Secrets of Life
Osho on Life
HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
THERE ARE NO SECRETS IN LIFE. Or you can say: life is an open secret. Everything is available, nothing is hidden. All that you need is just eyes to see.
It is like a blind man asking: “I want to learn the secret of light.” All that he needs is treatment of the eyes so that he can see. Light is available, it is not a secret. But he is blind — for him there is no light. What to say about light? For him there is not even darkness — because even to see darkness eyes are needed. A blind man cannot see darkness. If you can see darkness you can see light; they are two aspects of the same coin. The blind man knows nothing of darkness and nothing of light. Now he wants to learn the secrets of light. We can only help him, not by teaching him great truths about light — they will be useless — but by operating on his eyes.
That’s exactly what is being done here.
This is an operation theater. The moment you become a Sannyasin you are getting ready for the operation table, and you have to pass through many surgical operations. That’s what all the therapies are. And if you survive all the therapies, then I am there finally to finish you off! The moment the ego disappears, all the secrets are open secrets.
Life is not like a fist; it is an open hand. But people enjoy the idea that life has secrets — hidden secrets. Just to avoid their blindness they have created the idea of hidden secrets, of esoteric knowledge which is not available to anybody, or is available only to great adepts who live in Tibet or in the Himalayas, or who are no more in their bodies, who live only in astral bodies and appear only to a few chosen people. And all kinds of nonsense has been perpetuated down the ages for the simple reason that you want to avoid seeing, recognizing the simple fact of your blindness. Rather than saying, “I am blind,” you say, “Life’s secrets are very hidden; they are not easily available. You will need great initiation.”
Life is not esoteric at all. It is written on each leaf of each tree, on each pebble on the seashore; it is contained in each ray of the sun — whatever you come across is life in all its beauty. And life is not afraid of you, so why should it hide itself? In fact, you are hiding, continuously trying to hide yourself. You are closing yourself against life because you are afraid of life. You are afraid to live — because life requires a constant death. One has to die every moment to the past. That is a great requirement of life — simple if you understand that the past is no more. Slip out of it, snap out of it! It is finished. Close the chapter, don’t go on carrying it! And then life is available to you.
But you remain in the past; the past goes on hanging around you, the hangover never ends. And rather than coming to the present, the hangover of the past pushes you towards the future. So either you are in the memories or you are in your imagination. These are the two ways to miss life; otherwise there is no need to miss life. Just drop out of memories and out of imagination.
Past is no more, future is not yet; both are non-existential. All that exists is the present, the now. Now is God. Enter the doors of the now and all is revealed — instantly revealed, immediately revealed.
Life is not a miser: it never hides anything, it does not hold anything back. It is ready to give all, totally and unconditionally. But you are not ready.
And Rabindra, you ask: HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
It is not a question of learning; it is more a question of unlearning. You have already learned too much: the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, the Koran, the Bible, the Talmud. Thousands of scriptures are there inside you, clamoring, making noise, fighting with each other; all kinds of ideologies constantly trying to attract your attention. Your mind is a mess! It is overcrowded, it is a multitude. Unlearn! All that you have accumulated up to now as knowledge, unlearn it.
Zen people are right when they say: NOT KNOWING IS THE MOST INTIMATE. Unlearning is the process that can bring you to that beautiful space of not knowing. And then observe. Observe life without any knowledge interpreting it.
You have become so accustomed to interpretation.
The moment you see the sunset, immediately, habitually, you repeat words that you have heard from others: “What a beautiful sunset!” You don’t mean anything by it; you are not even looking at the sunset. You have not allowed it to penetrate to your heart. You are not feeling any wonder. You are not in a state of awe. You have not fallen on your knees. You are not looking with unblinking eyes, absorbing. Nothing of that. Just a casual remark: “What a beautiful sunset!” Just a way of speaking, a mannerism, showing that you are cultured, sophisticated, that you know what beauty is, that you have a great aesthetic sense, that you have great sensitivity towards nature. You are not looking at the sunset. Have you ever looked at the sunset? If you had looked you would not have asked this question; the sunset would have told you all. Have you ever looked at a roseflower? Yes, you say, “It is beautiful!” You may repeat the famous saying: “A rose is a rose is a rose,” but you are not seeing the rose. You are full of words, all kinds of jargon — poetic, philosophic — but between you and the roseflower there is such a wall, a China Wall. Behind that wall you are hiding.
And you are asking: HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
And life goes on utterly nude, utterly naked, absolutely available. All that is required is a not-knowing state, an empty space which can absorb it, which can receive it. Only when you are in a state of not knowing are you a host, and then life becomes a guest. Just observe, with no evaluation. Don’t say “good,” don’t say “bad”; don’t say “beautiful,” don’t say “ugly.” Don’t say anything at all! Without saying anything, without bringing your mind in, just watch with utterly empty eyes, like a mirror. Reflect the moon, the stars, the sun, the trees, the people, the animals, the birds. And life will pour itself into your being. And it is an inexhaustible source of energy. And energy is delight.
William Blake is right when he says: Energy is delight. And when life pours its energy into your being it rejuvenates you, it revitalizes you; you are constantly reborn.
A real, alive person is born again and again every MOMENT. He is fresh, he is always young. Even when he dies he is fresh and young. Even in the moment of death, life is pouring more and more energy into him. His way of approaching life — without mind — helps him to see not only life but death too. And when you are able to see life, you are able to see death. And to see death means there is no death; all is life, and eternal, beginningless, endless. And you are part of this infinite celebration.
Just watch, be alert, and function from a state of innocence. Your question seems to be knowledgeable.
You say: HOW CAN I LEARN THE SECRETS OF LIFE?
You are still asking like a student, a schoolboy. Life is ready every moment to embrace you. YOU are hiding away from life because you are afraid. You want life on your terms. You want life to be Hindu or Mohammedan or Christian, and life cannot do that. You want life according to the Gita or the Koran, and life cannot do that.
Don’t put conditions on life. Putting conditions on life is ugly, violent, stupid. Remain unconditionally open…and suddenly some bells in your heart start ringing, in tune with the whole. A music arises, a melody is born. You are no more separate as a learner, as a knower. Finally you are not even separate as an observer; the observer and the observed become one ultimately. That is the moment of enlightenment, of Buddhahood, when you are part of this whole, an intrinsic part, inseparable. Then you ARE life — what is the need to learn anything? You ARE it; you are not separate from it. Who is going to learn and about what? You are life. Then experiencing arises: not knowing but experiencing, not knowledge but wisdom…
Just observe. Nothing is hidden — just observe. And slowly slowly you will start going with life. Slowly slowly you will not remain separate, you will follow life. And
To follow life is to be religious. Not to follow Christ, not to follow Buddha, but to follow life is to be religious.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Ah, This!
Chapter title: Try it My Way
8 January 1980 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘Life, light, energy, celebration, enlightenment’ 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
- The Last Testament
- The Osho Upanishad
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1, 2
- The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1, 2
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2, 5, 8, 9
- Sermons in Stones
- Beyond Enlightenment
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Om Mani Padme Hum
- The Great Zen Master Ta Hui