Innocence, not Knowledge

Osho on Allen Ginsberg

Born on June 3, 1926, Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and writer.  He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism, and sexual repression, and he embodied various aspects of this counterculture with his views on drugs, sex, multiculturalism, hostility to bureaucracy, and openness to Eastern religions. On the spiritual front,Ginsberg was a Buddhist who extensively studied Eastern religious disciplines. He lived modestly, buying his clothing in second-hand stores and residing in apartments in New York City’s East Village. One of his most influential teachers was Tibetan Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa, the founder of the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Ginsberg first came to public attention in 1956 with the publication of Howl and Other Poems. “Howl,” a long-lined poem in the tradition of Walt Whitman, is an outcry of rage and despair against a destructive, abusive society. Ginsberg followed Howl in 1961 with Kaddish and Other Poems. “Kaddish,” a poem similar in style and form to “Howl,” is based on the traditional Hebrew prayer for the dead and tells the life story of Ginsberg’s mother, Naomi. A major theme in Ginsberg’s life and poetry was politics. Kenneth Rexroth called this aspect of Ginsberg’s work “an almost perfect fulfillment of the long, Whitman, Populist, social revolutionary tradition in American poetry.” It was believed that He was a bridge between the literary avant-garde and pop culture.

Osho talks about drugs, illusions and mentions Allen Ginsberg. He says, Something outside, something injected from the outside or swallowed from the outside, may create an illusion, but that is an illusion. The outer drug — LSD or psilocybin — can only reflect the inner drug. The inner drug is the real thing. And what Allen Ginsberg is doing is absolutely wrong. He is trying to prove that the outer drug is the inner drug. It is not so… That which is manufactured outside in a factory may have some reflections of it, but it is not the true thing. The outer is a substitute. When you start moving inside and when the meeting of the sun and moon happens… Then a very great change happens in your being. You become absolutely calm and quiet… and of course you become tremendously sensitive. Then for the first time your ears become able to hear and your eyes become able to see and your hands become able to touch. For the first time you become capable of feeling.”


The first and most fundamental thing to be remembered is that enlightenment can never have a technology. By its very nature it is impossible. But the west is obsessed with technology, so whatsoever comes into the hands of the west, it starts reducing it into a technology. Technology is an obsession.

For the outside world, science is a valid approach, but partial, not total; not the only approach, but only one of the approaches. Poetry is as valid as science.

Science is knowledge without love, and that is the danger in it. Because it is knowledge without love, it is always in the service of death and never in the service of life. Hence, the whole progress of science is leading man towards a global suicide. One day when man has committed suicide — the Third World War — cockroaches will think, `We are the most fit to survive.’ Some Darwin, some cockroach-Darwin, will prove, `We are the fittest because we have survived; the survival of the fittest.’ Man has committed suicide; he has destroyed himself.

Knowledge without love is dangerous, because in its very root is poison. Love keeps balance, never allows knowledge to go too far, so it never becomes destructive. Science is knowledge without love; that is its danger.

But it is one of the valid approaches: the object, the material, can be known without love — there is no need.

But life is not only matter. Life is suffused with something tremendously transcendental. That transcendental is missed. And then science, by and by, automatically turns into a technology. It becomes mechanical. More and more it becomes a means to exploit nature, to manipulate nature. The very beginning of science has been with that idea: how to conquer nature. That’s a foolish idea. We are not separate from nature; how can we conquer it? We ARE nature, so who is going to conquer whom? It is absurd. With that absurdity, science has destroyed much: the whole nature is destroyed, the climate is poisoned, the air, the water, the seas, everything polluted. The whole harmony is dying, the ecology is being continuously destroyed. Please remember — this is enough, more than enough.

Don’t turn science inwards. If the application of scientific methodology has been so devastating for outer nature, it is going to be more devastating to the inner nature — because you are moving towards the more subtle. Even for the outside nature, a different kind of knowledge is needed which is rooted in love; but for the innermost core of your being, the subtlest, the transcendental, knowledge is not needed at all. Innocence is needed. Innocence with love — then you will know the inside, then you will know the interior of your being, the subjectivity.

But the west is obsessed with technology. It seems technology has succeeded in nature: we have become more powerful. We have NOT become more powerful! The whole idea is just fallacious; we have not become more powerful. We are becoming weaker every day because the natural resources are being exhausted. Sooner or later the earth will be empty, it will not grow anything. We are not becoming powerful, we are becoming weaker and weaker and weaker every day. We are on the deathbed. Humanity cannot survive, the way it has been behaving with nature, for more than fifty years, sixty years, or, at the most, one hundred years — which is nothing. If the Third World War does not happen, then we will be committing a slow suicide. Within a hundred years, we will be gone. Not even a trace will be left.

And man will not be the first to disappear. Many other animals, very strong animals, have disappeared from the earth. They used to roam the earth, they were the kings of the earth, bigger than the elephant. They are no longer anywhere. They were thinking they had become very powerful. They were very huge, with tremendous energy, but then the earth could not supply feed for them. They began to become bigger and bigger and bigger; then a moment came when the earth could not supply food for them. They had to die. The same is happening with man: man thinks he is becoming more and more powerful, he can reach to the moon; but he is destroying the earth. He is destroying the whole possibility of future life. Slowly, humanity is disappearing. Please, don’t turn your technology towards the inner; you have done enough harm. Enlightenment cannot be reduced to a technology.

So the first thing: the inner journey is of innocence, not of knowledge; certainly not of science, ABSOLUTELY not of technology. It is more of love, innocence, silence. Meditation is not a technique really. Because you cannot understand anything other than technique, I have to talk in terms of technique. Otherwise, meditation is not a technique at all.

Meditation is nothing that you do. Meditation is something that you fall into, just like love. Meditation is something in which you can be, but you cannot do it. Doing ceases. How can there be a technology for non-doing? Technology is relevant with doing; you have to do something.

Meditation is not something that you do. It is only when your doer has gone and you are totally relaxed, not doing anything, in a deep let-go, rest… there is meditation, then meditation flowers. It is the flowering of your being.

It has nothing to do with becoming. It is not an achievement, it is not an improvement; it is just being that which you already are. What technique is needed?

People are foolish; that’s why techniques have to be talked about. If you understand, nothing is needed. Just being silent and just being yourself, not moving in any direction, not moving at all, and you will see the benediction, the meditation. When this meditation has become such a spontaneous flow that you need not even sit for it in a certain posture, that you need not find a small corner in the house where nobody disturbs you, when in the marketplace also it is there — talking, walking, doing, eating, it is there — when it is always there, even when you are asleep it is there, you go on feeling it, it goes on like breathing, or the beating of the heart, that’s what Kabir calls SAHAJ SAMADHI, spontaneous ecstasy. It needs no technique, it needs only spontaneity, it needs only naturalness, it needs only simplicity. So I say to you: Blessed are the ignorant, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Become innocent and become ignorant. Don’t remain knowledgeable.

But in the west it is happening. Now they are trying to manipulate the mind, they are trying to create mechanisms to manipulate the mind. This is going to be far more dangerous than science. This is going to be far more dangerous, because once you know how to manipulate the mind of man, you will reduce man also to automata: that’s what’s going to happen. Once you know that man and his mind can be manipulated, totally manipulated, then all freedom will be gone, all individuality will be gone. Then electrodes can be put into your head without your ever knowing, and you can be manipulated from Delhi, from Moscow, from Washington, the Capitol. Just by radio-waves you can be manipulated. The whole country can be ordered, and nobody will see the order coming from anywhere — it will come from within you. An electrode is there; just on radio-waves you can be ordered, and you will follow it automatically. All freedom will be gone. You can be hypnotized at any moment. You can be put into any hallucination and you will believe in it; it will be so real — and it will be coming from within you. Then from Delhi, from Moscow, from Washington, from London, from the capital places…. There is no need to keep police and no need to keep a magistrate: this is too costly and uneconomical. These are like bullock carts — no need. Better technology will be available; no need to keep all these people to enforce, no need even for the priest to go on teaching morality and religion. Just from the capital place the orders can be given: that you are all happy — and you will all feel happy; that you are all contented — and you will feel contented. You may be on your deathbed, suffering, but if the order comes that you are happy and there is no death, you will believe you are happy and there is no death. And this will be coming from within you.

That’s what Delgado proposes to do someday, and he says, `Then man will be happy. Nobody will be unhappy.’ But this happiness will not be true happiness.

Then there are mechanisms by which alpha-waves can be created in your mind, just by electrical stimulation. That is dangerous, because that will not allow you to know the reality. And those alpha-waves will be created from the outside; they will not be true, they will not be real. And God will disappear. Then there is no need for God. You are not unhappy, so why seek happiness? And you will believe in dogma — whatsoever dogma happens to be there, followed by your politicians and your priests — you will believe in the dogma, you will ABSOLUTELY believe in the dogma, and there will be no doubt. Skepticism will disappear. This is a dangerous step. Meditation should not be reduced into technology, and enlightenment CANNOT be reduced.

Enlightenment means awareness, witnessing. Enlightenment is neither of the body nor of the mind. It is of the beyond. The body can be manipulated by mechanisms, the mind can be manipulated by mechanisms, but your soul is beyond and cannot be manipulated by any mechanism whatsoever.

You ask, `Many people in the west are engaged in the creation of a science or technology of enlightenment.’ Those people are criminals. They are dangerous people; avoid them. Just these same people were engaged in creating technology two hundred years ago. They have destroyed nature, now they are turning towards consciousness. They will destroy that too. Now there is a movement all over the world to protect the ecology of nature, the `naturality’ of nature. But it is too late really. Now nothing can be done, nothing much can be done. And these people who propagate in favor of ecology appear to be eco-nuts, another species of Jehovah’s witnesses — fanatics, desperately fighting something which seems impossible.

Before the plague of technology turns to human consciousness, stop it. Stop it in the seed.

And you say, `The need is certainly there.’ It is not, certainly not. There is no need. `But how do you see the possibility?’ There is no possibility either. But man is dangerous: the more impossible a thing, the more he becomes attracted and challenged. That’s what Edmund Hillary said when he reached to the top of Everest. Somebody asked him, `Why did you try it at all? What is the point? Why?’ Edmund Hillary said, `I had to, because Everest is there. Because it is there, I had to. It stands like a challenge.’ Anything unconquerable is a challenge to man’s ego.

There is no possibility; naturally, it will never happen — but that very impossibility can become a challenge to these mad, obsessed people who want to reduce everything into technique. They cannot create a technology of enlightenment. That is not possible at all, in the very reality. But they can create a technology which can manipulate the mind, and even deceive people, and create an illusion of enlightenment.

That’s what is happening with drugs:

drugs have become a technology of enlightenment. And the guru of drugs, Ginsberg, goes on talking as if all the mystics of the world were saying the same things, were trying to give you the same vision as LSD can give, or psilocybin, or marijuana. It is nonsense. No drug can lead you to enlightenment, but drugs can create an illusion of enlightenment.

`Is it irresponsible to engage in its creation without having reached the state of enlightenment?’ Only people who have not known enlightenment can try it. Those who have known cannot even think of the possibility. And it is irresponsible.

`Is the Arica method a valid approach?’

The Arica method is technology, techniques, knowledge without love — and hence the danger is there. It will turn people into robots. Remember always, freedom is the goal; MOKSHA, absolute freedom, is the goal. You can turn human beings into robots; they will be less miserable. In fact, if you become a perfect robot, how can you be miserable? A machine is never miserable; of course, never happy too, but never miserable. Arica methods, or any methods which exist without love, are dangerous. And in this again it is very difficult to make a distinction — because the same method can be used with love, and then it is meaningful; and the same method can be used without love, and it becomes dangerous. And it is very difficult to see from the outside whether the method is being used with love or without love. The Arica methods have been chosen from different schools: Sufi, Gurdjieff, Tibetan, Indian, Japanese. It is eclectic. From all over the world, they have chosen techniques. In the first place, they are chosen from different schools; there is not a harmony in them, there is no center in them. It is just like a piled-up thing — a crowd of people, a mob, not a family — because the techniques come from different schools.

A Sufi technique is bound to be different from a Zen technique. Both function, both work, but they work in their own system. They cannot work outside the system. It is as if you take one part of one car, and try to fix that part into another car of a different make. And it doesn’t work, and you are puzzled: `why doesn’t it work?’ It used to work in the first car; there was a harmony, it was meant for that car. A Zen method works in a Zen philosophy; a Sufi method words in a Sufi philosophy; a Tibetan method works with Tibetan occult esoteric Buddhism; a Yoga method works with Patanjali’s system. You cannot just choose those methods from anywhere, otherwise you can make a car with a few parts from the Rolls Royce, a few from Lincoln, a few from Cadillac, and a few from Fiat — and you go on jumbling parts from everywhere. Your car is dangerous…. It is not going anywhere in the first place, and you are fortunate if it doesn’t move. It moves? — then you are more unfortunate.

Arica has chosen from different schools. Arica is very greedy, eclectic; but there exists no center. It is not an orchestra, it is a market noise. First thing: if you follow the Arica method too much, you will not arrive to your center. You will come to many experiences on the periphery, but you will never arrive to your center. And all your experiences will not be of a family, but fragmentary. And it is dangerous; you can fall into pieces. The second thing: there is no love, because there is no center — and love arises only from the center. This collection of so many methods is soul-less, there is no soul in it. So you can become very, very efficient in the methods, and yet you will see that your heart is not flowering. You will become efficient, but you will not become blissful. You may become less miserable, you may be less tense, you may become more capable of controlling yourself, you may have a stronger ego, but you will not have a soul.

The methods are all valid taken in their own context. But Arica has not yet any philosophy, it has no harmony. And this is not a way to create a harmony; the way is just opposite. In fact, Buddhism was born when Buddha became enlightened. The center came first and then he started creating a few methods to help those people who were not yet enlightened, to help them come to the center that he had already achieved. The center came first, then the periphery. So it is with Jalaluddin Rumi: he became enlightened first, and when he became enlightened he was dancing, he was whirling — not to become enlightened; he had never known about it. He just liked whirling very much, and he felt very peaceful. It was a coincidence. While he was whirling he became enlightened. When he became enlightened, he started thinking of how to help people; the center came first. Then he started the Sufi methods. The same was the case the Patanjali.

With Arica, it is totally different. There is no enlightened being at the center; of course, a very clever person who has collected many methods from many sources and many directions and many traditions — but there is no center. It is only a periphery. So people who go into Arica will, sooner or later, feel stuck. It will take you to a certain extent, and then suddenly you will see: there is going to be no growth. And you will become dry, like a desert… because unless love flows, flowers never come up, trees don’t grow, rivers don’t flow. The ultimate blooming is always that of love.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 
Discourse Series: The Path of LoveChapter #2
Chapter title: So Far, So Good
22 December 1976 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on distinguished poets like Byron, Coleridge, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, Heinrich Heine, John Ruskin, Kahlil Gibran, Kalidas, Keats, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Milton, Oscar Wilde, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, Shakespeare, Shelley, William Blake, Wordsworth and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Book of Wisdom
  2. The Sword and The Lotus
  3. Returning to the Source
  4. Light on the Path
  5. The Secret
  6. The Hidden Splendour
  7. The New Dawn
  8. Beyond Enlightenment
  9. Nansen: The Point of Departure
  10. From Misery to Enlightenment
  11. From the False to the Truth
  12. The Perfect Master, Vol 1
  13. I Am That

1 Comment

  • Someshwar
    Posted January 29, 2022 12:24 pm 0Likes

    Yes Master! 🙇💟🙏
    Thank you!!!

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