Mind is the great deceiver

Beloved Osho,

When things become difficult for me I take refuge in the here and now. In the moment all is still, and it is the only way for me to stand on the razor’s edge. And yet a doubt comes in that I am escaping what is really happening: I may simply be wearing blinkers. Beloved, please help me understand which is true.

Never listen to the mind. Mind is the great deceiver. If you are feeling silent and still in the present moment, that experience is so valuable that mind has no authority to judge it. Mind is far below it.

Mind is always of the past or about the future. Either memory or imagination, it knows nothing of the present. And all that is, is in the present.

Mind is a beggar. It goes on hoping that tomorrow things will be better, that the golden age is going to come… or the golden age has passed and there is nothing in the future except darkness. These are the two possibilities for the mind to take. About the present, whatsoever it says is a lie, because it has no experience of it; it has never come into the moment. By its very nature it is either in the past or in the future.

Because the mind has no experience – and cannot have any experience – of the present, don’t listen to it when it comes with any judgment concerning the present moment. And silence is of the present. Joy is of the present. Ecstasy is of the present.

Mind can do only one thing: it can create doubt. It cannot say directly, “What you are experiencing is wrong,” because that much is beyond it, but it can say, “You are escaping from the reality that is past, or the reality that is to come, the future.” It can condemn you as an escapist, saying, “You are afraid of life. Life is big enough; the present moment is too small. Life is vast. Don’t escape from life just to enjoy a momentary silence and joy and peace.” And it looks logical on the surface.

But life consists only of moments; there is no past life, there is no future life. Whenever life is, it is always in the present.

And this is the dichotomy: life is herenow, and mind is never herenow. This is one of the most important discoveries of the East, that mind is absolutely impotent as far as your subjectivity is concerned, as far as your being is concerned.

Mind is perfectly all right with objects, but the moment it comes close to life, it starts doubting even the existence of life. It starts creating philosophies that life is only a by-product.

Materialism is an old philosophy, but one of the most dull and dead. From the charvakas in India, five thousand years past, to Karl Marx, it has repeatedly said the same thing in different languages – that life is a by-product, it has no existence by itself. Man is just a machine, pure matter. Just a certain combination creates the illusion of life and consciousness – they are epiphenomena.

Materialism, to me, seems to be the most unprogressive ideology in the world, because in five thousand years it has not produced a single new argument – the same old rut. But mind feels very happy with it, because then there is no need to bother about meditation – which is a deep fear for the mind, because it is committing suicide as far as the mind is concerned. Then there is no need to be in the present. But you will be missing everything, the whole treasure that existence is ready to bestow upon you.

Whenever you experience something that is beyond mind, mind will create doubt, will argue against it, will make you look embarrassed about it. These are its old techniques. It cannot produce anything of the quality that the present moment creates. In fact mind is not creative at all. All creation in any dimension of life comes from the no-mind – the greatest paintings, the great music, the great poetry – all that is beautiful, all that makes man different from animals, comes from that small moment.

If knowingly you enter into it, it can lead you to enlightenment. If unknowingly, accidentally, it happens, then it still leads to a tremendous silence, relaxation, peace, intelligence. If it is just an accident… you had reached the temple but missed by just one more step. That’s where I think all creative artists, dancers, musicians, scientists, are… just one step more.

The mystic enters to the very core of the present moment and finds the golden key; his whole life becomes a divine rejoicing. Whatever happens, his rejoicing is not going to be affected.

But until you have entered the shrine, even at the very last moment, mind will still try to pull you back: “Where are you going? This is sheer madness! You are escaping from life.”

And mind has never given you any life. It has never given you any taste so that you can see what life is. It has never revealed any mystery. But it is constantly pulling you back, because once you enter the shrine it will be left outside, just where you leave your shoes. It cannot enter into the shrine. It is not in its capacity, its potential.

So be watchful. When the mind says to you that you are escaping from life, say to the mind, “Where is life? What life are you talking about? I am escaping into life, not from life.” Be very alert about the mind because that is your enemy inside you, and if you are not alert, that enemy can sabotage every possibility of growth. Just a little alertness, and mind cannot do any harm.

Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Ch 31, Q 1

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