Religion – A goal unto itself
27th January is the birthday of the greatest classical composers of all times, Wolfgang Mozart. Born in 1756 in Salzburg Austria, he was a prodigious child, who started composing music at the age of 5! In his short life of 35 years, he composed over 600 works, many of which are recognised as pinnacles of symphony, opera and concerto music.
Osho has spoken on Mozart in His discourses. Osho says Religion is the highest luxury in human existence. The poor cannot understand the music of Mozart, that does not mean that the music of Mozart should not exist. It only means that the poor should be raised to a situation where he can understand Mozart. I am not saying that a poor man cannot become religious. Individuals can be exceptions – a Kabir, a Nanak – but poor societies cannot be religious till their basic needs are fulfilled. Religion is a very high need. It is as if you are hungry and you are expected to think of listening to beautiful music? When you are hungry you need bread, you don’t need music. Beethoven won’t do and Mozart would be meaningless! When you are hungry, starved, naked, what to do with Picasso and Shakespeare? When your basic needs are fulfilled – your body is healthy, you have a hygienic world to live in, a good house, good clothes, good food, nourished – suddenly you feel that you need something of the aesthetic world – music, art, poetry. You become interested in Picasso and Dali – and a thousand doors open. When your aesthetic needs are also fulfilled, when you are getting bored by Beethoven & Mozart too, then suddenly another door opens – the door of the Buddha, Krishna, Christ. That is the highest need. When every lower need is fulfilled then spirituality arises.
When I say beauty is God, I’m saying there is no God but only beauty. And I am making a distinction between truth and beauty, because truth is more a question of the head, it is more logical, philosophical inquiry. Beauty is of the heart, it is not logical, not philosophical; it is more poetic, more aesthetic, you can feel it but you cannot prove it. You can experience it, but you cannot explain it.
Truth, the very word looks dead, a logical conclusion. Beauty is not a conclusion; it is a sudden revelation. When you see a rose, it is not that you go through a logical solecism, that this is a rose and roses are beautiful so this must be beautiful. The moment you see it, the head stops spinning thoughts; on the contrary, your heart starts beating faster. Something totally different from the idea of truth.
Truth is argumentative. Whenever somebody proves a truth, all that he proves is that he is more logically proficient than his opponent. So, in the whole history of philosophy, every philosopher has been contradicted. 5000 years of philosophy and not a single truth on which all the philosophers agree.
Beauty is a totally different phenomenon. It is not a question of proving it. If you see a woman as beautiful, nobody is going to ask why. About beauty, the question WHY is irrelevant. You need not prove, neither you can! In fact, if the other person is idiotic enough and continues to ask that you will have to prove why this woman is beautiful, you will be at a loss, you cannot prove it because it is something of the heart. And proofs are something of the head.
The experience of religion is just like the experience of beauty, love; it is of the heart. It is not a theology it is not a philosophy; it is more like a poetry, a painting, a sculpture.
It happened Picasso was painting on the sea beach and a man was watching him, almost for two hours he looked from the painting from every angle. And finally, he could not contain his curiosity. He approached Picasso and said, that “Forgive me, I don’t want to intrude into your work. For two hours I have been watching, but I cannot figure out what is the meaning of this painting.” Picasso looked at the man and said, “Have you ever asked what is the meaning of all the stars in the sky? Have you stopped in a garden and asked what is the meaning of all the flowers? What is the meaning of the songs of the birds? And if nobody is answerable for the beautiful sky and the gardens and the birds, why should you torture a poor painter? I don’t know the meaning. I know that what I am doing is tremendously satisfying to me” …
There is no meaning and no goal. A life is in itself sufficient. A goal is needed only when something is not intrinsically valuable. The train has a goal, the machine has a goal. Without the goal, the machine is useless. But love has no goal. It is enough unto itself. And if anybody’s love has goal, remember, there is no love in it; perhaps the man loves the woman because she is rich and old and going to die soon. If there is a motive, any end, it destroys the very phenomenon of love. Love has to be unmotivated, without any goal and without any meaning.
When you hug a friend, have you ever asked, “What is the meaning of hugging?” And you will not find the meaning. And if you can find the meaning, then it is not hugging, it is just pressing each other’s bones unnecessarily. There is something which is beyond meaning, which you cannot express through words. That’s why you are using a gesture. Your hug is a gesture of something which is inexpressible by words, your hug is simply saying, “I would like you to be just part of me. I would like myself to be part of you. It hurts that there is a separation. It hurts that we are two.” Your hug is immensely expressive, but there is no motive in it, no end to it.
Anything that is valuable cannot be a means to some end. Just thinking of it as means is reducing it, utterly destroying its qualities and values. Your interest is the end; if you can get the end without this means, you will discard the means, you will get the end. You have to go through the means because without the means the end is not available, but your eyes are focussed on the end.
Everything that is valuable in life is always a goal unto itself. There is no outside goal. Love, beauty, poetry, painting, dance, music, they don’t have any goal, but they have immense blissfulness, a tremendous ecstasy. You can be drowned in it; you can forget the whole world. Time can stop. Listening to Mozart, if time does not stop that means you are not listening, that simply means you are not capable of listening to Mozart. Looking the paintings of van Gogh, if you are not forgetting the whole world, then you are not looking at the paintings, or you are only seeing the painting but it has not been a heart-felt experience.
Every moment, every single moment; enjoy it so totally that you never have to look back, that you have never to repent that that moment was lost. Squeeze the whole juice of it, because the next moment is not certain, this may be the last moment. The past is gone, the future is uncertain; all that is certain is this moment. And millions of people are losing this moment for a certain goal in the future, certain end to be achieved. I wanted to say through that statement that religion has no goal, not even God.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of interviews with World Press given by Osho in Jesus Grove, Rajneeshpuram, Oregon, USA.
The Last Testament, Vol 2
Chapter title: None
25 August 1985 pm in Jesus Grove
Osho has spoken extensively on ‘art, music, painting, poetry, dance,’ and creative geniuses like Picasso, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali, Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Wagner, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Taansen, Byron, Bhavabhuti, Coleridge, Dinkar, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, John Ruskin, Kalidas, Kahlil Gibran, Keats, Milton, Nijinsky, Omar Khayyam, Shelley, Tagore, Yeats and many more in the course of His talks. More on this subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles: