Osho on Innocence and Beauty
BELOVED OSHO, WHAT IS INNOCENCE, WHAT IS BEAUTY?
to live in the moment is innocence, to live without the past is innocence, to live without conclusions is innocence, to function out of the state of not knowing is innocence. And the moment you function out of such tremendous silence which is not burdened by any past, out of such tremendous stillness which knows nothing, the experience that happens is beauty. Whenever you feel beauty — in the rising sun, in the stars, in the flowers, or in the face of a woman or a man — wherever and whenever you feel beauty, watch. And one thing will always be found: you had functioned without mind, you had functioned without any conclusion, you had simply functioned spontaneously. The moment gripped you, and the moment gripped you so deeply that you were cut off from the past.
And when you are cut off from the past you are cut off from the future automatically, because past and future are two aspects of the same coin; they are not separate, and they are not separable either. You can toss a coin: sometimes it is heads, sometimes it is tails, but the other part is always there, hiding behind. Past and future are two aspects of the same coin. The name of the coin is mind. When the whole coin is dropped, that dropping is innocence. Then you don’t know who you are, then you don’t know what is; there is no knowledge. But you are, existence is, and the meeting of these two is-nesses — the small isness of you, meeting with the infinite isness of existence — that meeting, that merger, is the experience of beauty.
Innocence is the door; through innocence you enter into beauty. The more innocent you become, the more existence becomes beautiful. The more knowledgeable you are, the more and more existence is ugly, because you start functioning from conclusions, you start functioning from knowledge. The moment you know, you destroy all poetry. The moment you know, and think that you know, you have created a barrier between yourself and that which is.
Then everything is distorted. Then you don’t hear with your ears, you translate. Then you don’t see with your eyes, you interpret. Then you don’t experience with your heart, you think that you experience. Then all possibility of meeting with existence in immediacy, in intimacy, is lost. You have fallen apart.
This is the original sin. And this is the whole story, the biblical story of Adam and Eve eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Once they have eaten the fruit of knowledge they are driven out of paradise. Not that somebody drove them out, not that God ordered them to get out of paradise, they themselves fell. Knowing they were no more innocent, knowing they were separate from existence, knowing they were egos… knowing created such a barrier, an iron barrier.
You ask me, Ram Fakeer, “What is innocence?”
Vomit knowledge! The fruit of the tree of knowledge has to be vomited. That’s what meditation is all about. Throw it out of your system: it is poison, pure poison.
Live without knowledge, knowing that “I don’t know.” Function out of this state of not knowing and you will know what beauty is. Socrates knows what beauty is, because he functions out of this state of not knowing. There is a knowledge that does not know, and there is an ignorance that knows. Become ignorant like Socrates and then a totally different quality enters your being: you become a child again, it is a rebirth. Your eyes are full of wonder again, each and everything that surrounds surprises. The bird on the wing, and you are thrilled! The sheer joy of seeing the bird on the wing — and it is as if you are on the wing.
The dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf and the morning sun shining on it and creating a small rainbow around it, and the moment is so overwhelming… the dewdrop slipping off the leaf, just on the verge of meeting with the infinite, disappearing into the lake — and it is as if you start slipping, as if your drop starts slipping into the ocean of God. In the moment of innocence, not knowing, the difference between the observer and the observed evaporates. You are no more separate from that which you are seeing, you are no more separate from that which you are hearing.
Listening to me, right now, you can function in two ways. One is the way of knowledge: chattering inside yourself, judging, evaluating, constantly thinking whether what I am saying is right or wrong, whether it fits with your theories or not, whether it is logical or illogical, scientific or unscientific, Christian or Hindu, whether you can go with it or not, whether you can swallow it or not, a thousand and one thoughts clamoring inside your mind, the inner talk, the inner traffic — this is one way of listening. But then you are listening from so far away that I will not be able to reach you. I go on trying but I will not be able to reach you. You are really on some other planet: you are not here, you are not now. You are a Hindu, you are a Christian, you are a Mohammedan, you are a communist, but you are not here now. The Bible is there between me and you, or the Koran or the Gita. And I grope for you but I come across the barrier of the Koran, I grope for you but there is a queue of priests between me and you. This is the way of knowledge, this is the way of remaining deaf, of remaining blind, of remaining heart-less.
There is another way of listening too: just listening, nothing between me and you. Then there is immediacy, contact, meeting, communion. Then you don’t interpret, because you are not worried whether it is right or wrong. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. In that moment of innocence one does not evaluate. There is nothing to evaluate with, no criterion, no a priori knowledge, no already arrived conclusion, nothing to compare with. You can only listen, just as one listens to the running sound of water in the hills, or a solo flute player in the forest, or somebody playing on the guitar. You listen.
But the person who has come to listen as a critic will not listen. The person who has come simply to listen, not as a critic but to enjoy the moment, will be able to listen to the music. What is there to understand in music? There is nothing to understand. There is something to taste, certainly; there is something to drink and be drunk with, certainly, but what is there to understand? But the critic, he is not there to taste, he is not there to drink — he is there to understand. He is not listening to the music because he is so full of mathematics. He is continuously criticizing, thinking. He is not innocent; he knows too much, hence he will miss the beauty of it. He may arrive at some stupid conclusions, but he will miss the whole moment. And the moment is momentous!
If you can listen, just listen, if you can see, just see, then this very moment you will know what innocence is. And I am not here only to explain to you what innocence is, I am here to give a taste of it. Have a cup of tea! I offer it to you, each moment it is being offered. Sip it — feel the warmth of the moment and the music of it and the silence and the love that overflows. Be encompassed with it. Disappear for a moment with your mind — watching, judging, criticizing, believing, disbelieving, for, against. For a moment be just an openness, and you will know what innocence is. And in that you will know what beauty is. Beauty is an experience that happens in innocence, the flower that blooms in innocence. Jesus says, “Unless you are like small children you will not enter into my kingdom of God.”
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Book of Wisdom
Chapter title: The greatest Joke there is
4 March 1979 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘innocence, beauty, silence, openness, wonder’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 12
- From Bondage to Freedom
- I Say Unto You, Vol 2
- The Rebel
- Sat Chit Anand
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
- Zen: The Special Transmission
- The White Lotus
- The Wild Geese and the Water
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- The Messiah
- The Sun Rises in the Evening
- The Book of Wisdom