Mystery of Life



NOT ONLY SOMETIMES BUT ALWAYS. Fictions are only reflections of life — how can they be more surprising? No fiction is so fictitious as life itself; life is made of the stuff called dreams. Hence the mystic says life is illusion, MAYA, a mirage. It is a mystery, unfathomable, infinite, beginningless, endless.

So I will not say that only sometimes it is surprising; each moment of it is a surprise, but you don’t feel it. You feel it only once in a while when something really extraordinary happens and you are shocked into wakefulness. Only then do you understand that life is far more surprising — because you are fast asleep. Unless something out of the way, very outlandish, far out, happens, and you are shaken and shocked into a little bit of awareness, only then do you see what a miracle life is, how much surprise it contains. But to the Buddhas each moment of it is a surprise, because it is each moment new, renewing itself.

Everything is extraordinary if you are alert, if you are sensitive enough, if you are open enough. Then the whole of life, from the mundane to the sacred, from the lowest to the highest, the whole of life is such a mystery that you are always in for a surprise. It depends on your sensitivity, it depends on your awareness, it depends how conscious you are.

A Zen Master was asked, “What did you use to do before you became enlightened?”

He said, “I used to chop wood and carry water from the well for my Master’s house.”

The inquirer asked, “And now that you have become enlightened, what do you do?”

He said, “I chop wood and carry water.”

The inquirer was obviously puzzled. “Then what is the difference? You used to chop wood and carry water, you still chop wood and still carry water — then what is the difference?”


The Master laughed. He said, “The difference is infinite! Before I simply used to chop wood not knowing the beauties that surrounded me. Now chopping wood is not the same because I am not the same. My eyes are not the same, my heart beats in a different rhythm — my heart beats with the heart of the whole. There is a synchronicity, there is harmony. Carrying water from the well is the same from the outside, but my interior has become totally different. I am a new man, I am born again! Now I can see in depth, I can see into the very core of things, and each pebble has become a diamond, and each song of a bird is nothing but a call from God, and whenever a flower blooms, God blooms for me. Looking into people’s eyes I am looking into God’s eyes. Yes, on the surface I am carrying on the same activity, but because I am not the same the world is not the same.”

Start becoming a little more alert and watch things, and you will be surprised. Life is mysterious, unexplainable — life is absurd. You cannot prove anything for or against…

 Just look at people! And each person is a fiction, and each person carries so many stories in his heart. Love people, search in their souls, and you will not need to go to the movies and you will not need to read novels. EACH person contains many novels and many movies, but we don’t listen to people. We don’t see people face to face, we don’t hold their hands, we don’t allow them to open their hearts.

For the first time humanity has become very closed. Each person is living a windowless life, completely encapsulated. Open up! Throw your doors and windows open.

Let wind and rain and sun come in Let people enter into you and you enter into people’s lives. That is the only way to become aware of the tremendous mystery of life. And to be aware of the mystery of life is to be aware of God.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse name:

Be Still and Know

Chapter title: Watch This! Stranger than Fiction
Chapter #5
5 September 1979 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on life, awareness, gratitude, lovein many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Art of Dying
  2. The Beloved, Vol 1
  3. Beyond Enlightenment
  4. The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 2
  5. From Personality to Individuality
  6. Guida Spirituale
  7. The Hidden Harmony
  8. Just Like That
  9. The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
  10. Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
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