11th September is the birthday of the English writer and poet D H Lawrence. Born in 1885 as the son of a barely-literate miner, he lived his early life in a coal mining town of Nottinghamshire, England. His fondness for roaming in the open wooded patches of the hilly countryside instilled in him a deep appreciation of nature. It also became a setting for much of his fiction. At the age of 23, he became a teacher and moved to London. His poems and short stories caught the attention of publishers and his career as a professional author took off.
D.H. Lawrence eloped with a married German lady, Frieda Weekley, who he eventually married after her divorce. They faced persecution in England owing to Frieda’s German parentage and Lawrence’s open contempt for war during the WWI years. The constant harassment at the hands of the authorities forced them to leave England. They travelled around the world, a period he terms as ‘savage pilgrimage’ and he produced some of his finest works in this period including poems about the natural world in Birds, Beasts and Flowers.
D.H. Lawrence was a prolific writer but earned neither acclaim nor wealth in his life. Rather he faced massive criticism and hostility in his short life of 44 years owing in part to the sexual overtones in his works. His famous novels The Rainbow and its sequel Women in Love in which unconventional female characters take centre stage were banned in UK for obscenity. His book Sons and Lovers was heavily criticised. His painting exhibitions too were extremely controversial.
Osho says D. H. Lawrence is a great poet and has something of the mystic in him too. He had glimpses of great insight but he did not become interested in meditation; he never tried to seek and search for his innermost core. And he was very close to it, so close that even not knowing about it something of it has penetrated into his words.
Talking about the sexual flavour in D.H. Lawrence’s works, Osho says his sex is beautiful, more beautiful than the renunciation of your celibate monks, because his sex is with full awareness. Through inner search D.H. Lawrence has come to conclude that he is going to live with sex. He has accepted the fact; now there is no hitch, no guilt. Rather, sex has become glorious. So, a D. H. Lawrence, fully aware of his sex, accepting it, living it, has a beauty of his own. A Mahavir, fully aware of the fact and then coming to leave it, to quit it, has a beauty of his own. They BOTH are beautiful – D. H. Lawrence and Mahavir! But the beauty is not of sex and not of quitting sex, the beauty is of awareness. This must be remembered – you may not come to the same conclusion as Buddha; there is no necessity. You may not come to the same conclusion as Mahavir; there is no inevitability. If there is any inevitability there is only one, and that is of awareness. When you are fully aware, whatsoever happens to you is beautiful, is divine.
IS IT ALWAYS GOOD TO FOLLOW THE HEART OR ONCE IN A WHILE SHOULD A CLEAR MIND DECIDE WHAT IS TO BE DONE? AND WHAT TO DO WHEN THEY WANT TO GO IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS?
Let them go on their way. Why should you be worried? The mind is going in one direction; the heart is going in another direction. It is none of your business to interfere. Simply remain a witness and see where these fellows are going. Not understanding the secret of awareness is the cause of your problem.
You are neither the heart nor the mind. You are a pure consciousness behind them. And unless you get identified they cannot go anywhere; they don’t have their own energy.
You ask me, “Is it always good to follow the heart?” and I have been teaching you that your heart, your body, your mind, should follow you. This is how we go on misunderstanding.
You are not to be a follower of any; you are simply to be a witness. Witnessing the mind moving in one direction and the heart in another is a great experience. Experience that you are neither of them. You can remain above and they cannot move very far. They need each other’s support and finally they need energy from you, because you are life, they are only instruments. Your question is just like this: my left hand wants to follow this side, my right hand wants to follow this side — what am I supposed to do? Of course, to follow the right is always good. Right is right and left is wrong!
Not to follow is the secret of freedom, and once your heart and your mind know that you are not a man who is going to follow, they will stop quarrelling, they will stop moving, because they don’t have any energy. The energy comes from you and it comes because you get identified with them, but every identification is wrong… You cannot even have a lovely time without inquiring why — and that destroys your whole joy. The questions are a disturbance. No question is of any importance. Just to be silent and watch what goes on around in you — in the mind, in the heart — and remain aloof, will not only solve this question, it will solve all your questions. But mind loves to ask!…
I teach you awareness of your being beyond both the heart and the mind. I say unto you, disidentify yourself and they will forget going this way or that way. And for the first time you will be the master and they will simply be servants. You can order them and they will have to follow, because without your order they cannot get any nourishment. Anutosh Pradip, as far as your problem is concerned, let both of them go wherever they want. Simply remain centred — above, alert, not being dragged by them and not being influenced by them. Then your purity of awareness will lead you to the cosmic purity of existence. That is the only way of merging with the whole. All else is just an utterly futile exercise. Your silence will take you to the right path. Neither does your mind know silence nor your heart. Your consciousness will take you in the right direction.
Neither does your mind know how to be conscious nor your heart. They are both fast asleep and whatever they do is going to prove stupid and dangerous to yourself and others…
Don’t take any problem, any question seriously. Your taking them seriously makes them important and forces you to find the solution.
Whenever a question arises in you, just be silent and watch the arising of the question. Watch how it becomes more condensed watch how it becomes more clear — but go on watching. And you will be surprised that just as you are simply watching and not getting involved, it starts evaporating. Soon there is tremendous silence left behind it, and this silence is the answer!
But what do people do? A question arises in their minds — and there are thousands of questions; you will need millions of lives to find the answers for all of them. Still you will remain ignorant, knowledgeably ignorant. And because of the question you start asking others… perhaps somebody else knows the answer — that makes you a beggar. The knowledge that you get from others is borrowed; it is not going to help you at all.
One thing and only one thing helps. Watch the question and don’t be dragged by it in any direction. Be silent and see the whole question and what happens to it. It comes and it goes; no question remains there. It is just like a signature on water: you have not even made your full signature, and it has started to disappear.
The art of meditation is how to make your questions disappear, not to give you an answer. The answer will bring new questions and there is no end to it. Meditation will leave you in a space where there is no question, no answer, but only a purity, a simplicity — the same that you had known when you were born. You were alive but there was no question. You were so full of wonder. Your eyes sparkled seeing a small thing.
In a right society — for which I go on hopelessly hoping — a child’s innocence should not be destroyed. And when we have an almost oceanic innocence all around, the beauty and the experience of it are so tremendous and so strong that who cares about stupid questions? In fact they never arise.
I am reminded of D.H. Lawrence, a man of this century whom I have loved much. He was condemned from all corners — not as much as I am condemned, but he prepared the way. He was walking in a garden early in the morning with a small child, and the small child asked, “Uncle, why are the trees green?” As far as language is concerned, the question is absolutely correct, but you know that it is stupid and you cannot say that it is stupid. If it had been somebody other than D.H. Lawrence, who was a man of great sincerity and authenticity… Any other knowledgeable person would have told the child that trees are green because of a certain chemical, chlorophyll. Perhaps for the moment the child would have been silent: chlorophyll…. But sooner or later the questions were bound to arise, “Why do all the trees have chlorophyll? Who goes on giving them chlorophyll? What is the purpose of making all the trees full of chlorophyll? What is chlorophyll…?”
But D.H. Lawrence looked at the innocent eyes of the child and said, “My boy, trees are just green,” and the boy was immensely happy. The trees are green because they are green — it is not a problem, and the small boy understood it. What can you do? If the trees are green, they are green. It is their problem, it is not our problem — why should we be bothered? But as man grows and is filled and fed by all kinds of knowledge and information in the name of educating him, in the name of making him civilized and cultured, we spoil a tremendously beautiful innocence. And there is no need to know why the trees are green…. It is perfectly good that they are green. If they decide to change, that is their problem, they can change.
But look at people’s questions and you will find that all questions without exception are stupid. Although I might say that this question is very significant, you know I am a contradictory man. It does not bother me, why should it bother you? I am controversial. It has never bothered me, it has bothered the whole world. Strange! These are my problems and I don’t consider them as problems. They are my unique individuality. Why should you bother? And people get sad….
Strange questions — nothing to do with your own being and its growth. But people go on for their whole lives and finally, they become just walking encyclopaedias. They know everything, and deep inside at the centre is still the same innocence with which they were born. It is not knowledgeable, it is not ignorant; it is simply innocent. And to be utterly innocent is the whole purpose of all meditations, particularly here. I allow you to ask questions so that I can destroy them as much as possible.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse series: Om Shantih Shantih Shantih
Chapter title: Having a lovely time – but why?
8 March 1988 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Osho has spoken on prominent writers and philosophers like Albert Camus, Aristotle, Byron, Descartes, Fyodor Dostoevsky, D.H. Lawrence, H.G. Wells, Hegel, Huxley, John Milton, Kahlil Gibran, Kalidas, Kant, Leo Tolstoy, Maxim Gorky, Nietzsche, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Shakespeare and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:
- The Book of Wisdom
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Dhammapada: the way of the Buddha Vol.1,3,7,9,10,12
- The Transmission of The Lamp
- I am That
- The Perfect Master
- The Golden Future
- Theologia Mystica