Question 1: WHAT HAS GONE WRONG? WHY IS IT THAT PEOPLE MEET EVERYTHING NEW RELUCTANTLY, AND WITH FEAR, RATHER THAN WITH EAGER JOY?
The new does not arise out of you, it comes from the beyond. It is not part of you. Your whole past is at stake. The new is discontinuous with you, hence the fear. You have lived in one way, you have thought in one way, you have made a comfortable life out of your beliefs. Then something new knocks on the door. Now your whole past pattern is going to be disturbed. If you allow the new to enter you will never be the same again, the new will transform you.
It is risky. One never knows where you will end with the new. The old is known, familiar; you have lived with it for long, you are acquainted with it. The new is unfamiliar. It may be the friend, it may be the enemy, who knows. And there is no way to know. The only way to know is to allow it; hence the apprehension, the fear. And you cannot remain rejecting it either, because the old has not given you yet what you seek. The old has been promising, but the promises have not been fulfilled. The old is familiar but miserable. The new is maybe going to be uncomfortable but there is a possibility — it may bring bliss to you. So you cannot reject it either and you cannot accept it; hence you waver, you tremble, great anguish arises in your being. It is natural, nothing has gone wrong. This is how it has always been, this is how it will always be.
Try to understand the appearance of the new. Everybody in the world wants to become new, because nobody is satisfied with the old. Nobody can ever be satisfied with the old because whatsoever it is, you have known it. Once known it has become repetitive; once known it has become boring, monotonous. You want to get rid of it. You want to explore, you want to adventure. You want to become new, and yet when the new knocks on the door you shrink back, you withdraw, you hide in the old. This is the dilemma. How do we become new? — and everybody wants to become new. Courage is needed, and not ordinary courage; extraordinary courage is needed. And the world is full of cowards, hence people have stopped growing. How can you grow if you are a coward? With each new opportunity you shrink back, you close your eyes. How can you grow? How can you be? You only pretend to be. And because you cannot grow you have to find substitute growths. You cannot grow but your bank balance can grow, that’s a substitute. It needs no courage, it is perfectly adjusted with your cowardliness. Your bank balance goes on growing and you start thinking that you are growing. You become more respectable. Your name and fame go on growing and you think you are growing? You are simply deceiving yourself. Your name is not you, neither is your fame you. Your bank balance is not your being. But if you think of the being you start shaking, because if you want to grow there then you have to drop all cowardice.
How do we become new? We do not become new of ourselves.
Newness comes from the beyond, say from God. Newness comes from existence. Mind is always old. Mind is never new, it is the accumulation of the past. Newness comes from the beyond; it is a gift from God. It is from the beyond and it is of the beyond. The unknown and the unknowable, the beyond, has ingress into you.
It has ingress into you because you are never sealed and set apart; you are not an island. You may have forgotten the beyond but the beyond has not forgotten you. The child may have forgotten the mother, the mother has not forgotten the child. The part may have started thinking, “I am separate,” but the whole knows that you are not separate. The whole has ingress in you. It is still in contact with you. That’s why the new goes on coming although you don’t welcome it. It comes every morning, it comes every evening. It comes in a thousand and one ways. If you have eyes to see, you will see it continuously coming to you. God goes on showering on you, but you are enclosed in your past. You are almost in a kind of grave. You have become insensitive. Because of your cowardliness you have lost your sensitivity.
To be sensitive means the new will be felt — and the thrill of the new, and the passion for the new and the adventure will arise and you will start moving into the unknown, not knowing where you are going.
Mind thinks it is mad. Mind thinks it is not rational to leave the old. But God is always the new. That’s why we cannot use past tense or future tense for God. We cannot say “God was,” we cannot say “God will be.” We can only use the present: “God is.” It is always fresh, virgin. And it has ingress in you. Remember, anything new coming in your life is a message from God. If you accept it you are religious. If you reject it you are irreligious.
Man needs just to relax a little more to accept the new; to open up a little more to let the new in. Give way to God entering you. That is the whole meaning of prayer or meditation — you open up, you say yes, you say “Come in.” You say, “I have been waiting and waiting and I am thankful that you have come.” Always receive the new with great joy. Even if sometimes the new leads you into inconvenience, still it is worth it. Even if sometimes the new leads you into some ditch, still it is worth it, because only through errors one learns, and only through difficulties one grows. The new will bring difficulties. That’s why you choose the old — it does not bring any difficulties. It is a consolation, it is a shelter. And only the new, accepted deeply and totally, can transform you. You cannot bring the new in your life; the new comes. You can either accept it or reject it. If you reject it you remain a stone, closed and dead. If you receive it you become a flower, you start opening… and in that opening is celebration.
Only the entry of the new can transform you, there is no other way of transformation. But remember, it has nothing to do with you and your efforts. But to do nothing is not to cease to act; it is to act without will or direction or impulse from your past. The search for the new cannot be an ordinary search, because it is for the new. How can you search for it? You don’t know it, you have never met it. The search for the new is going to be just an open exploration. One knows not. One has to start in a state of not-knowing, and one has to move innocently like a child, thrilled with the possibilities — and infinite are the possibilities. You cannot do anything to create the new, because whatsoever you do will be of the old, will be from the past. But that does not mean that you have to cease to act. It is to act without will or direction or impulse from your past.
Act without any will or direction or impulse from the past — and that is to act meditatively. Act spontaneously. Let the moment be decisive. You don’t impose your decision, because the decision will be from the past and it will destroy the new. You just act in the moment like a child. Utterly abandon yourself to the moment — and you will find every day new openings, new light, new insight. And those new insights will go on changing you. One day, suddenly you will see you are each moment new. The old no more lingers, the old no more hangs around you like a cloud. You are like a dewdrop, fresh and young.
Remember, a Buddha lives moment to moment. It is as if a wave rises in the ocean, a majestic wave. With great joy and dance it comes up, with hope and dreams to touch the stars. Then the play for the moment, and then the wave disappears. It will come again, it will have another day. It will again dance and again it will be gone. So is God — comes, disappears, comes again, disappears. So is a Buddha-consciousness. Each moment it comes, acts, responds, and is gone. Again it comes and is gone. It is atomic. Between two moments there is a gap; in that gap Buddha disappears. I say a word to you, then I disappear. Then I say another word and I am there, and then I disappear again. I respond to you and then I am no more. The response is again there and I am no more. Those intervals, those emptinesses keep one utterly fresh, because only death can keep you absolutely alive.
You die once, after seventy years. Naturally you accumulate seventy years’ garbage. A Buddha dies every moment — no garbage is accumulated, nothing is accumulated, nothing is ever possessed. That’s why Buddha said the other day that to possess marks is to be a fraud, because possession is of the past. Not to possess marks is to be a Buddha. Just think of it — each moment arising, just like a breath. You breathe in, you breathe out. You breathe in again, you breathe out again. Each breath coming in is life and each breath going out is death. You are born with each incoming breath, you die with each outgoing breath. Let each moment be a birth and a death. Then you will be new.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
The Diamond Sutra
Chapter title: From the Beyond
24 December 1977 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘New’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 6, 8, 10
- From Death to Deathlessness
- From Personality to Individuality
- The Golden Future
- The Invitation
- The Last Testament, Vol 1
- Light on the Path
- The New Dawn
- The Path of the Mystic
- The Rebel
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- The Transmission of the Lamp
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3