Beyond Psychology 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 44 discourses - Beyond Psychology by Osho.
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Often, when I am deeply relaxed, a strong feeling to die comes up in me. In these moments I feel myself as part of the whole cosmos and I want to disappear into it. On one hand, it is such a beautiful feeling and I am so grateful for it. On the other hand, I mistrust it: maybe I have not said “yes” to myself, to my being, if the desire to die is so strong. Is it a suicidal desire?
It is not a suicidal desire.
One basic thing about suicide is that it arises only in people who are clinging very much to life. And when they fail in their clinging, the mind moves to the opposite pole. The function of the mind is of either–or: either it wants the whole or none of it. The lust for life cannot be fulfilled totally, because life as such is a temporal thing; it is bound to end at a point, just as it began one day at a point. You cannot have a line with only a beginning; somewhere or other there is bound to be an end.
So the people who commit suicide are not against life; it only appears so. They want life in its totality, they want to grab it whole, and when they fail – and they are bound to fail – then out of frustration, out of failure, they start thinking of death. Then suicide is the only alternative. They will not be satisfied with whatsoever life gives them; they want more and more and more.
Life is short, and the series of desire for more and more is infinite, so the failure is certain. Somewhere or other there is bound to come a moment when they will feel they have been cheated by life. Nobody is cheating them – they have cheated themselves. They have been asking too much, and they have only been asking, they have not been giving anything, not even gratefulness. In anger, in rage, in revenge the pendulum of the mind moves to the other end – still they do not know with whom they are taking revenge. They are killing themselves: it does not destroy life, it does not destroy existence.
So this experience is not of a suicidal nature. It is something similar to suicide, but on a very different level and from a very different dimension. When you are relaxed, when there is no tension in you, when there is no desire, when the mind is as silent as a lake without any ripples, a deep feeling arises in you to disappear in this moment, because life has not given you anything better than this. There have been moments of happiness, of pleasure, but this is something far beyond happiness and pleasure; it is pure blissfulness.
To turn back from it is really hard. One wants to go deeper, and one can see going deeper means disappearing. Most of him has already disappeared in relaxation, in silence, in desirelessness. Most of his personality has already gone, just a small thread of the ego is still hanging around. And he would like to take a jump out of this circle of the ego, because if relaxing even within the ego brings so much benediction, one cannot imagine what will be the result if everything is dissolved, so that one can say, “I am not and existence is.”
This is not a suicidal instinct. This is what is basically meant by spiritual liberation: it is liberation from ego, from desire, even from the lust for life. It is total liberation, it is absolute freedom.
But in this situation the question is bound to arise in everyone. The question is arising not out of your intelligence; the question is arising out of your cowardice. You really want some excuse not to dissolve, not to evaporate into the infinite. Immediately the mind gives you the idea that this is what suicide is: “Don’t commit suicide. Suicide is a sin, suicide is a crime. Come back!” And you start coming back. And coming back means you again become tense, again full of anxieties, again full of desires. Again, the whole tragic drama of your life.
It is your fear of total dissolution. But you don’t want to accept it as a fear, so you give it a condemnatory name – suicide. It has nothing to do with suicide; it is really going deeper into life.
Life has two dimensions. One is horizontal – in which you are all living, in which you are always asking for more and more and more. The quantity is not the question; no quantity is going to satisfy you. The horizontal line is the quantitative line. You can go on and on. It is like the horizon – as you go on, the horizon goes on receding. The distance between you and the goal of your more and more, the goal of your desire, remains always exactly the same. It was the same when you were a child, it was the same when you were young, it is the same when you are old. It will remain the same to your last breath.
The horizontal line is an illusion. The horizon does not exist, it only appears: there, perhaps just a few miles away, the sky is meeting the earth. It meets nowhere. Out of the horizon comes the horizontal line – unending, because the goal is illusory; you cannot come to make it a reality. And your patience is limited, your span of life is limited. One day you realize that it all seems futile, meaningless: “I am unnecessarily dragging myself, torturing myself, reaching nowhere.” Then the opposite of it arises in you – destroy yourself. It is not worthwhile to live, because life promises you, but never delivers the goods.
But life has another line – a vertical line. The vertical line moves in a totally different dimension. In such an experience, for a moment you have turned your face toward the vertical.
You are not asking – that’s why you are being given. You are not desiring – that’s why so much is made available to you. You don’t have any goal – that’s why you are so close to it. Because there is no desire, no goal, no asking, no begging, you don’t have any tension; you are utterly relaxed. In this relaxed state is the meeting with existence.
The fear comes at the moment when you come to dissolve your last part, because then it will be irrevocable; you will not be able to come back.
I have told many times a beautiful poem of Rabindranath Tagore:

The poet has been searching for God for millions of lives. He has seen him sometimes, far away, near a star, and he started moving that way, but by the time he reached that star, God has moved to some other place. But he went on searching and searching – he was determined to find God’s home – and the surprise of surprises was, one day he actually reached a house where on the door was written: “God’s Home.”
You can understand his ecstasy, you can understand his joy. He runs up the steps, and just as he is going to knock on the door, suddenly his hand freezes. An idea arises in him: “If by chance this is really the home of God, then I am finished, my seeking is finished. I have become identified with my seeking, with my search. I don’t know anything else. If the door opens and I face God, I am finished – the search is over. Then what? Then there is an eternity of boredom – no excitement, no discovery, no new challenge, because there cannot be any challenge greater than God.”
He starts trembling out of fear, takes off his shoes, and descends back down the beautiful marble steps. He took off his shoes so that no noise was made. The fear was that hearing a noise on the steps, God may open the door, although he has not knocked. And then he runs as fast as he has never run before. He used to think that he had been running after God as fast as he can, but today, suddenly, he finds energy which was never available to him before. He runs as he has never run, not looking back.
The poem ends, “I am still searching for God. I know his home, so I avoid it and search everywhere else. The excitement is great, the challenge is great, and in my search I continue, I continue to exist. God is a danger – I will be annihilated. And now I am not afraid even of God because I know his home. So, leaving his home aside, I go on searching for him all around the universe. And deep down I know that my search is not for God; my search is to nourish my ego.”

I place Rabindranath Tagore as one of the greatest religious men of the twentieth century, although he is not ordinarily related with religion. But only a religious man of tremendous experience can write this poem. It is not just ordinary poetry; it contains such a great truth. And that’s what your question is raising. Relaxed, you come to a moment where you feel you are going to disappear, and then you think, “Perhaps this is a suicidal instinct,” and you come back to your old miserable world. But that miserable world has one thing: it protects your ego, it allows you to be.
This is the strange situation: blissfulness does not allow you; you have to disappear. That’s why you don’t see many blissful people in the world. Misery nourishes your ego – that’s why you see so many miserable people in the world. The basic central point is the ego.
So you have not come to a point of suicide. You have come to a point of nirvana, of cessation, of disappearance, of blowing out the candle. This is the ultimate experience. If you can gather courage, just one step more… Existence is only one step away from you.
Don’t listen to this garbage of the mind saying that this is suicide. You are neither drinking poison, nor are you hanging yourself from a tree, and you are not shooting yourself with a gun – what suicide? You are simply becoming thinner and thinner and thinner. And the moment comes when you are so thin and so spread all over existence that you cannot say you are, but you can say that existence is.
This we have called enlightenment, not suicide. This we have called realization of the ultimate truth. But you have to pay the price. And the price is nothing but dropping the ego. So when such a moment comes, don’t hesitate. Dancingly disappear. With a great laughter, disappear; with songs on your lips, disappear.
I am not a theoretician, this is not my philosophy. I have come to the same borderline many times and turned back. I have also found the home of God many times and could not knock. Jesus has a few sayings. One of the sayings is, “Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you.” If this sentence has any meaning, it is this meaning that I am giving you now.
So when this moment comes, rejoice and melt. It is human nature – and understandable – that many times you will come back. But those many times don’t count. One time, gather all courage and take a jump.
You will be, but in such a new way that you cannot connect it with the old. It will be a discontinuity. The old was so tiny, so small, so mean, and the new is so vast. From a small dewdrop you have become the ocean. But even the dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf trembles for a moment, tries to hang on a little more because he can see the ocean – once he has fallen from the lotus leaf he is gone. Yes, in a way he will not be; as a dewdrop he will be gone. But it is not a loss. He will be oceanic. And all other oceans are limited. The ocean of existence is unlimited.

When I close my eyes I often hear the sound of a tiny bell ringing within. Can you please tell us about hearing, meditation, sound and silence?
It is possible that hearing a tiny bell inside you when you enter into meditation may be related to your past life, particularly as a Tibetan, because for centuries in Tibet this has been the conditioning of the mind – that when you enter meditation, you hear tiny bells. And if a conditioning has been continued too long, it is carried into new lives.
But hearing the tiny bell is not meditation; it is just a conditioning. When you start entering into total silence where no bells are ringing, then meditation begins. The tiny bell rings in the mind, and meditation is a state of no-mind. Tiny or not tiny, no bell can ring there; it is utter silence.
But many religions, particularly in the East… And the most prominent is the Tibetan religion which has used tiny bells. It is a significant technique but dangerous, as all techniques are: you can get attached to the technique. If you listen to a tiny bell for hours it will have a hypnotizing effect on your mind. Thinking will stop, only the bell will go on ringing. Even when you have stopped the bell it will go on ringing in the mind. The idea behind the technique was that slowly, slowly the sound of the bell will fade away into silence. If it happens, good. But the greater possibility is that you will become attached to the bell. And it gives great peace, it will give you a feeling of great well-being, because the mind will not be thinking; it cannot do two things.
It is not only the bell – anything can be used. Lord Tennyson, the great poet, was embarrassed to recognize, in his autobiography, that from his very childhood – he does not know how, perhaps sleeping in a separate room as a small child – he was afraid of darkness. Just to make sure that he was not alone, he started repeating his own name, “Tennyson, Tennyson…” and repeating his own name he forgot all about the darkness and the ghosts, and all kinds of creatures that humanity has invented for poor children to be tortured with. He would repeat a few times, “Tennyson, Tennyson, Tennyson…” and he would become silent and would fall into a deep sleep.
Later on, as he grew up, it became his usual practice. Without it he could not fall asleep – it became a necessary ritual. But it started giving him new insights: that it was not only sleep, but by repeating, “Tennyson, Tennyson,” his own name, he became silent, peaceful; he became somehow more than the body, somehow immaterial. And then, as he came to know about meditation… He had already developed a technique throughout his whole life. He tried it for meditation, and it worked. Just as it was leading him into deep sleep, it started leading him into deep relaxation, a great peacefulness.
So it is not a question of what mantra, what chanting, what name of which god or just the sound of a bell; it doesn’t matter. All that matters basically is that you become concentrated on one thing, that the mind is so full of one thing that all other thoughts stop. And any one thing for a long time is going to give you a certain kind of hypnotic state.
Just a few days ago, Anando brought me a press clipping. The man was authentic in writing it: he was puzzled, he could not understand what was the matter. He had been listening to me – he had come as a journalist to report. He had never heard such long discourses, and on subjects which were not his area! So he reports on me: “What is striking,” he reports, “is that first Osho speaks very slowly, with gaps – sometimes with closed eyes and sometimes he looks very intensely at you. He speaks so long that one feels bored, but the strange thing is that after boredom one feels a deep serenity, a silence – which is strange, because usually out of boredom one feels frustration, one feels angry.”
But he has observed well his own mind, that one feels a certain serenity, silence, peacefulness, and finally it seems that a kind of hypnosis has happened: “Perhaps this is Osho’s method – to speak so slowly, to speak with gaps, that you start feeling bored. But out of that boredom comes serenity.”
It is strange for him – it is strange for Western psychology too – that if boredom is used rightly it is going to create serenity, peacefulness and a state of hypnosis. And hypnosis is healthy. It is not meditation, but it still somehow reflects meditation. It is like the moon reflected in the water; it is not the moon, but it is still a reflection of the moon.
So all the religions – in the East particularly, but in the West also – have used very small techniques. Now a Buddhist monk in Tibet, in the silence of the Himalayas, goes on ringing a small bell for hours. No other sound – the whole universe around him is silent. The only sound is the bell. Naturally his mind starts getting bored, starts feeling disinterested. There is no excitement, it is just repetition, but that is the point: if the bell can be stopped – and the bell has to be stopped – the mind will go on listening to it for a little time longer.
The monk has become so accustomed to listening to it that he will go on listening to it. And as the sound of the bell recedes, becomes thinner, becomes distant, more distant, the mind is left in a certain silence. This silence can either give you hypnosis… And hypnosis is another name for deliberately created sleep. It is deeper than your ordinary sleep, healthier than your ordinary sleep; it rejuvenates you within minutes, which your ordinary sleep can do only in eight hours. That is one line that it can move on, but that is not meditation.
The other line is, listening to the bell inside you getting more and more distant, you become more and more alert so that you can listen to it, even though the sound is going away from you. Now you have to be more conscious to listen to it. First you were unconscious and you were listening to it; now it is getting distant so you have to be very alert, very conscious. And a moment comes when the sound disappears – you have to be perfectly conscious. You have taken a different route.
This state of consciousness is meditation.
I am not against hypnosis; what I am against is, hypnosis should not be understood as meditation. Hypnosis is of the mind, and good for the mind, good for the body. Meditation is neither of the body nor of the mind, it belongs to the third within you – your being. It is good for the being, it is nourishment for the being.
So it is possible that if, sitting in meditation, you suddenly start hearing bells, you may have practiced this in your past lives. I don’t talk about past lives for the simple reason that for you it will be just a belief. But the question was such that I had to bring the past life in, because it had nothing to do with this life. You had not practiced meditation on the sound of bells, so from where can it come into your mind? It can come only from the past conditioning, and a very deep conditioning.
Nothing is wrong in it. Enjoy it, but remember not to go toward sleep. Go toward more consciousness. Sleep is unconsciousness, so they are diametrically opposite directions. And there comes a point from where you can move either way. When the sound of bells is receding, disappearing, that is the moment. You can fall asleep, which is good – but it is not meditation, and it is not going to give you any spiritual experience. If you remain alert, aware, the sound disappears; only silence remains.
Consciousness and silence together is what meditation is all about.

I once drew a picture of a flower blossoming. The flower was simple and lovely; it had a faint light coming out of the just-opening bud, and the leaves were strong and healthy. But the roots were underdeveloped and weak, as if they didn't belong to this flower at all. This picture was to symbolize me, and I have a deep attachment to it. But I am constantly worried by the roots, as they contradict the promise of the blossom.

There are many questions connected with this picture, but I would be very happy if you would answer me somehow.
This is not only your situation. This is the situation of almost all human beings: their roots are weak, and without strong roots the possibility of a healthy blossoming of thousands of flowers is not possible. Why are the roots weak? They are kept weak.
In Japan they have trees four hundred, five hundred years old and six inches high. It is considered to be an art. To me it is simple murder. Generations of gardeners have passed, keeping those trees in this situation.
Now, a tree which is five hundred years old… You can see its branches are old, although small; it is a very tiny old man, but it shows on the leaves, on the trunk, on the branches. The strategy that has been used is this: they plant a tree in a mud pot which has no bottom, then they go on cutting the roots – because the pot has no bottom. When the roots come out and try to reach the earth, they will cut them. They will not do anything to the tree; they will simply go on cutting the roots. Now for five hundred years a family has been continuously cutting the roots. The tree may live for thousands of years, but it will never blossom, it will never come to fruition.
The same has been done to man all over the world. His roots have been cut from the very beginning, about everything. Every child has to be obedient. You are cutting his roots. You are not giving him a chance to think whether to say yes to you or to say no. You are not allowing him to think, you are not allowing him to make a decision on his own. You are not giving him responsibility – you are taking responsibility away behind the beautiful word obedience. You are taking his freedom away, you are taking his individuality away by a simple strategy – that he is a child, he does not know anything. The parents have to decide, and the child has to be absolutely obedient. The obedient child is the respected child.
But so much is implied in it, that you are destroying him completely. He will grow old, but he will not grow up. He will grow old, but there will be no blossoming and there will be no fruition. He will live, but his life will not be a dance, will not be a song, will not be a rejoicing. You have destroyed the basic possibility for all that makes a man individual, authentic, sincere, gives him a certain integrity.

In my childhood there were many children in my family. I had ten brothers and sisters myself, then there were one uncle’s children and another uncle’s children. And I saw this happening: whoever was obedient was respected. I had to decide one thing for my whole life – not only for being in my family or for my childhood – that if I in any way desire respect, respectability, then I cannot blossom as an individual. From my very childhood I dropped the idea of respectability.
I told my father, “I have to make a certain statement to you.”
He was always worried whenever I would go to him, because he knew that there would be some trouble. He said, “This is not the way a child speaks to his father – ‘I am going to make a statement to you.’”
I said, “It is a statement through you to the whole world. Right now the whole world is not available to me; to me you represent the whole world. It is not just a question between a son and a father; it is a question between an individual and the collectivity, the mass. The statement is that I have renounced the idea of respectability, so in the name of respectability never ask anything from me; otherwise I will do just the opposite.
“I cannot be obedient. That does not mean I will always be disobedient, it simply means it will be my choice to obey or not to obey. You can request, but the decision is going to be mine. If I feel my intelligence supports it, I will do it; but it is not obedience to you, it is obedience to my own intelligence. If I feel it is not right, I am going to refuse it. I am sorry, but you have to understand one thing clearly: that unless I am able to say no, my yes is meaningless.”
And that’s what obedience does: it cripples you – you cannot say no, you have to say yes. But when a man has become incapable of saying no, his yes is just meaningless; he is functioning like a machine. You have turned a man into a robot.
So I said to him, “This is my statement. Whether you agree or not, that is up to you; but I have decided, and whatever the consequences, I am going to follow it.”
It is such a world… In this world to remain free, to think on your own, to decide with your own consciousness, to act out of your own conscience has been made almost impossible. Everywhere – in the church, in the temple, in the mosque, in the school, in the university, in the family – everywhere, you are expected to be obedient.

Just recently I was arrested in Crete. They did not show me my arrest warrant. I told them, “This is absolutely criminal.”
They said, “We have got it, but it is in Greek.”
I said, “Do you have another warrant to search the house?” They had none – they had never thought about it. I said, “You were allowed by your warrant to arrest me outside the house; you were not allowed to enter the house. You not only entered the house, but Anando, my secretary, was trying to tell you, ‘Just wait! Osho is asleep and I will go and awaken him. It will take only five minutes.’ You could not even wait five minutes.
“You threw Anando from the four-foot-high porch onto the ground – which was gravel and stone – and dragged her away and arrested her with no warrant. And the only crime she had done was to tell you, ‘Just wait. We are bringing Osho down, then you can show your papers to him.’”
When I was awakened by John, they had already started throwing rocks at the windows, at the doors, trying to break into the house from all sides. I heard noises as if bombs were being thrown. They had dynamite bombs, and were threatening to dynamite the house.
On the way to the police station they stopped in an empty, silent space and gave me a paper, describing all that had happened, that I should sign it. I said, “I would be happy to sign it, but it is not a true description. You have not mentioned anything about breaking the windows, the doors of the house, threatening that you will destroy the house with dynamite. You have not mentioned anything about Anando, that you threw her on the ground, dragged her along the stones without any arrest warrant for her. I will not sign it! You want to cover it up. If I sign it, that means I cannot go to the court because you can present this paper that I have already signed. Make it exactly factual, whatever has happened; then I will be willing to sign it.”
They understood that I am not a person who can be threatened, and they took the paper away. And they never again asked me to sign it, because they were not in a position to write all those things that they had done; that would have been their condemnation. They wanted to immediately send me to India by boat, and I refused. I said, “Sailing by boat on the sea does not suit me. I will be seasick, and who will be responsible for it? So you have to give me a written document saying that you will be responsible for my sea-sickness and the damages.” They forgot all about that boat!
I said, “My jet plane is waiting in Athens. You have to take me on a plane from here to Athens, or you have to allow my plane to come here. I am not interested in living in such a country even for two weeks” – because my visa was valid only for two weeks more – “where government authorities behave in such a primitive, ugly, inhuman way.”
I told the police officer, “Wherever the pope goes, he kisses the ground after landing. I should start spitting on the ground, because that’s what you deserve.”
The comment that he made to me reminded me of all this. He said, “It seems that from your very childhood, nobody has disciplined you in obedience.”
I said, “That’s right, that’s an absolutely right observation. I am not against obedience, I am not disobedient, but I want to decide my life in my own way. I don’t want to be interfered with by anybody else, and I don’t want to interfere in anybody else’s life either.”

Man can only be truly human when this becomes an accepted rule. But up to now the accepted rule has been to destroy the person in such a way that his whole life he remains servile, submissive to every kind of authority, to cut his roots so that he doesn’t have enough juice to fight for freedom, to fight for individuality, to fight for anything. Then he has only a small amount of life, which will enable him to survive till death relieves him from this slavery that we have accepted as life. Children are slaves of their parents; wives are slaves, husbands are slaves, old people become slaves of the younger people who have all the power. If you look around, everybody is living in slavery, hiding the wounds behind beautiful words.
You felt that drawing of yours, of a flower with beautiful petals and a light aura, but with very weak roots describes you: it describes all human beings.
The roots can be strong only if we stop what we have been doing up to now, and do just the opposite of it. Every child should be given a chance to think. We should help him to sharpen his intelligence. We should help him by giving him situations and opportunities where he has to decide on his own. We should make it a point that nobody is forced to be obedient, and everybody is taught the beauty and the grandeur of freedom. Then the roots will be strong.
But even your God has been cutting the roots of his own children because they were not obedient. Their disobedience became the greatest sin, such a great sin that hundreds of generations have passed, but the sin continues; you have not committed it, but you come in the line of hundreds of generations. Somebody in the beginning disobeyed God, and God is so furious that not only Adam and Eve should be punished, but all their future generations, forever.
These are the religions which have made human beings live without any blossoming and without any fragrance; otherwise each individual has the capacity to be a Socrates, to be a Pythagoras, to be a Heraclitus, to be a Gautam Buddha, to be a Chuang Tzu. Each individual has potential, but the potential is not getting enough nourishment. It remains potential. And the man dies, but the potential never becomes actuality.
My whole effort and approach is to give each individual opportunity to develop his potential, whatsoever it is. Nobody should try to divert his life – nobody has the right to do it. And then we can have a world which is truly a garden of human beings. Right now we are living in hell.

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