My Answer cannot be Your Answer
Osho on Spanish Painter Goya
Francisco Goya was a Spanish painter and printmaker in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His work was a reflection of his dynamic surroundings – amour, royalty, emotional and physical pain, war, and other contemporary upheavals. He started studying painting at the age of 14 in his hometown and moved to Madrid sometime later, where he resided for most of his life. He became a court painter to the Spanish Crown in 1786, ascending to high social status while creating royal paintings and tapestries.
Goya suffered great physical discomfort in his life, which was deeply delineated in his themes of art. He was also profoundly affected by the Peninsular War as is seen in his Disaster of War prints. Some of his known paintings include Charles IV of Spain and His Family, La Maja Desnuda, The Second of May 1808, and La Tauromaquia. Goya was appointed the Director of the Royal Academy in 1795 and is considered the latest of the Old Masters and the earliest of the modern painters in the vocabulary of European art.
Osho mentions Goya, “It is very difficult to understand somebody who belongs to a different gestalt of thinking, a different style of life. Only a man who has arrived can see that Jesus, Mahavira, Krishna, Buddha, and many others, are all the same. Only one reality has expressed through them — in different languages, of course, in different styles of course. They have all painted the same reality; their paintings are different.
For example, if you bring ten painters and the sun is setting and you tell them to paint, do you think their paintings will all be the same? Although they are painting the same reality, they are going to be different. And the greater the painters, the greater will be the difference. If they are just photographers, not real painters, then maybe the paintings will look alike. If they are real painters, geniuses — if Van Gogh is painting, and Picasso and Goya and Gauguin — then those paintings will be utterly different. You will not be able to figure out that it is the same sunset. Their individuality, their signature, will be there.
When Mahavira reflects, he is reflecting the same God, the same truth as Jesus, as Mohammed, as Bahaudin; but it is always difficult to recognize somebody who comes from a different gestalt.”
WHY IS IT THAT WHENEVER I COME TO ASK A QUESTION, QUESTIONS OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE, THAT I KNEW WERE THERE BEFORE, ELUDE ME. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT AND MEDITATION, BUT WHEN I GET DOWN TO WRITING THEM, THE QUESTIONS LOSE ALL REALITY FOR ME. THE SIGNIFICANCE AND DEPTH OF THINGS ALWAYS FRIGHTENS ME. COULD IT BE THAT I AM AVOIDING THE DEEP TREASURES OF MY BEING?
the questions about enlightenment and about meditation are not yet your deep search.
You are not avoiding anything through them. On the contrary,
when you try to write the question about enlightenment or meditation it loses all reality to you because it has no reality for you — it is a borrowed question. You hear so much about enlightenment here, about meditation; naturally you become curious. But curiosity is not inquiry, and unless a search becomes so authentic that it becomes a question of life and death, the question cannot have reality. You can ask it, but it will remain phony — to you and to me.
I can see through your questions, because my basic effort is not to answer the question but to answer the questioner. And in an effort to answer the questioner, I have to destroy the question. All my answers are an effort to destroy your question. I am not giving you the answer. I am simply taking away the question, so you can be more empty, more silent, so that you can find the answer yourself. My answer cannot be your answer. My experience cannot be your experience.
The teachers in the schools, in the colleges, in the universities, give you answers relevant to your questions; they are not concerned with the questioner at all. It may be anybody, X, Y, Z. Their answer will remain the same if the question is the same. But my answer will not remain the same if the questioner is different, because no two persons can ask the same question. Their words may be the same, the construction of their questions may be the same, but the meaning cannot be the same — because the sources out of which those questions are arising are different.
It is perfectly right to understand that enlightenment and meditation are still not your authentic search. Rather than borrowing those questions from others, look into yourself. Find out your own questions. They may not be very big and great; they may be mundane. Somebody’s girlfriend escapes, somebody’s boyfriend is pretending that he is paralyzed. They may be stupid, they may be absurd, but they will be real and I would like to answer them, because I can destroy them and bring you out of an absurdity, of some mundane situation….
Yes, one day it will be possible for you to ask questions of a higher reality — about enlightenment, about meditation, about consciousness, about being, about the ultimate — but they have to come from your innermost core; otherwise answering them is simply wasting not only your time, not only my time, but everybody else’s time unnecessarily.
It is perfectly right that you should start asking what is significant to you. Here, nobody is going to laugh at your question, nobody is going to ridicule you, nobody is going to condemn you, because this is a gathering of seekers to help each other — fellow travelers. If somebody falls, all the hands around him should help him to be again on his feet. It is not a question of laughing; it is a question of your love, of your compassion, of your fellowship.
A Jewish matron, showing off to her friend at an art gallery, was pointing out the paintings, “That’s a Rembrandt,” she said.
“It is a Velasquez, Madam,” corrected the guide.
“Then that is a Goya.”
“A Rubens, Madam.”
“No, Madam, a Constable.”
“Well, that is definitely a Picasso,” she said.
“No, Madam, it is a mirror.”
Your questions have to be authentically yours, they have to mirror you. Don’t pretend that you know about Rembrandt, Rubens, Goya… just a cheap mirror will do; just look at your own face. Questions should come from your own reality; then they can be dissolved, and you can be put on a journey of transformation.
A man stalking through the jungle, hunting wild animals, suddenly stumbles across a beautiful woman lying naked in the forest. She says to him seductively, “I am game,” so he shoots her. People have to behave according to their own understanding. Now that idiot shot the beautiful woman because he understood only one meaning of the word game; his understanding was that of an ignorant hunter. But one cannot do otherwise.
You have to act according to your own reality. Even your questioning is a significant act. Don’t borrow your questions; don’t take them from the atmosphere. If everybody else is interested in a certain thing, it does not mean you have to be interested also. This is not a crowd. Here we respect the individual. And that is my message for the new man: that he will be an individual, not a cog in the wheel. He will not belong to any crowd — political, religious, social, racial, national. He will not belong to anyone. He will be alone, standing like a beautiful Himalayan peak in his own individuality. He can have friends, he can have fellow travelers, fellow seekers, but he cannot belong to any ideology — which forces him to be blind, to be a believer, which forces him to toe the line of a certain concept. He will keep himself absolutely free from the crowd; he will not be a sheep, he will be a shepherd. Everyone will be a shepherd — not only Jesus Christ…!
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Golden Future
Chapter title: Absolutely without any goals
31 May 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Osho has spoken extensively on ‘art, poetry, music, dance, painting’ and painters & poets like Picasso, Michael Angelo, Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, Byron, Bhavabhuti, Coleridge, Dinkar, D.H. Lawrence, Kalidas, Kahlil Gibran, Keats, Omar Khayyam, Milton, Yeats, Shelley, Tagore and many more in the course of His talks. More on this subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:
- Ah This
- Be Still and Know
- Beyond Psychology
- Come Follow to You Vol.1-4
- The Guest
- Going All the Way
- This Is It
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Path of the Mystic
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder
- Beyond Enlightenment
- From the False to the Truth
- From Ignorance to Innocence