From the False to the Truth 16

Sixteenth Discourse from the series of 34 discourses - From the False to the Truth by Osho.
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The growth movement has been called the “new narcissism” by many, due to its emphasis on assertiveness and valuing one's own personal ego. How does your way differ?
There is no way. It is impossible to have a way, because you are already there. You have never left home. This whole search for the way is driving you crazy; you cannot find it because you are already there. Wherever you go, you will go against your being, farther and farther away. You have gone already too far.
It is time to drop the idea of the way. Life is not a becoming, not some kind of process. It is being.
You cannot ask me how my way differs from the growth movement, because I have no way. I am not teaching you a way – really, I am taking you away from all the ways.
But the question has some significance. The growth movement was egoistic. It was the assertion of the ego repressed for centuries. Just by being assertive and egoistic you don’t start growing. Or worse, you start growing in a wrong way.
My movement is not egoistic. I am not here to make your ego more and more strong – it is already too strong. My movement is toward egolessness. That’s where I depart from the growth movement. And no one can grow by strengthening the ego. He will remain just an imaginary being; he will not come to know his authentic reality.
The ego is not you, it is a pretender. People need it because they don’t know who they are, and it is really difficult to live without having some idea of who you are; hence the ego comes into existence. It is a make-believe; it is constructed by you so that you don’t feel the vacuum, so that somehow you can manage to drag yourself to your grave.
I want you to drop the ego and then see: you will be vast, there will be no limit to you. That is growth. To become a tiny, pygmy ego is not growth, it is just the opposite.
The growth movement should not be called a growth movement at all. It is selling phony commodities to you; it is really cutting your very roots. And if you become satisfied with the ego you will never search, seek, for your self, because you will continue to believe, “This ego is me.”
In Japan, for centuries it has been thought to be an art: great gardeners have been cutting the roots of trees. The tree is placed in a pot which has no bottom, so whenever the roots start growing, they just have to take up the pot and cut the roots. There are four-hundred-year-old trees only six inches high. I cannot conceive that this is art – this is murder. And those poor trees cannot say anything. If you don’t allow their roots to grow deeper into the earth, they will not grow higher into the heavens, toward the stars. The deeper their roots, the higher will be their growth.
The same is true about man. Nature functions in an absolutely harmonious way. There are not many ways that nature grows. It may be a tree, a bird, a man – it doesn’t matter, the principle, the law of growth remains the same: Let your roots go deeper.
Of course, a tree is standing, does not move – it has no legs. There are a few trees in Africa which, out of sheer necessity, have had to move. The jungles in Africa are so thick, and the trees are so big that there is no chance for new trees to grow; the sun never reaches them. It is just a sheer question of life and death. And they start moving out of crowded spaces to find some place where they can also have the sun, the air, the moon, the earth. In Africa there are walking trees; they walk in their own way, and are very intelligent.
Forget the idea that man is the only intelligent being on the earth. Yes, just as a tree is different from your body, it is different from your intelligence. But it has its own kind of intelligence. It has been found that the trees which move always in the direction where more water is available, more sun is available, more air is available, more space is available. How do they know which direction to move, which path to take? And they never make any mistake.
They are not like Moses, who wandered for forty years with the poor Jews dying in the desert, finding Israel, the holy land promised to him by God himself. Forty years in the desert? Almost two-thirds of the Jews died on the way before they reached the place. I certainly say that it has nothing holy about it. But Moses was also tired and old. His people were almost finished, and the remaining ones were getting angry with him. They had lost all trust in him. He did not know where he was going. And in a desert it is very difficult to find a path; there are no roads, no paths.
But these trees are far more intelligent than Moses. They don’t wander here and there, they simply rush exactly to the point where they can survive, grow. In a few places where water pipelines are close by, they don’t bother to go to a faraway place where they can find a river or a pond. They are very progressive, more progressive than Mahatma Gandhi.
They drop the idea of going to the river, which their parents have always followed. They don’t care a bit about the past and the tradition; they rush toward the pipeline. And they are strong enough to break steel pipelines; they put their roots into the pipeline. Can you call these trees unintelligent? They have a different kind of intelligence.
But growth is possible only if you go deeper into your roots. You are not a tree; hence, you are not to grow your roots into the earth – that will be sheer death. You have to grow inward. That is your earth. There you have to spread your roots, because there is your nourishment: your water, your sun, your air, your being.
Once you have found the center of your consciousness, growth happens of its own accord. It has not to be done, you have not to grow. It is just as when the tree gets nourishment, it starts growing: fresh leaves and flowers and branches suddenly start appearing.
The growth movement was not a growth movement. It started, of course, in California. Any nonsense…if you find it, and you want to trace where it started from, you have to go to California. It started in Esalen.
One of the directors of Esalen came to me, because he had become fed up. No growth was happening – and he was the director, so what about the poor fellows he was directing? He became a sannyasin here in America, and after one year he came to see me.
And this is one of my experiences: these people who become accustomed to leading others, who become accustomed to the attitude that “I know, and you do not; therefore, follow me”….
This director was directing the whole show in Esalen for many years. How many people he destroyed I don’t know, but he must have destroyed a lot. Reading my books…. First his young daughter became my sannyasin, because she was still unpolluted. She became my messenger in Esalen, she turned many Esalen people to sannyas. It was she who insisted that her father come to me, and he came.
To read my books, to listen to my tapes, is one thing. But to come to me and look eye to eye – it is very difficult.
The man’s name was Dick, and he proved a dick! Just within a few days he escaped without telling anybody. We looked for him – where had he gone? From Esalen I received his letter saying, “Yours is too dangerous a place.” He must have been thinking that growth is without risk, growth is just a game, a gimmick. Perhaps you have to read something, do a few stupid groups, and within a few weeks you are grown-up.
Growth is simple on the one hand – the simplest thing – and on the other hand the most difficult thing, almost impossible. The reason why it is so, is: it is simple if you have guts. It is so simple that nothing has to be done, you just have to become a little more ingoing, directed toward your inner reality. Just as you see things with open eyes, you have to close your eyes and see what is there. It is so simple.
It becomes dangerous because you have to lose many things. You have to lose all your past, your knowledgeability, your so-called growth. You have to lose everything that you have accumulated around you. It is all junk! If you cling to it, growth becomes impossible.
That man ran away from me. He still reads my books, he still listens to my tapes, but now I am so close, he has no courage to come back – because there in Esalen he is the director, and here he has to be nobody.
Esalen is almost dead, it has seen its days of glory. People have deserted it – only a few people once in a while go there – because they could see the point: that in becoming egoistic they are creating a more miserable life for themselves. What is the point of growing up? – misery, agony, jealousy, competitiveness, violence…because if you are assertive, violence is not very far away from you. It is just behind you like a shadow; your assertiveness can become violence any moment. And with a strong ego it is bound to become your very way of life.
I am not trying here to polish your egoistic mind. I am trying to demolish, not polish. I am trying to help camels to become lions! Of course, it is difficult for a camel to become a lion, but it is not impossible, because I have made many camels into lions.
And once you become a lion, I have nothing to do. Your very lionhood will make you a child: simple, innocent, clean, pure, holy. That is growth. You have found the roots. And those roots are not just yours. You cannot claim, “These are my roots,” because your ego is no longer there to claim it. You have found the universal source of roots. You know now, perfectly well, that it is the same existence that blossoms in the rose, in the lotus, that moves the stars.
It is the same universe that is your energy too. You are not apart from existence, you are part of it. And the moment you realize that you are part of this beautiful universe, a great ecstasy surrounds you twenty-four hours a day.
So there is not only a difference between the so-called growth movement and what is happening here, they are diametrically opposite. The so-called growth movement is preventing people from growing. It consists only of camels. We are not interested in keeping you in the lowest grade of consciousness – camels, ugly. Nothing is straight in a camel; you cannot find a single straight line. Everything is as it should not be.
The lion has a beauty, tremendous beauty. If you have seen any statue, or a photograph or a drawing of the face of that great lion, Bodhidharma, you will be surprised looking at his eyes. Those eyes look so ferocious. The man was not like that, he was one of the most beautiful men who has walked on the earth. It is symbolic: those are the eyes of a lion.
It is a well-known fact that when the lion kills some animal, his method is hypnotism. He simply looks into the eyes of the animal, and the animal becomes hypnotized, stuck, frozen. He cannot escape, he cannot move. Trembling, he stands before the lion. The lion just has to keep hold of his eyes; through the eyes he prevents him from escaping. You will see in Bodhidharmas’s eyes the same flare, the same flame.
Many people escape from me. Their whole lives they will escape; now this becomes their growth. They waste their lives just escaping, and they can’t see a simple fact, that they are just cowards. There was an opportunity to go through a transformation. Of course something has to be dropped, something has to be burned, something has to be completely forgotten; only then do you allow transformation to take place.
The master’s work is to transform camels into lions. Then things take their own course: the lion becomes a child without any effort. The lion has found the roots. The child is going to blossom into his being.
Here, the sannyasins have to drop everything – and dropping everything you have saved yourself; otherwise you are going to be drowned in all the mud that you have accumulated. Your parents, your teachers, your priests, your culture, religion, society – they are all pouring mud on you. And it is a very sticky mud, you become glued to it.
The decision to become a sannyasin is a very great, momentous decision, because from that point you will have to leave everything that you thought was yours, and you will have to move into a new dimension where nothing belongs to you. On the contrary, you belong to the whole.
Do you see the difference? When you say, “This belongs to me,” this is the language of the ego. And when you say, “I belong to the universe,” this is the language of egolessness. Then you are in a total let-go. If you belong to the universe, then it is the universe who is going to take care of you.
I am saying it from my own experience. For thirty-two years I have been the poorest richest man in the world. And I don’t have anything that belongs to me, nothing belongs to me, but the phenomenon of belonging to the universe has created harmony out of a great contradiction. As far as belongings are concerned, I am the poorest man you can find. Even a beggar has something which belongs to him.
I used to go to the university to teach. An old beggar was always there. The railway station was just in between my house and the university; the old beggar was always begging at the railway station, and he knew when I would be passing. He would come to the road and stand there. One day I was surprised – a young man was standing there, a young beggar. I said, “What happened to the old man?”
He said, “I got married to his daughter, and he has given me his place as the dowry. This is the best place in our profession! The railway station – so many new people coming and going – the university, so many people coming and going…there is nothing comparable to it.”
So I said, “What happened to him?”
He said, “Now he has moved to another spot.” The city had two stations, so he had moved to another station. And he was a very strong fellow; he must have thrown out the beggar who was thinking that that station belonged to him.
Nothing belongs to anybody, but even beggars are richer than me. Because I am not there, how can anything belong to me? And the moment I disappeared, my consciousness became part of the whole. I lost everything and I gained everything; hence I say, I am the poorest and the richest man. In these thirty-two years I have lived like a king, and I have not earned a single cent. The universe takes care. The universe is benevolent.
You are this universe’s children. Just become a child, and your eyes will be able to see the point. And from that moment, growth goes on happening; you go on and on. And there are no borders to existence. There are no borders to your growth either.

You have just been saying that the words of the master become mere words after the master is gone. What will happen after you are gone?
Do you think my words are not already dead for you? First, think of that. The master is there, his words are there, but are those words alive for you? If they are alive for you, don’t be worried. You know the secret.
It is not the words. The master can be there and the words can be dead. So why can’t it happen the other way around? – the master is dead, but the words are still alive. It all depends on you. It is not a question of the master’s life or death, but how you relate to those words.
Yes, it is simpler when the master is there, only in one way. Because those words are spoken, they carry some flavor of the master’s heart. They carry a few beats of the master’s heart toward you. It is simple in this way. But on the other hand, when the master is alive, perhaps the words will never become alive to you, because you start taking the master for granted. Then the words are dead.
It happened in the second world war that Adolf Hitler declared that he was going to destroy the Tower of London. Millions of people rushed toward the tower – they had passed the tower thousands of times in their lives, but had never taken the trouble to see it. People come from all over the world to see the Tower of London, but Londoners take it for granted. The moment Hitler said he was going to destroy it, suddenly those people who had lived their whole lives in London became aware that the Tower of London could not be taken for granted anymore. They rushed to see it before this madman, Adolf Hitler, destroyed it.
The master is alive – but the disciple can take him for granted. You can take me for granted. Then those words are already dead, because your aliveness is not available. If you are capable of being alert, alive, responsive, it makes no difference: the master may be dead, but his words will go on resounding in you. Even the written words, which are dead, can become alive in you; you just have to open your heart.
The question is not of the master’s life and death, the question basically is of your response.
So don’t be worried about when I am gone. Those who are missing me now will be missing me then too – no loss. Those who are living my message now, they will go on living it. And if they go on living it, they cannot help but spread it. I am not depending on books – all the religions have depended on books – I am depending on you!
George Gurdjieff used to say – very sadly, of course – that if even two hundred people are enlightened, they can make the whole world full of light, full of life. Just two hundred people can transform the whole character of humanity. He could not manage it, but what he said is true.
I am going to manage it! I will not leave you unless I have made enough people enlightened so that they can make the whole world afire, alive. I am depending on you, not on any books. Those books may be helpful in some way to bring people to you, but my word will be throbbing in your heart; only then can you help anybody who comes to you.
And it is so simple. I have more than half a million sannyasins in the world, and more than one million people who are just on the borderline – a little push and they will be sannyasins. One million more who are lovers but cannot drop their camelhood….
On this big a scale, a worldwide scale, nobody has worked before. Gautam Buddha remained confined to the small state of Bihar in India – not even the whole of India. India has thirty states; Buddha remained confined to one space, one state. He did great work, but it was impossible to transform the whole quality of consciousness on the earth. The same is true about Jesus, Moses – anybody who has been trying.
For a simple reason I have been able to contact millions of people around the world: I am not confined to any tradition. I am not burdened by the past, I am completely weightless. So anybody who is burdened – and who is not burdened? – becomes interested in me, particularly the young people who are fed up with all the nonsense that is being taught in the churches and the synagogues, in the temples, in the mosques.
All these people, these churches, synagogues and mosques, are trying to bridge the gap. You have heard the phrase “generation gap.” Between you and the church, between you and the synagogue, there is not just a generation gap, there is a gap of hundreds of generations. And in trying to bridge it, they are proving themselves buffoons, because truth never compromises. It cannot – with whom will it compromise? Compromising truth means compromising with lies.
And all these people have become afraid that young people are no longer interested; they don’t come to the synagogue, they don’t come to the church, so something should be done that can attract young people. Their whole business is going down.
I have heard about three rabbis…. And by the way, don’t let me drift. Whenever I come across the word rabbi I immediately associate it with rubbish. These three rabbis were meeting, discussing, talking about great things. One rabbi said, “My synagogue is the most modern, because we allow people to smoke in the synagogue. There is no harm in it.”
The second rabbi said, “This is nothing, my synagogue is even more modern: we even allow people to make love in the synagogue. What is wrong with it?”
The third rabbi said, “This is nothing. My synagogue is the most avant-garde.”
The two rabbis said, “Just tell us what you have done.”
He said, “My synagogue remains closed for Jewish holidays!”
They are trying hard, but it is just foolishness. They cannot catch hold of the new spirit of man.
I don’t give you any tradition.
I don’t give you any scripture.
I don’t give you any discipline.
Those are all non-essentials. I simply concentrate my whole work on making you more conscious. Consciousness is the key to transform the whole of humanity.
And yes, Gurdjieff is right: if even two hundred people are aflame, enlightened, the whole world will become enlightened, because these two hundred torches can give fire to millions of people. Those people are also carrying torches, but without any fire. They have everything, just the fire is missing. And when fire passes from one torch to another, the first torch is not losing anything at all.
The enlightened consciousness is an infinite reservoir: it can give to you and yet it remains the same. Its quantity does not decrease, because it is not a question of quantity at all; it is a question of quality. Qualities can be shared without losing anything.
You can love as many people as you want – that does not mean one day you will go bankrupt, and you will have to declare, “Now I have no love.” You cannot go bankrupt as far as love is concerned. Yes, you can go bankrupt as far as money is concerned. Money is a quantity; love is a quality. What to say of enlightened consciousness? It is the highest quality possible; there is nothing higher than that.
Don’t be afraid, worried that if I am gone, then what will happen to my words. I will not be gone before I have sown the seeds of those words in you. They are not mine! They are nobody’s. They are coming out of existence itself – I am simply a vehicle. You can become a vehicle. Everybody is capable of becoming a vehicle. Hence, I am not depending on old strategies; they have all failed. I am depending on living human beings.
And that is the only way to save humanity without becoming a savior, to save humanity without creating in them greed for heaven and fear of hell. The only way to save humanity is to give them some taste of what it means to be enlightened, a little fragrance, so they can feel the invisible.
And I am absolutely certain, utterly happy, that I have got the right people: people who are going to be my books, my temples, my synagogues. This is the reason I call this the first religion, because it depends on living human beings, not on dead holy scriptures, traditions, beliefs.
I am giving you the taste of my being, and preparing you to do the same, on your part, to others. It all depends on you, whether my words will remain living or will die. As far as I am concerned, I do not care.
While I am here, I am pouring myself into you. And I am grateful that you are allowing it to happen. Who bothers about the future? There is nobody in me who can care about the future. If existence can find me as a vehicle, I can remain assured that it can find thousands of people to be its vehicle.
I am simply giving you a little opportunity to become vehicles of the whole.

I am British, miserable, unenlightened, and an ex-sannyasin. Is there anything else left for me to achieve?
No, sir! You have done everything. You have done really more than is possible. Now the only thing left for you is Krishnamurti Lake.

If you depart on the 6th of July of any year, are we all going with you?
No, nobody is going with me. I am not Reverend Jim Jones, I am not even a Christian. The day I go, your responsibility to live becomes greater – to live me, to become me. All around the world all the communes have to understand it.
It is very easy to die with me. It is so easy that it is against my sannyasins’ dignity. I will not give you such any easy job. You have to live! And when I am not there, you have to live more consciously, more carefully – because who is going to spread me all over the world?
Remember, dying is a very easy thing; it happens in a single moment. Living is the real challenge. My leaving the body will be a challenge for you, that now that I have left one body, I can be in all of your bodies; that now I am not speaking from one mouth, I can speak from millions of mouths.
Christians have been cowards, not accepting the responsibility of Jonestown. They have created a religion which is death-oriented. My religion is life-oriented, I do not believe in death. In fact, there is no death. Nothing dies, it only transmigrates into new forms.
The enlightened person does not enter another life circle; he has nothing left to learn. The world is just a school. If you go on committing mistakes in unconsciousness, existence will give you millions of chances to come back again and again until you get awakened and drop your mistakes. That will be your last embodiment.
I am not going to be reborn in a body, because that would be just idiotic. When I can live in the bodies of millions of my sannyasins, what is the point of again getting caged in one body? In fact, the enlightened consciousness simply spreads into all those who are available and open. It becomes universal.
You are not going with me, but I am coming within you!

You speak of reincarnation. I have not experienced it, and I don't want to believe in anything I don't experience. What to do?
Who is asking you to believe in reincarnation? And why are you concerned to do something about it? There must be some lingering belief. If you don’t believe in reincarnation, that is the full stop. Why bother about what to do?
Don’t believe in reincarnation! Just live this incarnation, and you will come to experience that reincarnation is not theory, it is a reality. Just live this incarnation. Do you believe in this incarnation, or not? Reincarnation is either in the past or in the future, but you are here, alive. Life is throbbing in you.
I know reincarnation is a truth. But I am not saying that you should believe it because I say so. Never believe anybody else’s experience; that is a hindrance. I can only say to you, just live this incarnation. That will open doors and you will be able to see backward, you will be able to see forward. And then it is up to you to believe in it or not. How can you disbelieve it then? But before that…. Let it become an experience.
All the religions are based on belief systems. I am giving you absolute freedom to enquire, to doubt, because that is the only way to experience on your own. And unless you experience on your own, there is no value at all in believing.
You love me. Naturally, if I say reincarnation is a truth, out of your love you may believe in me. Out of your love, how can you conceive that I may be telling something untruthful to you? You trust me.
And this trust has been exploited for million of years, this love has been exploited by every religion. I am not going to exploit in any way. About whatsoever I have known I can open my heart to you, but remember not to fall in the trap of believing. Love is good, trust is good – but belief is poison. If you really love me, if you really trust me, then make every effort to experience what I am saying to you. I want enquirers, people who are capable of doubt, who are capable of asking questions.
All the religions have repressed people’s questions, their doubts, their enquiries. They say, “Don’t bring in all these things. We know. For you, all that is left is to believe.” That’s why you see the whole humanity in such a miserable, dark, dismal ignorance. The responsibility goes to the religions.
Your love, I respect. For your trust, I am grateful. But these beautiful things should not be used as a strategy to make you a believer. I want you to be a knower. If you love me and trust me, then go on enquiring, searching, seeking. Till you have found, never believe. And I can say it with such certainty, because I know that if you enquire you will find it; it is there!
The other religions have been telling you to believe, because they are not certain that it is there. It is because of their own doubt that they are repressing your doubts. They are afraid that if you start doubting and asking and enquiring, you may not find any God, any reincarnation, any truth. Then their whole business – and it is the biggest business in the world – will simply disappear.
As far as I am concerned, not a single word from me has to be believed, but to be experienced. And I am giving you the method, how to experience it.
Become more meditative. Reincarnation and God, heaven and hell, do not matter. What matters is your becoming alert. Meditation awakens you, gives you eyes – and then whatever you see, you cannot deny.
As far as I am concerned, reincarnation is a truth, because in existence nothing dies. Even the physicist will say, about the objective world, that nothing dies. You can destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki – so much power science has given to chimpanzee politicians – but you cannot destroy a single drop of water.
You cannot destroy. Physicists have become aware of this impossibility. Whatever you do, only the form changes. You destroy a single dewdrop, and there is hydrogen and oxygen; they were its components. You cannot destroy hydrogen or oxygen. If you try, then from molecules you come to atoms. If you destroy the atom, you come to electrons. We don’t know right now if we can destroy the electron. Either you cannot destroy it – it is the ultimate objective constituent of reality – or if you can destroy it, then you will find something else. But nothing can be destroyed in the objective world.
The same is true about the world of consciousness, of life. There is no death. Death is only a change from one form into another form, and ultimately from form to formlessness. And that is the goal – because every form is a kind of imprisonment. Unless you become formless, you cannot get rid of misery, jealousy, anger, hatred, greed, fear, because these are concerned with your form.
But when you are formless, there is nothing that can harm you, there is nothing that you can lose any more, there is nothing that can be added to you. You have come to the ultimate realization.
Only Gautam Buddha has given the right word for this experience. In English it is difficult to translate it, because languages develop only after experience. It is just arbitrarily that I am calling it “enlightenment.” But it is very arbitrary; it does not really give you the sense that Buddha’s word gives. He calls it nirvana.
I can explain the word to you. Nirvana means ceasing to be. Strange…ceasing to be. I could have used that word, but that would make you afraid. Already people are so much afraid of me – I, who have never done any harm to anybody.
Not to be is nirvana. That does not mean that you are no more; it simply means you are no longer an entity, embodied. Yes, in that sense you are no more, but that is the way – not to be is the way to be all. The dewdrop drops into the ocean. You can say it has died, but those who know will say it has become oceanic. Now it is the whole ocean.
Existence is alive at every stage. Nothing is dead. Even a stone – which you think seems to be completely dead – is not dead. So many living electrons are running so fast inside it that you cannot see them, but they are all living beings. Their bodies are so small that nobody has seen them; we don’t even have any scientific instrument to see the electron, it is only guesswork. We can see the effect; hence we think there must be a cause. The cause has not been seen, only the effect has been seen. But the electron is as alive as you are.
The whole existence is synonymous with life.
Here nothing dies. Death is an impossibility.
Yes, things change from one form to another form till they become mature enough that they need not go to school again. Then they move into a formless life, then they become one with the ocean itself.

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