God the most Unproved, yet …
Osho on English Author, Poet R. H. Blyth
Reginald Horace Blyth was an English author and admirer of Japanese culture in the 20th century. He is mostly known for haiku poetry and his writings on Zen. He was born in Essex in 1898 and moved to Korea (under the rule of Japan) in 1925. He further moved to Kanawaza in Japan in 1940 and died in Tokyo in 1964. Blyth was an adherent opposer of war and assisted in bringing about peace in the country post both World Wars. He also contributed to popularizing Zen philosophy and haiku poetry in the West.
Blyth was a credited academic as well. He worked as an English professor at two universities in Seoul and Japan and also taught the Crown Prince of Japan as a private tutor. He was the recipient of an Order of Merit and a doctorate in literature from Tokyo University. Blyth’s attraction to Zen contained glimpses of criticism too and he wrote several books such as Zen and Zen Classics (5 volumes), Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics (1942), Japanese Humor (1957), and History of Haiku (1963-64).
Osho mentions Blyth, “BUDDHAHOOD MEANS WHEN YOU BECOME SO ALERT that even in your sleep the alertness continues as an undercurrent. Even when you die, you die fully alert — now there is no way to lose your alertness, your alertness has become your nature.
This is the essential message of Buddha. And unless you understand this, you will miss all the sutras of Ikkyu. Many have commented on the sutras, and particularly the Western commentators go on missing the point — because they think what the sutra is saying is a philosophy. The best commentator is R. H. Blyth — but even he misses, because he also seems to have no inner validity. He thinks these sutras are pessimistic. They are not. Pessimism has nothing to do with Buddha. They look pessimistic because they go against your so-called optimism.
Buddha does not give you any hope. But his message is not that of hopelessness. He takes away hope, and with hope he takes away hopelessness too. That is very difficult to understand, unless you have an inner validity. He destroys all optimism, but remember, he is not a pessimist. Once there is no optimism, how can there be pessimism? — they go together. His vision of life is not dismal, but it looks dismal to people.
Even R. H. Blyth, who is the most perceptive commentator from the West on Ikkyu’s sutras, goes on missing the point. He goes on showing where Buddha is wrong, he goes on saying where Ikkyu is morbid.”
WHY DON’T YOU GIVE ANY PROOF FOR GOD’S EXISTENCE?
Why should I? If God Himself is not willing to give any proof, then why should I?
God remains unproved for a certain reason. Everybody has to prove Him by his own experience. If God becomes proved, He will no more be a God. If God is proved just as a stone is proved, then He will not be a God. God is a potentiality, a possibility. God is a promise. If God can be proved herenow, and I can put God on a table and you can all inspect and dissect and do things with Him, He will not be a God any more. He will become a thing. Anything proved becomes a thing. God is not a thing. God cannot be proved.
But I am not saying that you cannot prove — everybody can prove for his own heart’s desire!
But nobody can prove for anybody else. You have to go on a pilgrimage on your own. God is proved to me! Only God is for me — you are not, neither are these trees. Only God is. Only the formless is, and you are all forms of it. But that is proved for me. It can become a proved experience for you too. But it cannot be borrowed, I cannot give it to you. And that will not satisfy. Each time, each single individual has to prove God again and again. That is the promise. And when you prove on your own, when you come to encounter God on your own, when you have the feel on your own, He is proved. And still He does not become a thing, He does not become objective. He remains your subjectivity, your innermost experience. God remains private, God can never be made public.
Buddha knew, so did Ramakrishna, so did Raman — they could not drag Him to the marketplace. How many BHAKTAS, how many devotees have known Him?! They could not persuade Him that “One day at least, come to the marketplace and let people see you. That will be good, then they will all become religious.” But God has not listened to that. God knows far better, that will be the end of religion. Once god becomes a public phenomenon, that will be the end. You don’t worship any object. You CAN’T worship any object! Object has to be USED, not worshipped. If god is proved like any other object, then you will USE Him! You will put Him to a thousand and one uses. You will say “Now do this! Now do that! Now create petrol out of water! Make bread out of stones!” You will put Him to use, and you will be very angry and complaining and always shouting at Him and screaming. Strikes and protests and GHERAO and all those things you will do.
God is not a proved thing because God is not a thing. Only things can be proved. I can prove that this is a stone in my hand. How can I prove that there is love in my eyes for you? Love is not a stone, it cannot be proved. Only those who are available to me will know it. Only those who are ready to go with me without any proof, not asking for any proof in the beginning, who are ready to trust — they will know. If you ask, “First, give us the proof, then we are coming,” then it is impossible.
I am making available to you the door from where God becomes a proved phenomenon, but God never becomes a public phenomenon. It remains private. You can go inside and you can see, and you can feel, and you can be, but when you come outside, you are again dumb. You will be as dumb as I am. You will not be able to say anything about Him. You can say a thousand and one things, but nothing will be really, exactly about Him.
It will be roundabout.
I can talk about the way I reached. I can sing songs about the beautiful way and the trees on the path, and the flowers and the birds that sing there, but that is not talking about God. I can talk about the bliss that has been attained through God, but that too is not talking about God. I can say what joy and what peace has come to me, but that too is talking about something else, not about God. There is no way to pinpoint Him. He remains elusive. He is very mercurial.
And, moreover, to prove God is utterly useless; because just by proving it, nobody is going to become religious.
Religion comes out of trust, not out of proof. Let it be understood as deeply as possible. Religion comes out of absurd trust, irrational trust. It does not come out of proof. Proof means your reason has been satisfied. When your reason has been satisfied you cannot go beyond reason. And religion is the effort to go beyond reason, to go beyond mind, to go beyond intellect. So proof is not possible.
Then what do these people go on doing — Buddhas and Christs and Mohammeds? They go on alluring you, they go on seducing you, towards something which is absurd. They go on selling something for which no proof exists. A few courageous people purchase, buy that idea, and take a jump. In that very jump God is proved! But before the jump, there is no way to prove Him. You will have to taste Him on your own.
I was reading R. H. Blyth. He was a great poet, and even more than that, he had a great understanding about beauty. A very aesthetic soul, and very perceptive, particularly about Zen and Zen poetry — haiku — he was one of the most authoritative persons in the world.
He writes: “I have been asked many questions in my life about poetry, religion, life, and I have given precisely the same number of answers, but I have never, I repeat, never satisfied a single interlocutor.” He says, “Thousands of times the questions have been asked and I have answered them as skillfully as possible, but never, I repeat, never was a single questioner satisfied. Why was this?” One thinks, “Why was this?”
“Because all questioning is a way of avoiding the real answer, which, as Zen tells us, is really known already. Every man is enlightened, but he wishes he was not. Every man knows he must love his enemies, and sell all he has and give it to the poor, but he does not wish to know it… so he asks questions.” That I loved. People ask questions because they want to avoid.
God is available, very very close by but you ask for the proof. This is a way to avoid. You say, “Unless the proof is given, how can I go into it?” Now you have a perfect reason not to move into it. You have rationalized your fear into a question. God is… without any proof. God is self-evident. Only God is self-evident. Everything needs proof, God needs no proof. God means the whole! What is the need to prove this whole? Particulars need proofs. This tree needs to be proved, this pillar needs to be proved, this man needs to be proved. But the whole, the totality, need not be proved. And the totality cannot be proved.
You can prove a floating cloud in the sky; it has particularity, it has a definition, a boundary. But you cannot prove the sky itself. All that exists, exists in the sky, and the sky remains untouched, unknown, unseen. Has anybody ever seen the sky? Has anybody ever encountered the sky? Clouds, of course, things — of course. But all exist in this space. And that space cannot be proved.
God is the total space — the totality of all time, space, things, people, the past, the present, the future, the actual, the potential — God is the ultimate totality of all. It cannot be proved. It is simply THERE! It is just there!
That’s why Jesus says, “Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” But you say, “Before I knock, first prove — is God inside?” You are standing at the door and Jesus says, “Knock and the door shall be opened unto you.” And Rabiya goes even one step further. She says, “Why are you waiting here? Look! The door is open!”
But you say, “How can I look unless it is proved? Why should I look? First give me the proof that God exists, then I will look.”
Blyth seems to be right: people ask questions so that they can avoid. They know the answer, but they are afraid to go into it. It will change their whole life. That much they don’t want to put at stake.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
Chapter title: Therapy is a Function of Love
4 July 1977 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses: