who think they are materialists.
Then what is a religious man? What is a religious mind? A religious man is one who comes to understand that this is absolutely impossible, you are knocking against an impossible wall. The door is not possible there – only you will be hurt, only you will be in anguish, only you will feel frustrated, only you will become a failure. Nothing else is possible. That happens to every ego in the end; wounded, hurt, frustrated, worried – this happens to every ego in the end. Ego suffers, ego is always crucified – crucified because of its own foolishness.
When understanding dawns, when you can look and see the fact that you are just a part, an infinitely small part of an infinitely vast universe, you simply don’t try to be foolish. You stop fooling around. Rather, on the contrary, you start a new journey: you try to adjust yourself to reality. When you start trying to adjust yourself to reality, dreaming stops by and by – because this is possible, this is the only possibility that can happen, and it happens. When it happens, dreaming stops.
When you are trying to change reality according to you, you will become a thinker, because you will have to devise means and ways, artifices, to force reality to adjust to you. You may become a great scientist, you may become a great mathematician, a great philosopher, but you will be in anxiety and anguish. You will not become a dancing Meera or a silent Buddha or an ecstatic Sosan. No, because their whole approach is diametrically opposite. They adjust to the universe, they become one with it, they flow with it, they become just shadows in it. They don’t fight, they don’t have any conflict or argument with existence. They simply say YES to all that is. They are not No-Sayers, they are Yea-Sayers. That is the meaning of being religious: be a Yea-Sayer.
It is not a question of whether you believe in God or not. Buddha never believed in any god, but he is a religious man because he is a yea-sayer. It doesn’t matter to whom you say the yes. YOU say the yes – that changes the whole thing.
Whether you say it to a God with four heads or four hundred heads, with two hands or one thousand hands, whether you say it to a Hindu, Christian or Mohammedan god, or whether you say it to nature or to fate, destiny, it makes no difference. To whom you address it is not the point. If you say yes, a total yes on your part, you become religious.
If you say no, that means you will continue the struggle. You will fight the current, you will move against the river. You think that you are wiser than Tao, you think you are greater than the existence. Then of course, naturally, obviously, you will be frustrated because that is not the case.
The moment you say yes, your life starts flowering in a new dimension. The dimension of the yes is the dimension of religion. The dimension of the no is the dimension of politics, science and everything else.
A mystic is one who flows with the river, he does not push it. He does not even swim in it, because swimming also is a fight; he simply floats. He has no goals to reach, because how can YOU determine a goal? Who are YOU? How can YOU fix a goal?
When you let go into the river, the river moves; you move with it. The goal of the river is your goal. You don’t even bother where it is – wherever it is. You have learned a great secret of saying yes. In fact, now wherever you are you are at the goal, because YES is the goal. It is not a question of where you reach; wherever you are, you say YES and it is the goal.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Gautam Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune, India.
Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing
Chapter title: No Yesterday, No tomorrow, No today
30 October 1974 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on the phenomena of ‘mind, thinking, sleep, dreams, philosophy, religion, religiousness, God, Truth, Tao, surrender, struggle, goals, let-go’ in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses: