Birthday of Victor Hugo
IS GOD OVERHEAD IN THE SKY, IN HEAVEN?
God is everywhere. God is everywhereness. God is not a person. You cannot locate him. God is the totality of all beings, of all things. But down the ages man has looked at the sky overhead for God, for a certain reason. The reason is not that God is overhead, the reason is that to search for God we have to go above our heads, that we have to transcend ourselves, that we have to look upwards. Not that God is there, God is everywhere — below you, beside you, behind you, in front of you. But we look up because we are low. We are living in a dark valley, and we look up. This is a kind of inner search. Just as the tree grows upwards, man grows upwards. Man is a kind of tree. But remember always, when the tree grows upwards its roots meanwhile are growing downwards. If the tree only grows upwards it will fall, it will not be able to remain rooted in the soil. The bigger the tree, the deeper it has to go low-wards, downwards. The roots go into the soil and the branches grow into the sky, and there is a great balance. It is almost in proportion. The bigger tree will have bigger roots, and the proportion is almost the same. There is a balance.
If a tree only goes downwards, it will be meaningless; and if a tree only goes upwards, it will not be able to exist. That’s what has happened to humanity. A few people live only downwards: in sexuality, in food, in the body — in the lower centres. They go on spreading their roots. Their life becomes meaningless, because meaning arises only when you start rising upwards. The higher you go, the more meaning, the more significance, because there is more light. Clouds become available to you, and the sun and the moon and the stars, and life starts taking the shape of poetry. Life starts becoming a song. You can sway and dance into the sky, and you can whisper with the stars, and you can love the wind and the rains, and you can have a dialogue with the sun — with the source of life and light. Roots remain dismal, sad, dark, lost into the soil. If a tree has only roots and no branches, no foliage, no leaves, no flowers, no fruits, how can it be meaningful? It cannot have fulfilment. Fulfilment comes only from fruition, flowering. But if a tree simply goes upwards and forgets to grow its roots, it will fall down; it cannot grow very far. It will be at most seasonal. Flowers will come and within weeks they will be gone. It will be very tentative. There cannot be any eternal significance in it. It will be seasonal..
To be really into existence and into God, one needs this proportion. I bring this proportion to you! That’s why I am not against the body, because the body is your soil. I am not against sexuality, because that is where your roots have to grow and become strong. It is there where your roots have to get nourishment, the waters of life. But to stop there is to commit suicide. Take the nourishment from the soil, take the vitality from the body, from sexuality, and then use it for higher purposes, for higher rhythms, for higher harmony. Then bloom. Bloom in meditation, in love, in ecstasy. Then let there be a great rejoicing and a dance. Only then are you a total man. A total man is a balanced man; he is not extremist. So to look for God upwards does not mean that God is overhead, it simply means that if we grow upwards we will have closer contacts with God. Not that God is upwards, God is downwards too. But you will not have a closer contact with God unless you are fulfilled.
In your fulfilment is the experience of God. Don’t seek God. Seek fulfillment and you will find God. Seek God, forget fulfillment, and you will not find God. God cannot come like an accident, God can come as an inner growth. It is something that happens in your innermost core.
But in the old days this metaphor of looking overhead, praying to the sky, became very very rigid. People took it literally. They started thinking God is overhead. That is a natural fallacy. But times have changed; man has come of age. Man is more alert, man is no more childish. Humanity has come a long way since the Vedas and the Talmud: humanity has passed through many stages. It is no more needed to take God and the metaphors associated with him literally. Take them metaphorically. They are metaphors…
You will have to find new words and new metaphors — new language to relate. Let God be your beloved, let God be your friend. If you are a woman, think of God as your lover. If you are a man, think of God as your beloved.
This has also to be understood. There have been religions — for example, the Sufis — who call God ‘the Beloved . But that is man-oriented, what is a Sufi woman going to call God? If God is taken to be a woman, then what is the Sufi woman going to call him? It will be difficult. In the East the BHAKTAS have called God ‘the Lover’. But then if the man has to call God ‘the Lover’ it becomes difficult: it does not sound right. Something seems missing. There is no need for God to be man or woman. If you are a man, God is a woman; if you are a woman, God is a man. There is no need to have a fixed idea of God. Let the idea of God arise within your soul — whatsoever your need let God be that. So I don’t say who God is — he or she, it depends on you. If you are a he, then he is a she; if you are she, then he is a he, Let God become meaningful to you — personally meaningful, intimate — so that you can hug him, so that you can embrace him, so you can have a love affair with him. Without the love affair, you will never find him…
Victor Hugo has said ‘All the forces in the world are not as powerful as an idea whose time has come.’ And the time for God to become your beloved, your lover, has come. We have tried all other relationships with God. There have been religions which have called him ‘Mother’; there have been religions which have called him ‘Father’; there have been religions which have thought of God as their child. But man now knows that there is only one relationship that goes to the very core; all other relationships are secondary. A child is born to you because you loved a woman or a man. The relationship of the mother or the father with the child is a secondary relationship. Somebody becomes your father because he loved a woman; somebody becomes your mother because she loved a man. All relationships revolve around the single relationship of love. Love is the shrine, the innermost shrine of the whole temple of relationship.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
I Say Unto You, Vol 2
Chapter title: An Idea Whose Time has Come
5 November 1977 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on notable philosophers Aristotle, Berkeley, Bukharin, Camus, Confucius, Descartes, Feuerbach, Hegel, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Huxley, Jaspers, Kant, Kierkegaard, Marx, Moore, Nietzsche, Plato, Pythagoras, Russell, Sartre, Schiller, Socrates, Voltaire, Wittgenstein and many others in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Hidden Splendor
- The New Dawn
- This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
- Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
- Beyond Enlightenment
- Beyond Psychology
- Light on The Path
- The Discipline of Transcendence
- The Dhammapada
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Darkness to Light
- From Ignorance to Innocence
- The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1
- From Personality to Individuality
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
- Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1