Being Ordinary: The Only Miracle
The only miracle, the impossible miracle, is to be just ordinary. The longing of the mind is to be extraordinary. The ego thirsts and hungers for the recognition that you are somebody. Somebody achieves that dream through wealth, somebody else achieves that dream through power, politics, somebody else can achieve that dream through miracles, jugglery, but the dream remains the same: I cannot tolerate being nobody. And this is a miracle — when you accept your nobodiness, when you are just as ordinary as anybody else, when you don’t ask for any recognition, when you can exist as if you are not existing. To be absent is the miracle…
We are all in search of the extraordinary. But why are you in search of the extraordinary? It is because you also long to be extraordinary. With an ordinary master, how can you become extraordinary, exceptional?
Bankei was talking, lecturing, and one man stood and asked about miracles. He belonged to some other sect, a sect which worked through mantras, holy names. Remember that a mantra is a secret technique to achieve more power. A mantra is not spiritual, it is political, but the politics are of the inner space, not of the outer.
The mind can become powerful if you narrow it down; narrowing is the method. The more narrow the mind, the more powerful it becomes. It is just like the sun’s rays falling to the ground. If you focus those waves, those rays, through a lens, firecan be created. Those rays were falling all spread out but now they have been narrowed down through the lens. They have become one-pointed, concentrated; now fire is possible.
The mind is energy, in fact, the same energy that comes through the sun, the same subtle rays. Ask the physicists. They say the mind has a voltage of electricity, that it is electrical. If you can focus the mind through a lens, the mantra is a lens, and you go on repeating Ram, Ram, Ram, or Om, Om, Om, or anything, just one word — if you go repeating and repeating and repeating it, and the mind’s whole energy is centered in that one word — it becomes a lens. Now all the rays are passing through that lens. Narrowed to one point it becomes powerful, you can do miracles. Just by thinking you can do miracles.
But remember, those miracles are not spiritual.Power is never spiritual.
Powerlessness, helplessness, to be nothing, is spiritual; power is never spiritual. This is the difference between magic and religion; magic is after power, religion is after nothingness.
A mantra is a part of magic not of religion at all, but everything is a big mess, mixed up. People who are doing miracles are magicians, not spiritual in any way. They are even anti-spiritual because they are spreading magic in the name of religion, which is very dangerous. Through a mantra the mind is narrowed; it is more narrowed, more powerful, and then anything can be done. There is only one thing you will miss — you will miss yourself. All miracles will be possible, the ultimate miracle you will miss. You will miss yourself because through narrowing down you can achieve an object. The more the mind is narrowed, the more it becomes fixed to an object; it becomes objective. You are hidden behind and the object is outside. So if you are a man of mantras you can say to this tree, “Die,” and the tree will die; you can say to a man, “Be healthy,” and the disease will disappear, or, “Be unhealthy,” and the disease will enter — many things you can do. You can become somebody, and people will recognize you as a man of power but never a man of God.
A man of God is born when the mind is not narrowed at all, when the mind is not flowing in one direction but is overflowing in all directions. There is no lens, no mantra, just the energy flowing in all dimensions everywhere. That flowing energy, that energy overflowing everywhere, will make you alert about yourself because then there is no object. Only you, only subjectivity exists, and through you, you will become aware of God, not through any power.
This man asked Bankei, “What type of miracles can you do? My master, through mantra, through the holy name, can do miracles. He will stand on one bank of the river, and disciples will stand on the other bank with a paper in their hands, a half-mile distant, and he will write from here and the words will come on the paper on the other bank. This our master can do. What can you do?” And Bankei said, “We know only one miracle here, and that is when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel sleepy I sleep. Only this much.” Not much of a miracle. Your mind will say, “What type of a miracle is this? It is nothing to be proud of.” But I say to you Bankei has said the real thing. That’s what a Buddha can do, that’s what a Mahavira is doing, that’s what a Jesus is to do. Only then is he a Christ, otherwise not. What he is saying is such a simple thing. He says, “When I am hungry I eat.” Is it so difficult that he calls it a miracle? I say it is difficult for you; for the mind it is the most difficult thing — not to interfere. When you feel hungry the mind says, “No, this is a religious day and I am on a fast.” When you don’t feel hungry the mind says, “Eat, because this is the time every day that you eat.” And when the stomach is overfilled the mind says, “Go on eating, the food is delicious.” Your mind interferes.
What is Bankei saying? He is saying, “My mind has stopped interfering. When I feel hungry I eat, when I don’t feel hungry I don’t eat. Eating has become a spontaneous thing; the mind is not a continuous interference. When I feel sleepy I go to sleep.” No, you are not doing this. You go to sleep as a ritual, not when you feel sleepy. You get up as a ritual because it is brahmamuhurta, and you are a Hindu and you must get up before sunrise. Because you are a Hindu, you get up. Who is this Hindu? It is the mind. You cannot be a Hindu, you cannot be a Mohammedan; there is no sect for you but the mind. The mind says, “You are a Hindu, you must get up,” so you get up. When the mind says, “Now it is time to go to sleep,” you go to sleep. You follow the mind, not nature.
Bankei is saying, “I flow with nature; whatsoever my whole being feels, I do it. There is no fragmentary mind manipulating it, manipulation is the problem. You go on manipulating and this disturbance, interference, this manipulation from the mind is the problem. Even in dreams you go on manipulating — ask the psychologists; they say while awake, you continue manipulating. The mind doesn’t allow you to see what is there, it projects; the mind doesn’t allow you to hear what is being said to you, it interprets.
Even in dreams you are false because the mind goes on playing tricks on you. Freud discovered that our dreams are also false. You want to kill your father so in the dream you don’t kill your father. You want to poison your wife but you don’t poison your wife even in a dream, you poison some woman who somehow resembles your wife. The mind is interfering continuously…
We don’t interfere.”
If you don’t interfere, you will disappear. Fighting is the way to be there.
People come to me and ask how to drop the ego. I tell them, Who will drop it? If you try to drop it you will be the ego, and someday you will claim that you have dropped the ego. And who is this claimer, who is claiming it? This is the ego, and the most subtle ego always tries to pretend egolessness.
I also know only one miracle, to let nature have its course, to allow it.
Whatsoever is happening, don’t interfere, don’t come in the way, and suddenly you will disappear. You cannot be there without resistance, fight, aggression, violence; the ego exists through resistance. This has to be understood very deeply — the more you fight, the more you will be there…
There was no sin; before knowledge there is no sin. A child cannot commit sin; only an old man can be a sinner, so all sinners are old. A child cannot be a sinner. How can it be a sinner? A child is innocent because a child is not aware of himself, that he is.
Nothing is to be done, just a simple feeling — allow nature. In the beginning it will be difficult because you have always been jumping in the way, always interfering. In the beginning it will be difficult but for just three weeks allow nature. When you feel hungry, eat, when you feel sleepy, go to sleep. When you don’t feel hungry, don’t eat. It is not a fast, remember, because a fast is from the mind, and you are feeling hungry but you are on a fast. There is no harm if you don’t feel sleepy; there is no harm because the body doesn’t need it, so don’t force it. Stay awake, enjoy, go for a walk, have a little dance in the room or sing or meditate, but don’t force sleep. When you feel sleepy, when the eyes say: Now go to sleep…. And don’t force yourself in the morning to come out of bed; allow your inner being, give it a chance. It will give you the indication, the eyes will open by themselves…
I know only one miracle — to be here and now: when feeling hungry, to eat; when feeling sleepy, to sleep; just to be ordinary and just to be part of the cosmos.
If you are in search of such a miracle much can happen near me, but if you are not in such a search nothing will happen near me. And remember, you will be responsible for it because your whole search is wrong, and then there can be no tuning with me. So decide clearly in your mind, come to an understanding of what type of miracle you are searching for.
I can make you most ordinary, I can make you simple human beings, I can make you like trees and birds. There is no magic around here, only religion, but if you can see, this is the greatest miracle.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: A Bird on the Wing
Chapter title: The Miracle of Ordinariness
15 June 1974 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘mind, psychology, depression, religion, politicians ’in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Hidden Splendor
- The Wild Geese and the Water
- This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
- Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
- Beyond Enlightenment
- Beyond Psychology
- Dang Dang Doko Dang
- The Discipline of Transcendence
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Darkness to Light
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1
- From Personality to Individuality
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1