Seek Wisdom, Seek Purity

26th September is the birthday of the British poet T S Eliot. Born in a traditional upper-class family in Boston US in 1888, Eliot received an elite education and an erudite environment that opened up the world of learning and literature to him from an early age. Studying under world class scholars, his writing talents were nurtured by eclectic influences. He studied Literature at Harvard, Philosophy at Sorbonne and did a brief stint at Oxford as well. He acquired British citizenship at the age of 39 and spent the remainder of his life in England, teaching and writing.

Eliot was influenced by Indian Vedic texts notably the Upanishads as is revealed from his poem The Waste Land. Eliot had studied Indian Philosophy and Sanskrit at Harvard. His most famous collection of poems Four Quartets won him the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 60.

Osho often quotes Eliot’s poetry in His discourses. He has referred to verses from poems such as The Hollow Men, Burnt Norton and Little Gidding (poems from the collection Four Quartets) and many others.

Osho says sometimes in Eliot you will find words which are as beautiful as Buddha’s words, but there is a qualitative difference between them – Eliot is not aware of what he is doing; Buddha is fully aware of what he is doing, of what he wants to do. Each of his statements is deliberate, conscious. But if you start meditating, then from many sources you will be able to recognize, and then even poets start looking like mystics.

Osho say…..

T.S. Eliot has written these beautiful lines:

WHERE IS THE LIFE WE HAVE LOST IN LIVING?
WHERE IS THE WISDOM WE HAVE LOST IN KNOWLEDGE?
WHERE IS THE KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE LOST IN INFORMATION?
THE CYCLES OF HEAVEN IN TWENTY CENTURIES
BRING US FARTHER FROM GOD AND NEARER TO THE DUST.

What has happened to us? Why have we lost sight of God? Not only have we lost sight of God, we declared with Friedrich Nietzsche that God is dead. Why are so many people against God? And even those who are not against are not for, remember; they are neutrals. And those who are for are only formally for, they are not truly for. They can’t commit their lives in the search for God. What has happened to the modern man. One thing has happened: we have been able to become more and more forgetful of death. The great advancement in medical sciences has given us a hope as if we are going to live forever. Medical science has certainly helped us to live a little longer than before, but that simply means a little longer: the same misery, the same desire, the same lust, the same bondage…

It seems very possible now that man may start living more than one hundred years. There are people who think that man can live at least three hundred years very easily. But what is the point? Whether you live seventy years or seven hundred years, you will be the same stupid man. In fact, in seven hundred years your stupidity will grow very much. And if death is postponed for seven hundred years, who cares? It is not going to happen soon… and man does not have that much insight to look that far. We live surrounded by small things. We see only so far, just a little bit ahead, enough to walk. Seven hundred years… that will make religion disappear from the earth, because man is not so intelligent that he can be aware of death if death is postponed for seven hundred years. He is not even intelligent enough to see it after seventy years, not even after seven years.

I have seen people who are seventy and yet not interested in meditation. Strange, very strange. I can’t believe it. A man of seventy is still not interested in meditation? That simply means he has not yet been able to see death, and death is very close. Any moment it can happen. Buddha wants you to remember death continuously. Don’t think that he is a pessimist. Don’t think that he is death-obsessed — no, not at all. He simply wants you to remember death so that the sword of death hanging on you keeps you aware, alert…

Remember death. It is closer than those swords, it is always closer than anything else. You are living surrounded by death, and if this can be remembered, this can become the greatest stimulation for meditation, for awareness. Hence the emphasis. Buddha says: DEATH OVERTAKES THE MAN WHO, GIDDY AND DISTRACTED BY THE WORLD, CARES ONLY FOR HIS FLOCKS AND HIS CHILDREN. DEATH FETCHES HIM AWAY AS A FLOOD CARRIES OFF A SLEEPING VILLAGE. Don’t be a sleeping village; otherwise death will come like a flood and you will be gone.

Be awake, be alert, be mindful… Nobody can save you except your own awareness. KNOW THIS… and don’t only believe in what the awakened ones say. Know this on your own, let it become an existential experience.

KNOW THIS.
SEEK WISDOM, AND PURITY.

Seek the innocence of a child. Drop all your foolish knowledge. All knowledge is foolish.

Remember T.S. Eliot again:
WHERE IS THE LIFE WE HAVE LOST IN LIVING?
WHERE IS THE WISDOM WE HAVE LOST IN KNOWLEDGE?
WHERE IS THE KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE LOST IN INFORMATION?
THE CYCLES OF HEAVEN IN TWENTY CENTURIES
BRING US FARTHER FROM GOD AND NEARER TO THE DUST.

Where is the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge? Knowledge is purely a substitute for wisdom. Knowledge means borrowed from others. Drop all that which you have taken from others. Wisdom is that which grows in your innocence, when you are just like a small child, full of wonder and awe, mystified by existence, knowing nothing, and wisdom arises. Wisdom wells up in your being. Wisdom is not something that comes from the outside, it is your inner growth. KNOW THIS. SEEK WISDOM, AND PURITY. QUICKLY CLEAR THE WAY. And whatever hinders the way for the wisdom to arise, quickly clear it. Remove knowledge, information, remove all your egoistic trips. Remove desires, remove memories, imaginations, remove the whole mind. Become a no-mind. That is purity, and in that purity wisdom blooms. In the lake of that innocence the lotus of wisdom opens up, and that is the only possible way to be free, to have freedom — ultimate, total.

Source:

This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.

Discourse series: The Dhammapada : The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 8
Chapter #3
Chapter title: Freedom has to be earned
23 December 1979 am in Buddha Hall

References:

Osho has spoken on eminent poets and philosophers like Aristotle, Byron, Camus, Descartes, Dostoevsky, D.H. Lawrence, Gorky, H.G. Wells, Hegel, Huxley, Kahlil Gibran, Kalidas, Kant, Tolstoy, Milton, Nietzsche, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Rumi, Shakespeare, Tagore and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Guest
  2. Come Follow to You Vol.1,2,4
  3. Beyond Enlightenment
  4. Beyond Psychology
  5. The Hidden Splendour
  6. The Wisdom of the Sands Vol.1-2
  7. The Invitation
  8. The Secret
  9. The Rebel

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