My Way The Way of White Clouds 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - My Way The Way of White Clouds by Osho.
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The first question:
You have been telling us how easy it is to drop our egos and become one with the white cloud. You have also told us that we have had millions of lives and many of them have been with buddhas, krishnas and christs – yet still we have not given up our egos. Aren't you creating false hopes in us?
All hopes are false. To hope is to be in the false. So it is not a question of creating false hopes: whatsoever you can hope will be false. Hope comes out of your falsity of being. If you are real there is no need for any hope. Then you never think about the future, about what is going to happen. You are so real, so authentic that the future disappears.
When you are unreal then the future becomes very significant, then you live in the future. Then your reality is not here and now, your reality is somewhere in dreams, and you make those dreams look real because through those dreams you gain your reality. As you are, you are unreal. That’s why so much hoping goes on. All hopes are false – you are real, and my whole effort is how to throw you to yourself.
The ego is all false hopes combined together. Ego is not a reality, it is the collectivity of all your dreams, of all that is unreal, of all that is false. The ego cannot exist in the present. Look at this phenomenon. The ego always exists either in the past or in the future, never here and now – never, never. That is impossible. Whenever you think of the past, the ego comes, the I comes. Whenever you think of the future, the I comes. But when you are here, not thinking of past and future, where is your I? Sitting under a tree, not thinking of past and future, just being there, where are you? Where is the I? You cannot feel it. It is not there. The ego has never existed in the present. Past is no more, future is yet to be. Both are not. Past has disappeared, the future has not yet appeared. Both are not. Only the present is and in the present nothing like the ego is ever found.
So when I say drop the ego, what do I mean? I am not giving you a new hope, I am taking all your hopes away. And that is the difficulty – because you live through hope, so you feel that if all hopes are taken away you will be dead. Then the question will arise: Why live? For what? Why move from one moment to another? For what? The goal has disappeared with the disappearance of hope. So why go on and on if there is nowhere to reach? You cannot live without hope. That’s why it is so difficult to drop the ego. Hope has become synonymous with life.
So whenever a man is hoping, he appears to be more vital, appears to be more alive, appears to be very strong. When he is not hoping he appears to be weak, depressed, thrown back to himself, not knowing what to do, where to go. And whenever there is no hope you feel meaninglessness come into you. Immediately you create another hope; a substitute is created. If one hope is frustrated, immediately another is substituted – because you cannot live in the gap, you cannot live hopelessly.
I tell you that that is the only way to live.
Without any hope, life is real; for the first time life is authentic.
So the second thing to be understood is: when I say it is easy to drop the ego, I don’t mean that it will be easy for you to drop it. I mean it is easy to drop it because the very phenomenon of ego is so unreal. If the ego is false, how can it be difficult to drop it? If the dream is just a dream, how can it be difficult to come out of it? If it were real, then there would have been difficulty. If a dream is just a dream, where is the problem to come out of it? You can come out! The dream cannot catch hold of you, the dream cannot prevent you. The dream cannot become a barrier. The dream has no force – that’s why we call it a dream. It is easy to come out of a dream. That’s what I mean when I say it is easy to drop the ego. But I don’t mean that it will be easy for you, because the dream is still a reality for you, it is not a dream. The ego is not false to you, it is the only reality. Everything else is false.
We are living around the ego. We are seeking more and more egotistical journeys – somebody through wealth, somebody through status, power, prestige, somebody through politics, somebody through religion, priesthood. There are millions of ways. But the end, the result, the goal is the same: seeking more and more the I, seeking more and more the ego.
To you it is a reality; and I say it is the only reality. The false has become the real. The shadow has become the substance. That’s why it is difficult – not difficult because ego is very powerful. No, it is difficult because you still believe in it, in its power. If you believe in it, it is going to be difficult, because on the one hand you want to drop it, and on the other hand you go on clinging to it. It is going to be difficult. When I say to you it is a dream, you want to believe it because you have suffered so much through it.
Not that you feel the truth of what I am saying – if you feel the truth of what I am saying you will drop it immediately. You will not ask how. There is no how to it. You see the point and you drop it.
You don’t see the truth of what I am saying. When I say it is not realized that the ego is false and can be dropped, when I say that the ego can be dropped, you create a hope out of it. Because you have been suffering so much through it, you create a hope that if the ego can be dropped then all suffering will be dropped. You become happy with this hope.
I am not creating the hope, you are creating the hope. I am simply stating a fact that this is the construction of the ego. This is how an ego is structured, this is how an ego is created and this is how it can be dropped. And because it is false, no effort is needed. Just seeing the point and it disappears.
A man is running, scared, frightened to death, and running because of his own shadow. You stop him and tell him: “You are foolish! This is your own shadow – nobody is following you and nobody is going to murder you. There is nobody except you. You have become scared of your own shadow.”
But once you start running the shadow also runs faster. The faster you run, the faster the shadow follows. Then the logical mind can say that you are in danger, and the logical mind will say that if you want to escape run faster and faster. But whatsoever you do the shadow will be following you. And if you cannot get rid of it, you will get more and more scared. You are creating the whole thing out of yourself.
But if I say to you: “This is just a shadow, nobody is following you” – and you realize the point, you look at the shadow and you feel the point – will you ask me how to drop this shadow? Will you ask about some technique, method, some yoga: how to drop it? You will simply laugh. You have dropped it! In the moment you see that this is just a shadow and nobody is following you, it has been dropped already. There is no question of how. You will have a good laugh. The whole thing was nonsense.
The same happens with the ego. If you can see the truth of what I am saying, the thing has happened. In the very seeing of it the thing has happened. There is no more how to it. If you still ask how, the thing has not happened and you have not seen the point. But you have created a hope out of it, because you have been suffering through this ego. You have always wanted to drop it, but this wanting has always been half of your mind.
All your suffering has come through the ego, but all your pleasures have also come through the ego. A crowd applauds you, appreciates you – you feel good. That is the only bliss you have known. Your ego rises high, reaches to a peak, becomes an Everest. You enjoy it. And then the crowd condemns you and you feel hurt. The crowd becomes indifferent; you are crushed by it. You fall into a valley, a depression. You have been gaining pleasure through the ego, and you have been suffering through it. Because of the suffering you want to drop it, but because of the pleasures you cannot drop it.
So when I say that the ego can be dropped easily, hope is created in you. Not that I am creating it, your greed takes it. It doesn’t become a realization, it becomes a new greed, a new search for gratification. You feel that now there is a way, and there is a man who can help you to drop the ego and all the misery that ego creates. But are you ready to drop all the pleasures that the ego creates too? If you are ready it is such an easy thing – just like dropping a shadow. But you cannot drop half of it, and you cannot carry half of it. Either the whole will go or the whole will cling to you. This is the problem, this is the difficulty.
All your pleasures and all your sufferings are related to one phenomenon: you want to preserve the pleasures and you want to drop the sufferings. You are asking the impossible. Then it is difficult – not only difficult, it is impossible. It is not going to happen to you. Whatsoever you do will be futile, no result will come of it.
You create hope out of it – for heaven, the intense blissfulness of a buddha. Listening to me or listening to a Jesus or a Buddha, hope is created. But I am not creating it, you are creating it. You are projecting hope on it. And this is the problem, the complexity: that every hope is food for the ego again. Even this hope of reaching a paradise, a heaven, becoming enlightened, is a hope. And every hope is food for the ego.
Who is trying to become enlightened? The one who is trying to become enlightened is the problem. Nobody ever becomes enlightened. Enlightenment happens, but nobody ever becomes enlightened. When the room is empty, enlightenment happens. When there is nobody to reach enlightenment, enlightenment is there. Because of the language, because of the duality of the language, whatsoever is said about such deep things becomes false.
We say: Gautam Buddha became enlightened. This is false. Gautam Buddha never became enlightened. Gautam Buddha was the un-enlightenment. When he was not there, when he became absent, enlightenment happened. When suddenly one day he realized that he was following an absurd pattern, when he realized that: “I am the problem, so whatsoever I do will create more problems….”
It is not a question of doing right or wrong, this or that. Whatsoever you do will strengthen the ego. Once Buddha realized this – but this realization took many years of effort – when he realized that: “Whatsoever I do will help my ego more and more,” he simply dropped doing. In that moment of realization he simply became a non-doer, absolutely inactive.
Remember, this is the problem: you can even create activity out of your inactivity, or you can create activity just to help inactivity come to you. But then you miss. You can stand still, you can sit silently, but if you are making effort to stand still, your standing is false. You are not standing, you are moving. If you are sitting silently and there is effort, if you are trying to be silent, that silence is false. You are not silent.
When Buddha realized that he was the problem, and that every activity of his gave more substance to the ego, he simply dropped. Then he was not making any effort to create a non-active state. He was not doing at all. Whatsoever was happening was happening. The wind was blowing, and the tree must have been dancing; and then the full moon came, and the whole existence was celebrating. And the breathing coming in, going out, and the blood circulating in the veins, and the heart beating, and the pulse – everything was happening, but he was not doing anything. In this non-doing Gautam Siddhartha disappeared.
By the morning there was no one to receive enlightenment, but enlightenment was there. Under that bodhi tree a vacant vehicle was sitting – breathing of course, heart beating of course, better than ever. Everything functioning perfectly, but no doer there – blood circulating, the whole existence around – alive, dancing. Every atom in Buddha’s body dancing, alive. It had never been so alive, but now energy was moving of its own accord – nobody pushing it, nobody manipulating it. Buddha became a white cloud. Enlightenment happened.
It can happen to you also, but don’t create any hope out of it. Rather, seeing the point, drop all hopes. Become hopeless, perfectly hopeless. It is difficult to become perfectly hopeless. Many times you reach hopelessness but it is never perfect. One hope drops, you feel hopelessness. But immediately you create another hope to cover it up, and hopelessness is gone.
People go on moving from one master to another; that is movement from one hope to another. They go to one master with hopes that he will give through his grace, that through his energy the thing will happen. Then they try, then they wait with a very strained mind, because a mind which hopes can never be at ease. They wait with a very impatient mind, because a mind which is filled with hope cannot be patient. And then they start feeling uneasy because the thing is not happening. So this master is wrong, they must move to someone else. This is not movement from one master to another, this is movement from one hope to another. People move from one religion to another; conversions are there just because of hope. You can go on doing it for many, many lives. You have been doing that.
Now try to see the point. It is neither a question of a master nor a question of a right method. It is a question of a direct insight, an immediate penetration into the phenomenon of what is happening, why you hope, why you can’t be without hope. And what have you gained out of all your hoping? See it. It drops by itself. You are not even required to drop it. That’s why I say it is easy, and I know well it is very difficult – difficult because of you, easy because of itself. The phenomenon is easy, you are difficult.
And this can happen any moment. When I say this can happen any moment, I mean the phenomenon of enlightenment, of egolessness, is not caused by anything. No cause is needed. It is not an outcome of many causes, it is not a byproduct. It is simple insight. It can happen to a sinner, it may not happen to a saint. So no necessary condition is needed really. If he can see, it can happen even to a sinner. If he becomes hopeless, if he feels that there is nothing to be gained and achieved, if he comes to see that the whole thing is just an absurd game, it can happen. It may not happen to a saint because the saint goes on trying to achieve. He is not yet hopeless. This world has become futile, but another world has become meaningful. He has to leave this earth, but there are heavens beyond – he has to reach there.
And even people near a Jesus or Buddha go on asking things like this. Just on the last night, when Jesus was going to be caught and the next day killed, his disciples asked him: “Master, tell us: in the kingdom of God, when you will be sitting on the right side of God’s throne, what will be our positions there? Where will we be sitting, in what order?” God sitting on his throne, Jesus, the only begotten son on his right side, and then these twelve disciples: “Where will we be sitting and what will be the order?”
People around Jesus asking such a foolish question – but this is how the human mind is. They don’t ask anything of this world – they have become beggars – but they ask of the other world. They are not really beggars, they are hoping. They have staked on this other world, but it is a bargain: “Where will we be there? Who will be sitting next to you?”
There must have been competition among those twelve disciples. There must have been politics, ambition, somebody up, somebody down, somebody becoming the chief. There must have been much conflict, inner politics, undercurrents of violence and aggression. Even with Jesus one starts hoping. Hope is deep-rooted in you. Whatsoever is said, you convert it into a hope. You are a hope-creating mechanism, and this hope-creating mechanism is the ego.
So what is to be done? In fact, there is nothing to be done. You only need clearer eyes, more perceptive eyes, more penetrating eyes. All that is needed is to have a fresh look about you, at your being, at whatsoever you have been doing, hoping – a fresh look.
And I say to you, in that fresh look, in that innocent look, ego drops by itself, on its own accord. It is the easiest phenomenon, and at the same time the most difficult. But remember well, I am not creating any hope in you.

The second question:
In relation to what you've just said, Zen has a saying: Effortless effort. Would you talk to us about that, and how it applies to your Dynamic Meditation.
Meditation is an energy phenomenon. One very basic thing has to be understood about all types of energies. This is the basic law: energy moves in a dual polarity. That is the only way it moves; there is no other way for its movement. It moves in a dual polarity. For any energy to become dynamic, the anti-pole is needed. It is just like electricity moving with negative and positive polarities. If there is only negative polarity, electricity will not happen; or if there is only positive polarity, electricity will not happen. Both poles are needed. And when both poles meet they create electricity. Then the spark comes up.
And this is so for all types of phenomena. Life goes on – between man and woman, the polarity. The woman is the negative life energy; man is the positive pole – it is electrical, hence so much attraction. With man alone life would disappear; with woman alone there could be no life, only death. Between man and woman there exists a balance. Between man and woman – these two poles, these two banks – flows the river of life. Wherever you look you will find the same energy moving into polarities, balancing itself.
This polarity is very meaningful for meditation, because mind is logical and life is dialectical. When I say mind is logical, I mean mind moves in a line. When I say life is dialectical, I mean life moves with the opposite, not in a line. It zigzags from negative to positive, positive to negative, negative to positive. It zigzags. It uses the opposites.
Mind moves in a line, a simple, straight line. It never moves to the opposite. It denies the opposite. It believes in one and life believes in two. So whatsoever mind creates, it always chooses the one. If mind chooses silence, if mind has become fed up with all the noise that is created in life and the mind feels to be silent, then it goes to the Himalayas. It wants to be silent. It doesn’t want anything to do with any type of noise. Even the song of the birds will disturb it, a breeze blowing through the trees will be a disturbance. The mind wants silence. Now it has chosen the line; now the opposite has to be denied completely. But this man living in the Himalayas, seeking silence, avoiding the other, the opposite, will become dead, he will certainly become dull. And the more he chooses to be silent the duller he will be – because life needs the opposite, the challenge of the opposite. There is a different type of silence which exists between two opposites.
The first is a dead silence, the silence of the cemetery. A dead man is silent, but you would not like to be a dead man. A dead man is absolutely silent, nobody can disturb him. His concentration is perfect, you cannot do anything to distract his mind. His mind is absolutely fixed. Even if all around the whole world goes mad, he will remain in his concentration. But still you would not like to be a dead man. Silence, concentration, or whatsoever it is called, you would not like to be dead – because if you are silent when dead, the silence is meaningless.
Silence must happen while you are absolutely alive, vital, bubbling with life and energy. Then silence is meaningful. But then silence will have a different, an altogether different quality to it. It will not be dull, it will be alive. It will be a subtle balance between two polarities.
Then such a type of man, who is seeking a live balance, a live silence, would like to move both to the market and to the Himalayas. He would like to go to the market to enjoy noise, and he would also like to go to the Himalayas to enjoy silence. He will create a balance between these two polar opposites, and he will remain in that balance. And that balance cannot be achieved through linear efforts.
That is what is meant by the Zen technique of effortless effort. It uses contradictory terms – effortless effort, or gateless gate, or pathless path. Zen always uses the contradictory term immediately, just to give you the hint that the process is going to be dialectical, not linear. The opposite is not to be denied but absorbed. The opposite is not to be left aside, it has to be used. Left aside it will always be a burden on you. Left aside it will hang with you unused. You will miss much. The energy can be converted and used. And then, using it, you will be more vital, more alive. The opposite has to be absorbed, then the process becomes dialectical.
Effortlessness means not doing anything, inactivity – akarma. Effort means doing much, activity – karma. Both have to be there. Do much, but don’t be a doer; then you achieve both. Move in the world but don’t be a part of it. Live in the world but don’t let the world live in you. Then the contradiction has been absorbed. Then you are not rejecting anything, not denying anything. Then the whole existence has been accepted.
And that’s what I’m doing. Dynamic Meditation is a contradiction. The dynamic means effort, much effort, absolute effort, and meditation means silence, no effort, no activity. You can call it a dialectical meditation. Be so active that the whole energy becomes a movement, no energy is left static in you. The whole energy has been called forth, nothing is left behind. All the frozen parts of energy are melting, flowing. You are not a frozen thing now, you have become dynamic. You are not like substance now, you are more like energy. You are not material, you have become electrical. Bring total energy to work, to be active, moving.
When everything is moving and you have become a cyclone, then become alert. Remember, be mindful – and in this cyclone suddenly you will find a center which is absolutely silent. This is the center of the cyclone. This is you – you in your divinity, you as a god.
All around you is activity. Your body has become an active cyclone – everything moving fast, faster. All the frozen parts have melted, you are flowing. You have become a volcano, a fire, electricity. But just in the center, amidst all this movement, there is a non-moving point, the still point.
This still point is not to be created. It is there, you are not to do anything about it. It has always been there. It is your very being, the very ground of your being. This is what Hindus have been calling the atman, the soul. It is there, but unless your body, unless your material existence becomes totally active, you will not be aware of it. With total activity the totally inactive becomes apparent. The activity gives you a contrast. It becomes the blackboard, and on the blackboard is the white dot. On a white wall you cannot see a white dot; on a blackboard the white dot appears to you.
So when your body has become active, dynamic, a movement, suddenly you become aware of a point which is still, absolutely still – the unmoving center of the whole moving world. That is effortless. No effort is done for it. No effort is needed, it is simply revealed. Effort on the part of the periphery, no effort on the part of the center. Movement on the periphery, stillness at the center. Activity on the periphery, absolute inactivity at the center. And between these two….
This will be a little difficult, because you may get identified with the center Hindus have called atman, the soul. If you get identified with the center which is still, you have again chosen something between the two. You have again chosen – and rejected something.
There is a very subtle Eastern discovery, and that is: if you get identified with the still point you will never know God; you will know the self but you will never know God. And there are many traditions, particularly Jainas, who became too much identified with the self – so they said there is no God, the self is the only God.
Hindus who have penetrated really deeply, they say about this still point and this activity on the periphery that either you are both or you are none. Either you are both or you are none – both mean the same. These are the two poles. These are the two dialectical poles, the thesis and the antithesis. These are the two banks and you are somewhere between these two – neither moving nor non-moving. This is the ultimate transcendence. This is what Hindus call the brahman.
Effort and effortlessness, movement and no movement, activity and no activity, matter and the soul – these are the banks. And between these two flows the invisible. These two are visibles. Between these two flows the invisible. That you are, tattwamasi swetketu, says the Upanishad. That which flows between these two banks, that which cannot be seen, that which is really a subtle balance, nothing else, between these two – that art thou. That has been called the brahman, the supreme self.
A balance has to be achieved, and balance can be achieved only when you use both the polarities. If you use one you become dead. Many have done that; even whole societies have become dead. This has happened in India. If you choose one then imbalance, lopsidedness, happens. It happened in India, in the East, that the silent part, the still point, was chosen and the active part denied. So the whole East became dull. The sharpness was lost. The sharpness of intelligence, the sharpness of body vigor, everything was lost. The East became more and more dull, ugly, as if life was just a burden to be carried somehow and dropped, a duty to be fulfilled, a karma to be suffered – not an enjoyment, not a vigorous dance, but a dull, lethargic movement.
It had its consequences. The East became weak, because with a still point you cannot remain strong forever, for long. Because Strength needs activity, strength needs movement. If you deny activity, strength disappears. The East lost its muscles completely; the body became flabby. So anybody who desired to could conquer the East. For thousands of years slavery was the only destiny for the East. Anybody who had just an idea to make anybody a slave would turn toward the East. The East was always ready to be conquered, because the Eastern mind had chosen a point against the polar opposite. The East became silent, but dead and dull also. This type of silence is not worth anything.
The opposite is happening in the West. It has happened in other societies also. They have chosen the active part, the periphery, and they think that there is no soul. They think this activity is all, and to be active and to enjoy, and to achieve and to be ambitious and to conquer, is all that life consists of. The ultimate result is going to be more and more madness in the West – because without the still point you cannot remain sane. You will become insane. With only the still point, you cannot remain alive, you become dead; with only the active, you become insane. People who are insane, what has happened to them? They have lost all contact with their still point. That’s what their insanity is.
The West is turning into a big madhouse. More and more people are being psychoanalyzed, treated psychiatrically; more and more people are being put into madhouses. And those who are out, they are not out because they are sane, but only because so many people cannot be put in houses for the insane; otherwise the whole society would have to be put in a prison. They are normal, workably normal. But Western psychology says that now it is difficult to say that any man is normal, and they may be right. In the West it has happened: no man is normal. Activity alone creates madness; balance is impossible. Active civilizations become mad in the end, inactive civilizations become dead. This happens to societies, this happens to individuals.
To me, balance is all. Don’t choose, don’t reject. Accept both – and create an inner balance. Dynamic Meditation is an effort toward that balance. Be active, enjoy it, be ecstatic, be fully with it. Then silent, enjoy it, be ecstatic about it. And move between these two as freely as possible and don’t create any choice. Don’t say: “I am this or that.” Don’t get identified. Don’t Say: “I am this or that,” say: “I am both.” Don’t be afraid of contradicting yourself. Contradict, be both, and move easily.
And when I say this, I say it unconditionally – not only for activity and inactivity. Whatsoever is called bad and good, that too is included; whatsoever is called the devil and the divine, that too is included.
Always remember: everywhere there are banks, and if you want to be a river use both the banks unconditionally. Don’t say: “Because I was active, how can I be inactive?” Don’t say: “Because I was inactive, now how can I be active?” Don’t say: “I am this, so how can I be that?” You are both and there is no need to choose. The only thing to remember is to be balanced between the two. Then you will transcend both. Then the devil and the divine will both be transcended. When both are transcended, that is brahma. Brahma has no polarity against it, because it is just a balance between two polarities. There is no anti-pole to it.
Move in life as freely as possible, and use both the opposites, both the banks, as much as possible. Don’t create any contradiction. They are not contradictory, they only appear to be contradictory. Deep down they are one. They are just like legs, right and left. You use the right, you use the left. While you raise the right, the left is waiting on the earth, helping. Don’t become addicted. Don’t be a rightist or a leftist. Both legs are yours, and in both legs your energy flows – undivided. Have you ever felt that the right leg has one energy and the left leg some other energy? You are flowing in both. Close your eyes: left disappears, right disappears. They are both you, and while moving you can use them. Use both! If you become addicted to the right, as many people have become, then you will be crippled, you cannot use the left. Then you will stand, but you will be crippled, and by and by you will become dead.
Move, and constantly remember the unmoving center. Do, and constantly remember the non-doer. Make effort and remain effortless. Once you know this secret alchemy of using the opposites, the contradictory, you are free; otherwise you create inner imprisonments.
There are people who come to me and say: “How can I do this? I have never done this.” Just the other day there was somebody –he said to me: “How can I do active meditation, because I have been sitting silently for many years?”
He has chosen, and he has reached nowhere; otherwise there was no need to come to me. But he cannot do the active meditation because he has become identified with an inactive posture. This is getting frozen.
Become more movement. Be moving and allow life to flow. Once you know that between the opposites balance is possible, once you have a glimpse of it, then you know the art. Then everywhere in life, in every dimension of life, you can attain that balance very easily. Really, to say that you can attain is not good. Once you know the knack of it, whatsoever you do the balance follows you like a shadow. This inner balance between the opposites is the most significant thing that can happen to a man.

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