Reading between the Lines
Osho on HereNow
WHAT IS HERENOW?
DOES ‘THOUGHT’ FORM PART OF IT?
IF SO, THEN ALL-TIME AND ALL-THINGS ARE NOW.
OR… IS HERENOW ONLY IN NO-MIND?
THOUGHT IS THE CAPACITY OF NOT BEING HERE — so thought cannot exist in the herenow, it cannot be part of it. That is impossible. Thought can only be either of the past or of the future. Thought can never be of the present. In the VERY process of thinking, that is implied; it is intrinsic to it.
The moment you think, either you think of the past or you think of the future. It may be the immediate past, but it is still past — it is never the present, it cannot be the present. Thought needs space. And the present moment has no space in it. Thought creates the past and the future to live in. The bigger the past, the more easily thought can move; the bigger the future, again, the more easily thought can move. The present is not capable of giving that space for thought to move.
The present moment is a moment of no-mind. Whenever you are in the present you don’t function as a mind.
Your body is in the present but your mind is never. Your body IS ALWAYS in the present — that’s why the body is so beautiful and mind is so ugly. And, down the ages, you have been taught to be with the mind and against the body. That has been the greatest calamity humanity has suffered up to now. If a new humanity is to be, we will have to put things right — you have to be with the body and not with the mind. Use the mind, but never get identified with it. The mind is a good slave, but a very bad master. The body is wiser. When you are hungry, you are hungry herenow; you cannot be hungry in the future and you cannot be hungry in the past. When you are feeling thirsty, your throat is feeling it right now — it is immediate, it has a presence. But your mind is running in all directions… so your body and mind never meet. That’s how you have become split, that’s how schizophrenia has entered into the very being of man.
Get out of the mind and get into the body. The more you are in your body, the more natural you will be. The more you are in the body, the closer to God you will be. Mind is just a device. Good! Helpful! Can be used in a thousand and one ways! But it is from there that the problem arises — because it can be used in so many ways, you start becoming dependent on it and by and by you lose consciousness of the present and you become focused with the mind. Then your life will be dry, a wasteland. And suddenly questions will arise: What is the meaning of life? — because mind cannot supply any meaning. Mind cannot give you any end. Mind cannot help you to live. It cannot give you life! It can give you technology, it can give you bigger machines, it can give you more affluence — but it cannot give you more life, more being.
So riches go on growing. Technology goes on becoming more and more sophisticated… and man becomes more and more poor. This is strange! that outside riches go on accumulating and inside man becomes a beggar.
Never before in the history of man was there such inner emptiness, such inner meaninglessness, such inner poverty. The reason is: significance comes from the body — the body is the body of God. Mind is man-created: body is still in God, it still exists in God, it still breathes God.
You ask: WHAT IS HERENOW?
Now, if any mind answer is given to you, that won’t be the right answer — because anything that the mind can say as a definition of herenow will be wrong; anything whatsoever, it will be wrong. Mind knows nothing of herenow! How can it define it? Just be silent; for a moment, just be… and it is there. THIS is herenow! I will not give you a definition, because definitions come from the mind, and definitions will be taken by the mind, and herenow is an existential experience… these trees, this bird calling, and the traffic noise, and the train, and the sun and the trees… and you, and me… and this silence, this presence…. When not even a single thought is stirring in you, when the screen is utterly empty, not even a single picture moves… this is… and this cannot be defined. You can experience it; it is available. It is everybody’s RIGHT to experience it, but how to define it? If you try to define it you will have to bring past and future. Go to the dictionaries, go to the Encyclopedia Britannica — what will they say? They will say the present is a moment between the past and the future — that’s the only way to define it! Now can there be a more wrong way to define the present? If you have to bring past and future into the definition, if you cannot define the present without bringing past and future into it, how are you going to define it?
The present is neither past nor future — AND IT IS NOT BETWEEN THE TWO! It CANNOT be between the two, because the past is no more and the future is not yet. How can the present be between two non-existentials? The present is existential; how can existence be defined by something which is not? That is utter absurdity! But that’s where logic moves. Logic appears very logical, but remains rooted in absurdity. The present is not between the past and the future: the present is beyond past and future. The present is eternity. The present is not even part of time! And it is not that the time passes: we pass, time remains; we come and go, time remains. It is not that the moment that was here just a moment before has become past, no. It is a single moment, utterly one. It is eternity. It is not passing, it is not going anywhere.
Have you not observed some time, sitting in a train, waiting on a station, and your train starts moving and you feel the other train has started moving which is just on the other track? Or, the other train starts moving and you feel your train has started moving, and then you look closely and you find that, no, your train is not moving, the other train is moving. Time remains there — we go on moving, we change. The ocean of time is there — the fish goes on moving.
The movement is in our minds. Mind is movement. Truth is unmoving; it is always the same.
Just see: when you were born… have you changed since then? Yes, on one level you have changed, certainly — your body has grown, you are young or old, and so many things you have lived through, and experiences, and frustrations, and excitements, and ecstasies, and all that life gives…. But go deep down: have you really changed on THAT plane? at the very core of your being? Are you not the same? There nothing has changed. It is where you were, and it is where you will ever be — it is always the same there, it is one climate. On the surface things go on changing. The wheel of the cart goes on moving, but it moves on something which remains unmoving: the axle. You are both the circumference and the axle, the centre. Even the cyclone is not there at the centre — there is silence. Nothing ever moves there. THAT IS YOUR BEING! What name you give to it matters not. That centre of the cyclone… that centre of the cyclone is herenow; it is not part of time. It is eternity.
You ask me: WHAT IS HERENOW?
Feel it! Experience it! That’s what we are doing here! What is meditation? — getting into here… now. What is love? — getting into herenow. What is celebration? — getting into herenow. But no definition is possible. Getting-into is possible, because in fact you have never got out of it. It is there! You can again turn and face it.
While making love to a woman or to a man, have you not felt the herenow? If you have not felt it then you have not loved. Making love to a woman, have you not forgotten the past? has not the past utterly disappeared in that moment? In that moment do you have a past, a history, an autobiography? If you have, then you don’t know how to love. Then you have been just playing the game of love not knowing exactly what it is — you have not loved.
While making love, your autobiography simply disappears. There is no more any past — as if you had never existed. You are not OLD — in that moment you are virgin newness; in that moment you are born for the first time; in that moment there is rebirth. Love is resurrection. And there is NO future. Is there tomorrow? While making love to your woman, are you thinking of the tomorrow? what you are going to do tomorrow? Then you are not with the woman and you are not in love either. All thinking stops — that’s the joy of love! That’s why I say that sex and samadhi are joined together. Sex is the lowest rung, samadhi is the highest rung, of the same ladder. They belong to the same ladder — sex the lowest rung, samadhi the highest rung. But the ladder is the same. There is an affinity.
Man got the idea of samadhi from two things: sex and sleep. Deep sleep is also on the same ladder. Man became alert to the phenomenon of samadhi, became excited, intrigued, by the phenomena of love and sleep — because in both these moments, time disappears, time stops, mind stops, thinking no longer functions — and because thinking no longer functions and time stops, there is such ecstasy and such joy. Then man became intrigued: Is it possible to attain this joy without falling into sleep?
— because in sleep it happens, but you are not aware of it; it is very uncon-scious. Only in the morning do you hear the distant sound of it, or the later effects. If you slept deeply in the night, in the morning you feel renewed, rejuvenated — but you had not been there exactly while it was happening. What was it?
In sex, you are more aware, but then the sex moment is so small that rather than satisfying you it leaves you very much frustrated. The greater the experience of love, the greater will be the frustration that comes in its wake. Remember: only great lovers are frustrated with love; ordinary lovers are not frustrated with love — because the higher the peak, the greater will be the fall. And the peak exists only for a single moment. It comes and it is gone… it is like lightning. And when the peak is gone, you have known the taste of it and now NOTHING will taste better and everything will look ordinary compared to it, and everything will look mundane. You have experienced something of the sacred. You have experienced something of God — God flashed like lightning, but you could not catch hold of His face, you could not figure it out, how He looks, and He was gone. It was so fast and so sudden.
Man became interested: Is it possible to prolong that experience? Is it possible to remain in that ex-perience a little longer? Is it possible to go into it a little deeper? Is it possible to have that experience without moving into sex? — because sex by its very nature depends on the other. It is a kind of dependence, and all kinds of dependence destroy your freedom. That’s the eternal fight between the lovers. They are giving something to each other which is immensely valuable, but mixed with poison. They cannot live separately and they cannot live together. If they are separate they start missing the joy that was happening through the other; if they are together, the poison is too much — and one starts thinking: Is the joy worth it? Because you have to depend on the other! When you depend on the other, your freedom is destroyed, your freedom becomes defined, confined, limited. You cannot open yourself as you would like to open. You have always to look to the other and the other’s feelings. You feel prevented, hindered. And the other starts possessing you, the other starts becoming powerful over you — because the other knows that it is through him or her that you feel joy.
Man started looking for the same experience without becoming dependent on the other. Then, if it depends only on sexual experience, it cannot last forever. You can have sex once in a while — and what about the other times? All other times you will remain dull and dead. Is it possible to have that joy continuously, as a continuum, like a river flowing always? These were the speculations of man, but they came from sleep and love. In love sometimes it happens, and that is the moment which is called orgasm. If time stops, if thinking stops, and you are UTTERLY herenow, it is orgasmic. This orgasmic experience will give you the taste. I cannot define it, but I can indicate ways how to feel it.
IF YOU HAVE SOME AESTHETIC SENSE, then some aesthetic experience will give you the taste. Seeing a sunset, if you have the heart of a painter, the heart stops; you start missing beats. The sun is setting, just falling and falling… and a moment more and it will be gone. And all that colour in the clouds, and all that sublime beauty! And the birds returning back to their homes, and the silence settling on the earth, and the trees getting ready to go to bed, and the whole of nature saying goodbye to the sun…. If you have the aesthetic heart, if you are a poet or a painter or a musician, if you know what beauty is, if YOU ARE affected by beauty, not so-so but tremendously, if beauty gives you awe — then you will know what herenow is.
Or listening to music it happens sometimes. There is nothing more meditational than music. Or if you can play some instrument yourself, then it is far better — because Listening you remain on the periphery; playing you are at the centre. If playing some instrument — playing a flute or sitar or guitar — and you are LOST into it, absolutely lost into it, time stops, mind is no more there, a Buddha moment arrives, and you know what herenow is. Or if you can dance — which seems to me the most profound experience — if you can dance and dance so deeply that the dancer disappears, only the dance remains, then again YOU will be herenow…
A Zen Master was dying and the disciples had gathered. And his whole life he had been talking about herenow — that’s what Masters have been doing down through the ages. The disciples asked again, “Master, you are leaving us and we will be left in darkness. Is there any last message so that we can cherish it and remember it forever? We will keep it as a sacred memory in our hearts.”
The Master opened his eyes… at that moment on the roof of his hut, a squirrel ran making noise — TIT TIT, TEEVEE, TIT TIT — and the Master raised his hand and said, “THIS IS IT!” and died.
What is he saying “This is it”? He is simply indicating. He-is simply saying there is nothing to say — there is much to see, but there is nothing to say.
You ask: DOES THOUGHT FOR MY PART OF IT?
No, thought cannot form part of it. It is asking: Does darkness form part of light? Just like that. Darkness cannot form part of light. When light is present, dark-ness is absent; when light is absent, darkness is present — they never meet. So is the state of mind and herenow — they never meet.
Herenow means no-mind. No-mind means no thought. And you know it! Many times it happens to you: there are moments, small, but they ARE there, when you suddenly see no thought stirring in you, no ripple arising — those are Buddha moments! You just have to get more in tune with them, you just have to get deeper into them, you just have to change your emphasis.
For example, you read a book. Naturally, you read the words printed on the paper; you don’t see the paper. The paper remains in the background. The words written with the black ink, they are the figure, and the white paper is the background. You may not even see the white paper while you are reading — although it is there! Without it, those words -cannot exist; they exist because of it, against it, in contrast to it…Just change the emphasis. Start looking at the white paper rather than at the black dot — and that brings great revolution.
When two thoughts are moving in you, between the two thoughts there is a gap, an interval, a pause. When two-words move-in you, between these two words there is a gap again. Just look-into the gaps more; become negligent of the words — look at the gaps. Just standing on the road, try one experiment: you are standing on the road and cars are passing; maybe it is an international car rally and cars are passing. One car has gone, another car has gone, another car, but between two cars there are gaps… the road remains empty. Just change the emphasis! Just change the gestalt, as the Germans would like to say — change the gestalt, change the pattern. Start looking between one gap and another gap. Rather than thinking one car has passed, another car has passed, another car has passed, start looking at the one gap that has passed, another gap, another gap — forget about the cars, start counting the gaps, how many gaps are passing. And you will be surprised — -so many gaps are passing and you had never seen them before!
Just a change of emphasis: move from the figure to the background. Thoughts are figures, consciousness is the background. Mind consists of figures and no-mind is the background. Just start looking into the gaps. Fall in love with the intervals! Go deeper into them, search more into them — they have real secrets in them. The mystery is hidden there. It is not in the words that pass in your mind; those words are trivia, impressions from the outside. But see on what they pass, those ripples; look into that consciousness. And it is infinite. It is your being. THAT consciousness is called no-mind. That is the meaning of the English expression ‘reading between the lines’. Read between the lines and you will become a wise man. Read the lines and you will become an ugly scholar, a pundit, a parrot, a computer, a memory — a mind. Read between the lines and you will become a no-mind. And no-mind is herenow.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind
Chapter title: Love is a Resurrection
January 1978 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Herenow, consciousness, nomind, Samadhi’ 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 4
- The First Principle
- Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1, 2
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
- Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
- The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1, 2
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 3
- Nansen: The Point of Departure
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2, 3, 7, 10
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1,