Birthday of German Philosopher Fichte
Born on 19 May 1972, Johann Gottlieb Fichte was a German philosopher, patriot, and a dedicated follower of Immanual Kant’s work. He is considered to be the founding figure of a philosophical movement known as German idealism which is based on Kant’s writings and ideologies. Fichte published his reaction to Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason (1788) in his book Science of Knowledge (1794). Fichte believed self-awareness to be a social phenomenon and talked about ego, rationality, and practical reason.
Fichte was forced out his college due to his philosophy and belief in atheism. He believed that morality and living itself is God, and no person can achieve God otherwise. Some of his works with the idea of morality and self-awareness include Foundations of the Entire Science of Knowledge, The Vocation of Man, and Foundations of Natural Right. Fichte was a also a political writer and is considered one of the founding fathers of German nationalism through his book titled Addresses to German Nation.
Osho mentions Fichte, “Now the West has not yet understood what it is all about, but Zen has an appeal for the simple reason because it is very absurd, illogical, paradoxical. And the West has become fed up with logical philosophies — with Kant, Hegel, Fichte, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein — it has become fed up. From Aristotle to Wittgenstein, two thousand years of logical thinking has not led anywhere except to a point where West feels that life is absolutely meaningless and accidental. Now this is the right situation for any illogical philosophy to become fashionable.”
AUM represents the music of existence, the soundless sound, the sound of silence, when your whole being hums with joy. Aum represents the ultimate harmony, what Heraclitus calls “the hidden harmony”. To become one with this music of existence is to attain flowering, fulfillment.
The moment you lose your discord with the whole, the moment you are in tune with the whole — attunement simply means “at-onement” — when you are one with the whole, every fiber of your being, every cell of your being dances, for no reason at all. It is the dance for dance’s sake, joy which is uncaused, hence it is eternal — joy which is unmotivated, joy which is not dependent on anything. It is your intrinsic, natural music, your spontaneity.
All the Upanishads begin with this remembrance:
THAT IS THE WHOLE.
THIS IS THE WHOLE.
THAT represents the innermost core of THIS. It is called THAT because it is not known to you yet. Those who know, for them there is only this and no that, or only that and no this. The duality disappears, but for the blind the duality is there. Everything is dual, if you are not fully aware — divided. This means that which you can see and that means which is invisible. This is the wheel and that is the axle. The wheel moves on the axle but the axle moves not. All movement depends on something unmoving: all change depends on something eternal, time depends on timelessness. Birth and death happen into something which is never born and never dies.
This represents all that is known to the unenlightened and that which is known when you become enlightened. When you are full of light you have clarity, perception, transparency; you can see through and through. In that vision, this starts melting into that; the circumference disappears into the center. The center is naturally hidden, it is bound to be hidden; only the circumference is available to the senses. You can see only the surface, you cannot see the depths. If you go to the ocean you can see only the surface and the surfacial turmoil; you cannot see the depth. To see the depth you will have to dive deep, and as far as the ultimate that is concerned, only diving deep won’t do: you will have to dive so deep that you disappear totally, become one with it. In that oneness God is realized.
The people who go on arguing about God, know nothing about God. Those who know, they cannot argue about God. Yes, their very presence is a proof, their very existence radiates the ultimate, their “thisness” is overflowing with “thatness”, but they cannot prove logically, intellectually the existence of God. God is not an object, hence it cannot be put before you. It cannot be made a collective experience. That’s why science goes on denying God, and science WILL go on denying God because science depends on collective observation; it believes only in that which can observed by everybody. It believes in the rock because the rock can be watched by everybody; everybody can agree that it exists.
The word “object” is significant; “object” means that which hinders. If you try to pass through a wall you will be hit hard by the wall. The wall is an object: it objects your passing through it. You cannot pass through a rock — it objects, it prevents, it hinders. God is not an object — you can pass through God, you are passing through God every moment. You are breathing God; your very heartbeat is God’s heartbeat. But God is so close… even the word “close” is not right. because the word “close” or “closeness” shows distance. This fan is close to me, but it is separate. This microphone is even more closer, but still it is separate. The body is even more closer, but it is still separate. God is inseparable with you; hence even the word “closeness” is not right.
God is your very being, your very consciousness. It cannot be an object, it cannot prevent you; it helps you, it nourishes you. It is your subjectivity. Because it is your innermost core it remains hidden even from yourself — unless you take a one-hundred-eighty-degree turn, unless you recoil upon yourself.
You must have seen the symbol — a very ancient symbol and very significant too — of a snake eating its own tail. Many ancient mystery schools used that symbol; it is certainly very indicative. The snake eating its own tail means one-hundred-eighty-degree turn. The snake is turned upon itself, the consciousness has recoiled upon itself. And the snake has represented in almost all the cultures of the world wisdom. Jesus says: Be ye as wise as a snake. And in the East snake, the serpent, has symbolized the inner energy of man, kundalini; hence it is called serpent power. The energy is coiled at the lowest center of your being; when it uncoils, the snake starts rising upwards. It simply represents that there is something in the snake which can be used as a metaphor. The snake can catch hold of its own tail; the dog cannot do it. Dogs try — you must have seen dogs trying — and the more they try, the more crazy they go, because the tail goes on jumping with them. They think it is something separate. They try to catch hold of it, and when they cannot catch hold of it… of course they try desperately, but the more they try the more they are at a loss. Only the snake can do it, no other animal.
The same happens in enlightenment: your energy starts moving upon itself, it becomes a circle.
God is your subjectivity; you cannot find God anywhere else. But once you have found God within you, you will find him everywhere else too.
All the arguments are stupid, and these arguments are really childish. Whatever proofs have been given of God are so childish that one wonders what these theologians were doing. They prove by their arguments only one thing: that they were fools! God is an experience, unprovable, because your senses cannot reach him. If God was an object, your senses will be able to reach. God is not a thought either, hence your mind cannot grasp it. But we have made God an object; statues have been created. Those statues are objects; they are made of stone or wood or some other material. And to make God an object is the greatest blasphemy because God is subjectivity. You are changing the whole idea of God; you are reducing it into a thing. God is not a thing.
That’s why Gautam the Buddha calls God “nothingness”. Remember, when he uses the word “nothingness” he means “no-thingness” — he does not negate. He is not saying there is no God; the word “nothing” simply means it is not a thing. And the temples and the churches, they have all made God a thing, even though there may not be any statue — in the mosques there are no statues. But people are praying to God as if he is THERE, not deep in your own consciousness but somewhere else. It is the same! — whether you are bowing down to a statue or to a God somewhere above the clouds, still it is an object. WHOM YOU are praying?
Your prayer means that you have accepted the idea of God’s separateness from you — he has to be prayed. You are the prayer and he is the prayed. You are the praiser and he is the praised. The separation is accepted, and that is irreligiousness.
But people go on fighting on each and everything. In fact, they want to fight; fight seems to be their joy. Then God is one of the most beautiful excuses to fight because it can never be conclusively decided.
In a one-horse town in front of the general store two men were fighting. A ten year-old boy was among the spectators who were enjoying the battle. A stranger came along and asked the youngster what was going on.
“My father and a man are having a real fight,” explained the boy.
“Which one is your father?” the stranger asked.
“That,” said the boy, “is what they are fighting about!”
And this is what religious people have been doing for centuries. They think they are creating great philosophical ideas. Professors of philosophy and professors of theology don’t know anything about themselves, but they are trying to prove that their idea of God is true. They themselves live in absolute unconsciousness. If they were not unconscious they will not argue about God; they will LIVE God, they will RADIATE God. God would be their fragrance, their presence.
An absent-minded professor of philosophy was going out to dinner one evening with his wife.
“I don’t like that tie you have on,” she said. “I wish you would go upstairs and put on another.”
The professor quietly obeyed. Minute after minute passed until finally the impatient wife went upstairs to see what had happened. In his room she found her husband undressed and getting into bed.
Old habit! The moment he took out his tie he thought the time has come to go to bed. And these are the people who go on proposing great systems of thought. Immanuel Kant has created one of the greatest philosophical systems in the world, and he himself was such an unaware man that it seems almost impossible how a man can be so unaware. There are thousands of anecdotes about his life. One day he came home after his evening walk… He was a very regular person in his habits, in his routines. He never got married for the simple reason that the woman may disturb his pattern. He never allowed any friendship because then you have to be polite to the friends. And if you want to go to bed and your friend is sitting, just out of etiquette, mannerism, you have to go on talking. And he was such a mechanical man that at exactly nine — and nine meant nine, not a minute before, not a minute after — he will go to bed. He never married for the simple reason because women are illogical and they won’t understand, and there will be unnecessary quarrels.
He kept a servant, and the servant used to declare only time. There was no need to say anything, he will simply come and say, “Sir, it is nine,” and he will jump into the bed.
The servant was puzzled that it was almost ten in the night and his light was still on, so he went to have a look what has happened. He looked from the window and he could not believe his eyes: he was standing in a corner of the room with closed eyes, and his walking stick was Lying on the bed! When he came after the walk he forgot who is who — just a little confusion! And it was nine o’clock so there was no time even to think about the matter, to figure it out, who is who. He was in such a hurry!
The servant came in, shook him and asked, “What is the matter? What are you doing?”
And he said, “I was also thinking what is the matter — because I am feeling very tired! Now I know what is the matter.” When he saw the walking stick on the bed resting, then he realized.
And these people have created great systems of thought, and they talk about God and they talk about truth and they talk about love and they talk about beauty. And they define what is virtue and what is sin. So unconscious!
In the East we have a totally different approach. You cannot think such a phenomenon with a Gautam Buddha or with an Upanishadic seer, because the whole approach is of being more and more conscious. One has to be a flame of consciousness, one has to be alert and aware. On one hand is Immanuel Kant, on other hand is Gautam Buddha. His chief disciple Ananda, who lived with him for forty years and served him with great love… He used to watch him in every possible way, because he was continuously following him like a shadow, and each of his movements was beautiful, it was a grace. He was also watching him when he was asleep because he used to sleep in the same room in case the Master needs him in the night, he used to watch him while he was asleep. Awake or asleep, his grace was the same, his beauty was the same, his silence was the same.
One day he asked Buddha that, “I should not ask such questions — it looks so stupid — but I cannot contain my curiosity. You sleep, but I have watched you for hours. Sometimes in the middle of the night I wake up and watch you, sometimes just before you get up early in the morning I watch you, but my experience has been such that it seems to me that you are still awake even while asleep. You look so alive, so fresh! And one thing more — you never change your posture. You go to sleep and you wake up in the same posture. What is the secret of it?”
Buddha said, “There is no secret in it. The BODY goes to sleep; once you are awake you are awake! — whether it is day or night makes no difference, the inner flame goes on burning. The body goes to sleep because the body gets tired, and now there is no mind any more so no question of the mind arises at all.” There are only two things.
In the unenlightened person there are three things: the body, the mind, the soul. And because of the mind he cannot see the soul. The mind is a turmoil, a chaos; it is all smoke, it is all clouds. The enlightened has no mind; there is only silence. So he has the body and he has the soul. The body tires, needs rest, but the soul is never tired, needs no rest; it is always awake. The body is always asleep and the soul is always awake. The nature of body is to be unconscious and the nature of the soul is to be conscious. These are intrinsic qualities. Once the mind is no more there, then even in your sleep only the body sleeps, not you. In the East we have called these people religious: those who have known such awakening which cannot be clouded by any sleep any more. The West has been thinking about Kant and Hegel and Fichte and Bertrand Russell and Nietzsche and Wittgenstein — these people, as if they are great explorers of truth. They are thinkers. And remember always, only a blind man thinks about light The man who has eyes knows it: he need not think about it. These are blind people — howsoever clever they are in argumentation but they are blind.
The Upanishad belongs to the seers. It expresses that which is experienced in the ultimate accord where you are no more a separate entity from the whole, when the dewdrop slips from the lotus leaf and becomes the ocean.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: I Am That
Chapter title: Bound in Deep Togetherness
15 October 1980 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on notable Psychologists and philosophers like Adler, Jung, Sigmund Freud, Assagioli, Wilhelm Reich, Aristotle, Berkeley, Confucius, Descartes, Feuerbach, Hegel, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Huxley, Jaspers, Kant, Kierkegaard, Laing, Marx, Moore, Nietzsche, Plato, Pythagoras, Russell, Sartre, Socrates, Wittgenstein and many others in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Hidden Splendour
- The Wild Geese and the Water
- This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
- Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
- Beyond Enlightenment
- Beyond Psychology
- Dang Dang Doko Dang
- The Discipline of Transcendence
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- 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