The First Principle 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The First Principle by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The official, Riko, once asked Nansen to explain to him the old problem of the goose in the bottle.
“If a man puts a gosling into a bottle,” said Riko, “and feeds him until he is full grown, how can the man get the goose out without killing it or breaking the bottle?”
Nansen gave a great clap with his hands and shouted, “Riko!”
“Yes, master,” said the official with a start.
“See,” said Nansen, “the goose is out!”
“I do not seek, I find,” says Pablo Picasso. And I say to you that you need not seek, because if you seek, you will never find it. And you need not find it also, because if you find it, it will not have been found at all.
Seeking means the truth is not, and you have to seek it. Seeking means the truth is hidden, and you have to seek it. Seeking means the truth is far away, distant, and you have to journey to it. And truth is herenow. No pilgrimage is needed; one has not to go anywhere. Truth is not there and truth is not then. Truth is here and now, so all seeking is going astray.
Seek, and you will not find, because in the very seeking you have missed the point; you have missed the first principle. In the very effort, you have gone away from the truth.
Seeking is a desire. With the desire, the mind comes in. The mind is nothing but desire. Seeking is in the future, and the future is not. Truth is always present, always present. Truth is always now; there is no other way for truth to be. You cannot say about truth, “Truth was,” and you cannot say about truth, “Truth will be.” That will be absolutely wrong. Truth is, and it is always so, and it will be always so, and it has always been so. Truth is.
How can you seek that which is? One seeks that which is not yet. Seeking is in the future. Seeking assumes that it is not here. You seek money, you seek power, you seek prestige, you seek heaven. But how can you seek truth? That’s why, let me repeat: seeking, you go astray. Seeking, you become a victim of desire. Seeking, the mind becomes predominant. Seeking, the secondary becomes primary, and the primary is lost track of.
And I say: if you find it, you have not found it at all. Because if you remain to find it, then it cannot be truth. Truth is found only when you are not. When truth is, you are not. You cannot both be present together. You are the greatest lie there is. If you are still there, then you will go on missing the truth. The very presence of you functions as a barrier. “I” cannot find. When the “I” is not there, it is found.
That’s why I say Picasso’s statement is a half-truth. Half of it is true: “I do not seek.” But the half is untrue when he says, “I find.” It looks almost Zen like, but it is not. A half-truth is more dangerous than a plain lie, because you can see the lie as the lie sooner or later, but the half-truth can go on pretending to be the whole truth. At least it appears like the truth. Many have been deceived by Picasso’s statement. It is almost Zen, “I do not seek, I find.”
If he had said, “I do not seek, and it is found,” it would have been Zen. If the “I” remains, then truth will remain clouded. The “I” functions as a cloud, and the sun goes behind. The “I” functions as darkness, as a vale of darkness. The “I” is very noisy, and the voice of truth is very small, still. If the “I” is there beating its drums, then it is almost impossible to hear the whispering of truth.
Yes, truth is a whisper. You feel it only when you are absolutely not. In your absence it is present.
So this is the whole thing. If you are present, truth is absent; if you are absent, truth is present. To be absent is all that meditation is. To be absent is all that is involved in meditation.
How to become absent? How not to be? Yes, “To be or not to be” is the question. And ordinarily we decide to be. The moment we decide to be, samsara. The moment we decide not to be, nirvana. Yes, that is the basic question that encounters every human being, “To be or not to be.” A buddha decides not to be.
And the paradox is that those who decide not to be become true, and those who decide to be become a lie. The lie can persist, you can go on feeding it.
Truth is, just is, only is. Seeking, you miss it. Seeking, you have started looking somewhere else. Seeking, you don’t look here. Seeking, your eyes are turned upward toward the sky. That’s why whenever we think of God, we look upward toward the sky. It is very significant. God is far away, sitting in the seventh heaven, up. It is a long journey; only very rare people can do it, saints, mahatmas, ascetics. All nonsense.
God is where you are right now. Not in the seventh heaven, but within you. But about those seven heavens, the metaphor of seven is beautiful. God is not in the seventh heaven somewhere, but is hidden behind seven layers of lies. There is a very strange incident in Bodhidharma’s life, the founder of Zen. It is said that Bodhidharma collapsed seven times and arose eight times, when he realized enlightenment. Collapsed seven times and arose eight times. Very significant. Those are the seven layers of the ego, the seven layers of the “I.” Each “I” will help you to collapse. And if you cannot rise eight times, that means, if you cannot rise at least one time without the ego, you will not attain.
So the whole question is not that the truth is very far. It is very close, very, very close. It is in you, it is you, it is your intrinsic nature, it is your dharma. That is the first principle, but somehow, seeking you have missed it.
You have been seeking for many lives. A seeker you have been. Non-seeking will reveal it.
That’s why I say that seeking, you go astray. Seeking, you go into dreams. How can you seek God? You have not known. How can you seek the unknown? You have never seen. How can you seek the unseen? Even if God comes across you, you will not be able to recognize him, because recognition is possible only if you have experienced him before. And you have not experienced him. He may have come across you many times in your life, and you will go on missing, because how will you recognize him?
It is impossible to seek the unknown. Then what do you do? First you create a dream about the unknown, and you start seeking the dream. The Hindu has one dream of God, the Mohammedan has another dream, the Christian has still another, but those are all dreams. The Christian will attain his dream. That is the misery, because if you persist too much, your dream will start becoming almost a reality. If you pour your energy into your dream too much, then your dream will start becoming a reality. You will convert it into a reality. But it is not reality, it is still a dream.
The fight between Hindus, Mohammedans, and Christians is not the fight about reality. The fight is about their different dreams. Hindus have a certain idea of God, so have others, and they fight. They say, “Our dream is true.” When a Christian meditates deeply, he comes to see Jesus. A Jaina never comes to see Jesus, never. A Buddhist never comes to see Jesus; Jesus never crosses his path. For a Buddhist, Buddha comes on the path. For a Jaina, Mahavira crosses his path. They are their dreams. They are dreams and projections and desires. And if you persist too much, the mind has the faculty to impart reality to the dream.
You do it every day, so it is not something very strange. Every night when you fall asleep you dream, and in the dream you never recognize the fact that it is a dream. In the dream it looks true. In the dream it looks real, howsoever absurd. In the dream you see a dog is walking and suddenly the dog becomes a cat, and you don’t even doubt that it is possible. In the dream you accept even that. Your acceptance, your capacity to believe, is tremendous.
Even the people who think they are skeptical, people who think they are great doubters, logicians, rationalists, even in their dreams all their rationalism is gone and all their doubt disappears. In their dreams they believe absurd things. In the morning when they are awake, they will be amazed, but then it is too late.
Just think of a person who is in a coma. Once, a woman was brought to me who had been in a coma for nine months. Now think, if she is dreaming for nine months, she must be thinking they are realities. A man can be in a coma for nine years, or ninety years, or for nine lives. Then? The dream will look real. In fact, if this woman is awakened out of her coma for one minute and she looks around and falls into her dream again, which will be more real, her dream that has lasted for nine months, or the reality that she saw for one single minute? What will be her conclusion, if she can conclude? She will conclude that she had fallen for one minute into sleep, and she saw a dream and again the dream is gone, so she is awake and her reality continues.
The greatest possibility of the mind and the greatest capacity of the mind is imagination. It lives through imagination. The moment you start seeking truth you are moving in the direction of imagination. What are you seeking?
Zen says there is nothing to seek, because you don’t know what is there. So if you seek, you will miss. Now, this is a very much higher standpoint. Jesus says, “Seek, and you will find.” A very much lower statement, nothing to be compared with Zen. Meaningful, meaningful for those who are starting on the journey, but if you follow Jesus, one day or other, you will understand that by seeking you cannot reach. Jesus was talking to people who were not highly evolved, people who had not even started seeking. He had to teach them. “Seek and you will find. Knock and the door shall be opened unto you. Ask and it shall be given to you.” If you go to a Zen master he will smile, he will say, “Start,” because his statement is a higher statement. When you have sought and you have not found, when you have struggled hard and nothing comes into your hands except dreams, then the Zen master’s approach will become possible, you will be able to understand it. Then he will say, “Seek, and you will not find. Now, please drop seeking. Drop seeking and find it herenow.”
But I am not saying that Jesus is wrong. I am saying it is a beginners’ class. And unless you follow Jesus for a time you will not understand Zen. So Jesus will prepare you, Jesus will help you.
Jesus was talking to the Jews who have been one of the most earthy races in the world. To talk Zen would have been impossible; they would have killed him even earlier. They didn’t allow him much life, only three years of ministry. At the age of thirty he started his work, by thirty-three he was gone. They could not tolerate even a very primary statement about religion. It was not very rebellious, it was not very absurd. It was in tune with the Jewish thinking, but still they could not tolerate it. It was “otherworldly.” He was talking about the world that he calls the Kingdom of God. Jews have been very worldly, that is their success. They are very down to earth, and this man was distracting them. They were seeking money and they were seeking power and prestige, and this man was talking about God. Jesus was trying to change their seeking toward religion. It is religion of the kindergarten class.
Zen people are talking about the highest statement. India’s highest consciousness was transplanted into China, and China’s highest consciousness, Taoism, met with Buddhism. These are two of the greatest flowerings of human consciousness. Never again has humanity reached such a peak as Buddhism, as it reached in Buddha. And never again has it reached anything like Lao Tzu. And just think: Zen is a crossbreeding of Taoism and Buddhism. It is a meeting of Buddha and Lao Tzu. It is a meeting of two of the highest peaks. Naturally Zen goes still higher. Zen goes higher than Buddhism and higher than Taoism, because it contains all that was beautiful in these two cultures: the ancientmost cultures, the longest seekers in the world, who have staked all that they had for their seeking. Zen is the purest flower.
In fact, Zen is not a flower. It is essence, it is fragrance. Even a flower has something gross in it, something of the earth. So remember: when Zen is saying something, it is to be understood at the highest level. Otherwise there will be no understanding about it; you will misunderstand it.
Seeking, you go astray. Seeking, you go into dreams. Seeking, you go somewhere else, and truth is here. Seeking, you go then, and truth is now. Seeking, you are, and seeking, you are too much. The more you seek, the more you feel you are. The harder and more arduous the seeking becomes, the stronger the ego becomes.
Seeking, you are, and seeking, you are too much, and there is no space for the truth to be. You fill the whole space of your being. Seeking, you are closed.
Have you not seen this happening in ordinary life too? A man is suddenly told that his house is on fire. He rushes toward his house from the office or from his shop; he cannot see what is happening in the market, on the road. Somebody says, “Hello,” he cannot hear. Somebody comes and collides with him, but he cannot see who he is, and he will not remember that somebody collided. His whole mind is narrow now. His house is on fire, his mind is concentrated.
Seeking means concentration, and truth is never achieved by concentration. Truth is achieved by meditation. And the difference is vital and the difference is great. You have to understand the difference because ordinarily people who don’t know anything about meditation go on writing books, in which they write that meditation is concentration. Meditation is not concentration. Meditation is just the opposite state of concentration.
When you concentrate, your mind is narrowed down. When you meditate, your mind is widened. When you concentrate, there is an object on which you concentrate. When you meditate, there is no object.
People come to me and they ask, “On what to meditate?” Then they are not asking about meditation, they are asking about concentration. When they come and they say to me, “I cannot concentrate. Osho, can you help me?”… Concentration means you want your mind to cling to something, you want your mind to remain with something. Concentration is a sort of attachment, so whenever your attachment is there you are concentrated.
Your wife is dying and if you are attached to her, you will forget the whole world. Now nothing exists except your dying wife. You will be sitting by her side and you will be concentrated. Your mind will not go here and there.
Or if you are driving a car, and suddenly you see an imminent accident is going to happen – some madman is coming, driving his car madly, and on the turn you see now it is too late, it is going to happen – suddenly you will be concentrated because you are too attached to life. There will be no thoughts any more. Just a moment before, you were thinking to see your girlfriend, a moment before you were thinking to go to the movie tonight, or do this or that. Suddenly all has disappeared, there is no thought in the mind, no object. You are too attached to life. Because of this attachment, all other objects have disappeared. You are concentrated now only on your life, only one thing has remained: your life.
Dostoevsky has written a memoir. He was young and he was a revolutionary, and he was caught by the tzar with twenty other people and they all were sentenced to death. The day came, ditches were dug and they were standing in front of the ditches and a man was getting ready with the machine gun. Everything was ready.
Just close by there is a clock on a church tower, and each moment is passing fast and the life is disappearing. At exactly six o’clock, they will be shot dead. It is ten minutes to six.
You can imagine how concentrated they must have become. Dostoevsky writes, “Never again have I been so concentrated in my life. All else disappeared. I could hear my heart throbbing, I could see my breathing for the first time, I felt my body for the first time. I had never felt my body, never heard my heartbeat, never seen my breath. Everything became simply concentrated, and we could hear the clock moving.
Five minutes, four minutes, three minutes, and the concentration is becoming more and more and more. One minute, and everything else has disappeared.
When life is at stake, only life is in the mind.
And then comes a horseman running, and the tzar has pardoned them. Their death sentence has been converted into a life sentence.
One man, at exactly six o’clock, fell in the ditch. Died without being shot. Must have become so concentrated with the idea of death, he died. Nobody could believe it. The officers ran. He was taken out of the ditch, but he was dead. He believed it; he must have become hypnotized with the idea of death. Death is coming, death is coming, fifteen minutes, death is coming. It was coming for two, three months, now it was closer and closer and closer, and the mind became concentrated. The man fell and died.
Another man shouted, “I am dead.” He became mad. For his whole life he remained shouting, “I am dead. I have died, don’t you know?” He will meet people and say, “Don’t you know? I died on that day. Six o’clock they killed me. I am a ghost.”
Dostoevsky himself could not believe it, because it was unimaginable that the tzar was going to forgive them. But he writes in his memoirs, “Never again was I concentrated, that was the peak of concentration.”
It is not meditation. If it was meditation, then Dostoevsky would have become enlightened. That peak of concentration?
It happens to you when you are studying for an examination. As the examinations come closer, you become more and more concentrated. Just the night before, your mind functions so concentratedly. Once the examination is gone, the mind relaxes again.
Concentration is a mind thing. Meditation is a no-mind thing. Concentration means pouring your whole energy onto one object. Meditation means not pouring your energy onto any object, but just overflowing in all directions.
For example, if you are listening to me you can listen in two ways. You can listen in the wrong way. The wrong way is the way of concentration: you can just remain tense, strained. Or you can listen in a relaxed, let-go way: you can remain relaxed. If you listen in a tense way – that is the meaning of the word attention: with tension, concentration – then you will not listen to the birds singing in the trees. Then you will listen only to me, and everything else will be blocked out, bracketed out. That means only this small voice that is here is in your concentration and the whole existence has been blocked out.
Meditation is just the opposite. Nothing is blocked out, you are open in all directions. You are listening to me, you are listening to the birds also. If the wind blows in the trees and the trees start a murmur, you will listen to that too. And there will be no distraction, remember. You are so open, you listen to me and the bird and the wind, and they all become one. And when you can listen in that way, you have listened to God.
When you listen meditatively, you listen to God. Whatever you listen to, it is God, it is God’s message. He has reached you through the tree, through the wind, through the bird, through me. He is coming from everywhere because he is everywhere. He surrounds you. So when you are open to everything that is happening, to all that is happening, you are herenow; you are in meditation. And this state is a state of non-seeking.
Concentration is part of seeking. When you seek something you become concentrated. When you don’t seek anything you become relaxed. When you seek something and you are concentrated, you are going away from yourself. Your object will be the goal, you forget yourself. Your arrow of consciousness goes only to the object. When you are not going anywhere, where will you be? When you are not going anywhere, you will be where you are, you will be whoever you are. You will be simply relaxing and resting into yourself.
Ashtavakra says, “Rest in yourself, and you will attain all.” Because resting in yourself you will know who you are.
So it is not a question of seeking. Seeking, you are too much. Seeking, you are so arrowed toward something that you don’t see anything else. Your eyes don’t allow all to enter your being, and then there is no space for the truth to be. Seeking, you become a cloud and the sun goes behind. Hence, seeking, there is night and darkness and death.
When you are not seeking there is life, eternal life, and light, and God, or you can choose any name which you prefer. Buddha calls it nirvana. Non-seeking, you have arrived. In fact, you had never gone anywhere else, you were only imagining.

“Tell us, master…” a monk asked Daito.
Daito was a great Zen master.
“Tell us, master, when Shakyamuni Buddha saw the morning star, what did he see?”

In Zen this is the legend, that Buddha was seeking and seeking for six years, then he got tired and fed up with seeking, and one day he dropped seeking too. As one day he had dropped his kingdom, his family, his this world, one day he dropped his other world too. As one day he had become disinterested in the material, a day came when he became disinterested in the spiritual too. And that was the night when he rested in himself because there was nothing to seek. So he slept under a tree, the bodhi tree. That became the most famous tree in the world. He rested under the bodhi tree, slept well. There was no seeking, so there was no dreaming either. The whole night was just a peaceful rhythm, not even a thought, because the material world was gone, the spiritual world was gone. It was an absolute rest into oneself.
By the morning, the Zen legend says, his eyes opened. Not that he opened his eyes, because there was nothing to do now: he will not even open his eyes. The Zen legend says the eyes opened because the rest was complete. See the difference. You can open your eyes, then there is strain. You can close your eyes, then there is strain. When the eyes are closed by themselves there is rest. When the eyes open by themselves, then there is rest.
When a life is not a life of doing, but happening, then there is rest.
The eyes opened and he saw the last morning star setting. It was just disappearing, the last glimpse of it. In a moment it was gone, and he became enlightened. The last trace disappeared with the disappearing morning star, and he was utterly empty. He was utterly nobody. He became a nothingness, a pure nothingness, a content-less consciousness.
What is the significance of this last star disappearing? When the eyes opened and he saw the last star, there was a little concentration, a slight concentration – must be the old habit, thousands of lives of old habit. He must have become a little strained, a little concentration must have arisen. Looking at the last star, he must have become focused; his consciousness must have become narrow, just out of old habit. There was nothing to look at now. But then the star disappeared – it was the last star, and the sun was going to rise soon: so the star disappeared. The star disappeared, and the last object of concentration disappeared.
Suddenly he was released from all concentration, suddenly there was freedom; there was no content. The last star disappearing took away the last trace of concentration. He was there, and he was not there. He was there for the first time authentically, and he was not there for the first time as an “I,” as an ego.
A seeker asked master Daito:

“Tell us, master, when Shakyamuni Buddha saw the morning star, what did he see?”

Why did he become enlightened by seeing the last star?
Many people have copied it. People are foolish, people are monkeys. Many Buddhists sit, they even go to Bodhgaya. They come from China, from Korea, from Japan, from Ceylon, they go to Bodhgaya, they sit under the bodhi tree. They try to rest the whole night, and they watch. Many times it must be, in the night they must be looking whether the last star is there or gone. And they must be closing their eyes again, it is still night and there are so many stars, and they must be afraid and tense. Will they be able to see the last star, or will they miss? And they have to see the last star disappearing.

Once a Japanese man came and stayed with me.
I said, “Why have you come from Japan?”
He said, “To see the last star disappearing.”
I told him, “Can’t you see a last star disappearing in Japan? Don’t the stars behave the same way there? Don’t they disappear in the morning? For what have you come here?”
And he said, “I have come to sit under the bodhi tree.”

But any tree will do. Buddha was not sitting under that tree specifically. It was just a coincidence, it was accidental. He had not searched for that tree. That tree was in no way special, it was as ordinary a tree as any tree.
You can sit under any tree and under any sky and in any country, but the question is not of the country, not of the sky, not of the stars, not of the tree. The question is, “Has your attachment to things, and attachment to other-worldly things disappeared, or is it still there?”
Now, in fact, you have come to sit under the bodhi tree because you want to become enlightened. The desire. The seeking. You have come as a seeker, and Buddha attained because he was not a seeker that night.
This is how things go on and man goes on imitating and becoming foolish.

“Tell us, master, when Shakyamuni Buddha saw the morning star, what did he see?”
“Clean blank nothing,” Daito replied at once. And then added, “But if a person has only so much as just one speck of dust in his eyes, he may look at a blank and see all sorts of imaginary things.”

Just a speck of dust will do, just a small speck of desire will do, and then you will start seeing imaginary things. If you really want to see that which is, then the eyes have to be utterly clean, blank. With those blank eyes you are a buddha – with those empty eyes.
Seeking, one never finds. Let it be a fundamental remembrance. So Pablo Picasso is true, but only half true.
And half-truths are really dangerous. They can pretend, they can masquerade as truths, as whole truths. That’s what happens. Whenever a man like Buddha moves, walks on the earth, that’s what happens. His truths become half-truths in our minds. A half-truth is a reflection of truth. A half-truth is a shadow of truth. In our monkey minds, in our imitative minds, we start imitating half-truths. And there is something which has to be understood. A half-truth deceives better.
But Pablo Picasso could not have done better, because art itself cannot go beyond the half-truth. That’s the difference between art and religion. Art is the world of shadows, the world of reflections, the world of imagination, the world of dreams, the world of desires, the world of projections. Art cannot give you the whole truth, but the best art is always giving you half of it – that too the best art. I am not talking about the third-rate art. A third-rate art is simply a lie, a fantasy, a fiction. But Pablo Picasso is one of the greatest artists the world has ever produced. The best art always gives you half, more is not possible through art.
The artist has glimpses of truth, reflected into the world of his dreams, in the world of his imagination. The artist is a pool of imagination, a lake of imagination. In that lake the full moon is reflected. And sometimes the moon in the lake looks far more beautiful than the real moon. On the glossy, silent surface of the lake, on the placid, silent surface of the lake, the moon looks even more innocent. But that is not a real moon, although the reflection belongs to the real.
That is the difference between the mystic and the artist. The best artist comes closer to the mystic than anybody else, but the artist is not a mystic. He is a shadow, a shadow mystic. William Blake or Pablo Picasso or Emerson or Rabindranath, they give beautiful reflections of the truth. And even the reflection is so enchanting, what to say about the original?
But if you jump into the lake to find the moon, even the reflection will disappear. You are not supposed to jump into the lake. And where the reflection is, you are not to go in that direction. You have to move exactly in the opposite direction, then you will find the real.
The artist has some quality of the mystic. He is on the way to becoming a mystic in some life. The mystic has all the qualities of the artist, plus.
Sometimes mystics have been artists, particularly Zen mystics. They have painted. They have written poems, haiku. They have carved wood, they have sculpted. They were great artists. In fact, all Zen masters have been creative people.
That should also be remembered. When you have attained a state of consciousness, your consciousness has to create something, something visible. You have to materialize something of your consciousness into the world, so that this world also becomes beautiful. And people who cannot understand religion at least can understand art. You may not be able to understand the meaning of the Upanishads, but the very poetry of it appeals, and if the poetry appeals, then the truth is making a way toward your heart. You may not be able to meditate, but if somebody is dancing with deep meditation, that dance may appeal, and through the dance, lingering by the side, something of meditation will enter your being.
Gurdjieff had prepared a group of dancers, and he took the dancers to many great cities of the world. It was a rare opportunity made available. When in New York those meditators danced, people were suddenly amazed. They could not believe what was happening. The dancers created such meditative energy, such a great wave of energy, that those who had come just to see the dance suddenly forgot the dance completely. Something else was there by the side, a door opened through it.
And Gurdjieff used to do the “Stop” exercise. The dancers are dancing, a group of twenty, thirty dancers, and they are going wild in their dance, and suddenly he will shout by the side, “Stop!” And they will all become just marble statues, as they were. If the hand was raised, it will remain raised. If one leg was up, it will remain up.
In one moment when he said, “Stop” they were in such a position that they all fell, fell from the stage, in front of the audience in the hall. But not a single person moved, they fell as if dead. And one man who was watching, something inside him also fell. The very shocking incident, these people fallen as if dead, and something changed in his mind. He became one of the great followers of Gurdjieff and attained greater heights of consciousness.
Looking at a Zen painting you will be surprised because the painting brings to you something of the man who has painted it. If you look at modern painting, that too brings something to you. If you look at a modern painting long enough, you will start feeling a little crazy. If you put too many modern paintings in your bedroom, beware, you will have nightmares. Those paintings will start entering your dreams. You cannot look at a modern painting for long, you have to move. You start feeling weird, something is wrong, something is bizarre.
The modern painter is insane. He is painting out of his insanity. If you look at a Zen painting, a silence oozes out of it, suddenly something beautiful surrounds you. You are transported to another consciousness. The painting carries something of the touch of the master. The painting has been done in deep meditation. The painting has been done by one who has arrived.
Gurdjieff used to call such art “objective art.” When somebody who has attained consciousness does something, that something becomes objective art. Looking at that thing, you will have some glimpse of the master. The master may have been dead for three thousand years, that doesn’t matter. The painting, the statue, the carving will represent him, and through it you can again become connected to him. If you know how to meditate with a painting, it will be easier.
Within these twenty years a rare thing has come to light because of too much use of drugs. The underground world of drugs has stumbled upon a very significant fact, they call it “contact high.” It is exactly the meaning of satsang. Let me explain it to you.
A “contact high” is a state. Somebody has taken LSD and is turned on, and you love the man, you really love the man, or the woman, you really relate to him – the man or the woman is somebody who turns you on by her presence or his presence. The person has taken LSD. You simply sit by the side, and you love the person, and the person’s presence turns you on, and by and by you will start feeling that the LSD is affecting you too, that somehow his consciousness is infiltrating your consciousness, that your space is being overpowered. And you will start feeling high. This is contact high.
This is the meaning of satsang too, on a different plane. If somebody has attained, just being with him in deep love, in deep gratitude, in deep relatedness, you will start feeling that something through him reaches your heart, stirs your being. And you are put on a totally different plane, where you cannot go by yourself. You are transported, carried to it. Yes, it too is a contact high.
That’s why in the East we have praised satsang so much, to be in the presence of a master, to attain contact high. And once you have started attaining through somebody, by and by, you can find your own way.
This contact high is possible even after thousands of years, through objective art. Read some haiku of Basho, a small haiku. Read a haiku, repeat it, sing it, chew it, swallow it deeply, and then sit silently waiting for the meaning to be revealed. Don’t think about it. Thinking, you will go astray. Don’t analyze it. Analyzing, you will go far away. Meditate, just be with it. Let it be with you, and suddenly you will find something is changing in your consciousness. You are moving upward, or you are moving deeper.
That very small haiku can turn you on. It can almost become an LSD trip, because the haiku carries Basho’s consciousness condensed. It is no ordinary poetry. It is not written by a poet, not by an artist. It is done by a master.
And the master has put it almost like a mantra. If you simply allow it to spread its meaning on your being, its fragrance on your being, you will be in the state of contact high.
That’s why I say Picasso’s statement is a half-truth. “I do not seek” is a half-truth, and “I find” is a half-untruth, because it is never the “I” that finds it. “I” is the barrier, the cloud, the hindrance, the obstacle. Truth is found, but not by “I.” Truth is found only when there is no “I,” when there is nobody to find it. Truth is found only when there is nobody to seek it and nobody to find it.
Now, the “I” has seven layers, those seven times when Bodhidharma fell and again rose. You will also fall seven times before you can attain enlightenment. The first layer consists of the past, “I” is memory. Go with me into it as deeply as possible because this will lead you to the first principle. The first principle cannot be said, but it can be shown how you can attain it.
The first layer of “I” consists of memory, the past. If you want to get rid of the “I” you will have to get rid of the past. Many people come to me and they say, “We would like to drop this ego.” But they think that the ego is a noncomplex thing, a simple thing. It is not. It is very complex, the most complex. In fact, the one who wants to drop it may be the ego itself. It is so subtle, it is so tricky. Layer upon layer. The first layer is the memory.
If you really want to drop the ego – and that is the only way to find the truth; all religion consists only of dropping these seven layers – don’t live in the memory. By and by, the moment you catch hold of yourself, that you are moving into the memory, immediately slip out of it. Immediately. Don’t waste a single moment. I am not saying repent about it, I am not saying feel guilty about it, no, because that too will be the past. I am simply saying, the moment you find you were moving into a dream about the past, a nostalgia, the moment you find it so, just slip out of it. There is no need to fight with it. If you fight, you will be defeated. There is no need to feel angry about it. If you feel angry, you will be defeated. You need not value it in any way, good or bad. Simply do one thing: the moment you find out, slip out of it.
And the one who finds it red-handed is your awareness. Eckhart says the one who finds, is God, God within you.
Just try. Whenever you find your memory is hovering around you too much, the one who finds this sudden recognition, “Yes, I am again in the memory,” that one, that awareness, is God within you. Slip out of the memory.
And I say slip out of it because there is no need to fight. Fighting, you will cling to it. Fighting, you will have to be there. If you have to fight with somebody you have to be there. Don’t fight.
And you are capable of slipping out, just as a snake slips out of the old skin. Go on slipping out of the memory. Memory is an old skin. In fact, you have already slipped out of it; it is just in the mind, it is nowhere else.
The second layer consists of unawareness. We live almost in a drunken state. We live with the minimum of consciousness. You go on doing things, you go on moving, this and that, but you are not conscious. Have you ever had any moments of consciousness so that you can see, you can compare?
For example… Just now! See what is there. Gather yourself together. Just be herenow and see what is there, and you will find your consciousness is more; you have come out of a fog. Soon you will again disappear into the fog. This fog surrounds you. Sometimes you come out of it. Sometimes something penetrates your fog, brings you out. But ordinarily, life is so monotonous that there is no surprise, nothing brings you out.
Whenever you are a little more aware, many things happen. If you watch, you will understand. A beautiful woman passes by, suddenly you become more aware. A bird on the wing, you were watching an empty sky and a bird passes by.
Ramakrishna attained his first samadhi, his first satori, by seeing a row of cranes against the black clouds. He was very young, must have been thirteen. He was sitting by the lake in his town. It was cloudy, dark clouds were gathering, the beginning of the rain, and suddenly a row…many white cranes against the black clouds. Almost like lightning they were there and they were gone, and he attained his first samadhi. For days he was drunk with the unknown, he danced, sang. His town’s people, his family thought he had gone mad. But he was so happy.
That sudden experience. Something penetrated like a sword. Something was cut.
Sometimes it happens to you too. You don’t take account of these moments because you are afraid. You try to forget them. And they are so extraordinary and they are so exceptional and so rare that even to talk about them – nobody will believe it. So you don’t take account of them. You think, “Must be a fantasy, an imagination.” But one morning, suddenly the world is beautiful, for no reason at all. A reason is there. The reason is that you are more aware. Maybe you rested well in the night, it was a good sleep, the dreams were not too many, your stomach was not too full of food or hungry. Things somehow went well, and in the morning you felt on the top of the world. It is nothing but awareness.
With a friend you have not seen for many years, suddenly you become more aware. Anything that makes you more aware, watch it, take account of it, remember it, so that you can go more and more into it. Don’t put it aside. Don’t neglect it. It has to be fed and watered, taken care of.
The third layer of “I” is ambition, comparison with the others, where I am, higher or lower, inferior or superior, ahead or lagging behind – who I am. Watch it, never compare. You are you. And there is nobody like you, so comparison is not possible. And everybody is so unique and so different, how can you compare? Drop comparison. Whenever you find yourself caught in comparison, immediately drop it then and there. It is not good to carry these things in the mind longer, otherwise they leave traces, they make grooves in the mind. Never compare. Somebody is more intelligent, somebody is more beautiful, somebody is more healthy, don’t compare. You are you.
And this is the way existence wanted you to be. Feel fulfilled the way you are and accept yourself. Don’t condemn yourself.
The fourth layer of “I” consists of the future, always thinking ahead, what to do tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Or people are so mad, they are thinking of what to do in the next life, where to go, to hell or heaven?
People come to me and they ask, “Osho, what do you say about life after death?” I say, “You are not alive even now, and you are talking about life after death? I don’t even see life before death.”
Man is not. Man only thinks that he is. Man has not happened yet. Rarely it happens. Once in a while, in a Buddha or a Bodhidharma a man is there, otherwise you are just a belief. And you are thinking about life after death? Think of life after birth. Think of life before death. Think of life now. Don’t go into the future so much.
I am not saying that if you want to go to Mumbai don’t book a ticket, I am not saying that. Otherwise there are fools of that type too. One day I said in the morning, “Don’t think of the future,” and by the evening I received a letter. A friend threw his passport into the river. “Why bother? ‘Don’t think of the future,’ Osho has said.” I am not saying that. There is a practical world, but that is not a problem at all. To carry a passport is not a problem.
To carry fantasies about the future is a problem. A passport is not such a burden. To think about tomorrow and to go and book a ticket is not a problem. These are factual things, ordinary, practical things. But to think that tomorrow you will be happy, not today, that tomorrow you will love, not today, that tomorrow you will sing, not today, is dangerous. Because tomorrow never comes. Again when it comes, it will be today, and your old habit will say, “Tomorrow I will be happy.” Tomorrow again and again, you will be happy, and you will never be happy.
What I am saying is psychological future has to be dropped. The ordinary future is okay, it is not a problem at all.
The fifth layer consists of conditionings. You have been conditioned – Hindu, Mohammedan, Jaina, Buddhist, English, German, Indian – these layers are there. Start dropping them.
Again, please don’t throw away your passport.
These ideas from the mind, that I am a German or a Japanese or a Chinese, are just foolish. You were born just as pure consciousness and you will die as pure consciousness, and all these are just clothes, formalities, forms, what Hindus call nam-rup, name and form. But you are not confined to them, you are not contained in them. You are beyond them.
The sixth layer consists of arrogance, of non-humbleness. One has to learn humbleness because that is the reality. We are interdependent, so how can we be arrogant? You cannot live without the air, you cannot live without fire, you cannot live without the sun, you cannot live without the trees, you cannot live without the woman, the woman without the man. You cannot live at all independently. So all arrogance is just ignorance. We are interdependent, we interpenetrate each other, and everything is required.
If the sun sets tonight and never rises again, we will die. Within ten minutes we will die. If all the forests disappear and the trees disappear, we will die, we will not be able to live. We breathe through the trees, they are continuously working for us and we are working for them. Don’t think that they are slaves and we are masters. Nobody is a slave here and nobody is a master. Everybody is a master here and everybody is a slave here. This is humility. They go on releasing oxygen for you, they serve you. And you go on releasing carbon dioxide for them; they live on carbon dioxide, so you serve them. They serve you, you serve them.
We are servants of each other or masters of each other, but we are all in the same boat. The animals, the trees, the birds, the rocks, we are all in the same boat. We exist in togetherness. That’s the meaning of humbleness.
I am not saying become humble and start being arrogant about your humbleness, and start saying, “I am the most humble man in the world.” That will be arrogance again. Humbleness is an understanding, not a cultivation.
And the last layer of “I” consists of imitations. We learn to imitate, that’s what I mean when I say we are monkeys. Somebody is doing something, we start doing that. Somebody is making something, we start making that. We learn through imitation. Good for the children, because otherwise children will never learn. But when will you become mature, when will you start not imitating and being true to yourself?
If these seven layers are dropped, you will simply become aware of who you are. You are God, as everybody else is God.
These seven layers are the “bottle.”
Now let me tell you this beautiful anecdote. It is one of the most beautiful anecdotes in Zen literature, and Zen has many beautiful anecdotes. This is one of the topmost. Listen to it.
The official, Riko, once asked Nansen…
Nansen was a great master. You must have heard another story, I must have told you sometime…

A great professor comes to see Nansen. The professor was the head of the department of philosophy in a university. He comes and immediately he asks, “Do you believe in God? Is there any life after death? Has man a soul?”
Nansen says, “Wait. Let me prepare tea for you. You are tired and you are perspiring. And there is no hurry, these problems can wait a little. Let me prepare tea for you.” And he prepares the tea. This is the humbleness of a Zen master.
He brings the tea. He goes on pouring the tea into the cup. The cup is full and the tea starts overflowing into the saucer, and then the saucer is full, and the professor shouts, “What are you doing? Are you mad? Now there is no space, not even for a single drop, and you go on pouring and you go on pouring. It will start dropping on your floor.”
And Nansen laughs and he says, “So you understand. Now, do you have any questions still?”
The professor says, “Why, what do you mean? How does this explain my questions?”
And Nansen says, “Have you any space in your head? I can give you the answer, but there is no space. I don’t see any space in your head. And you are alert, very alert; you can see that when the cup is full, no more tea should be poured in. Go please, and clean your skull. Empty your skull and come back. Because these questions are such that they can only be answered to an empty skull.”

Nansen is a rare man.
The official, Riko, once asked Nansen to explain to him the old problem of the goose in the bottle.
The problem is very ancient. It is a koan. It is given to a disciple; he has to meditate on it. It is absurd, you cannot solve it. A koan is something which cannot be solved. Remember, it is not a puzzle. A puzzle has a clue, a koan has no clue. A koan is a puzzle without any clue. Not that more intelligence will solve it. No, no intelligence will ever solve it. Even if it is given to God, it will not be solved. It is made in such a way that it cannot be solved. This is a koan.
“If a man puts a gosling into a bottle,” said Riko, “and feeds him until he is full grown, how can the man get the goose out without killing it or breaking the bottle?”
Don’t break the bottle – and the goose has to be taken out – and don’t kill the goose. Now, these are the two conditions to be fulfilled. The koan becomes impossible. The bottle has a small neck, the goose cannot come out through it. Either you have to break the bottle or you have to kill the goose. You can kill the goose, and piece by piece you can take the goose out. Or you can break the bottle, and the goose can come out alive, whole. But the condition is, the bottle has not to be broken and the goose has not to be killed. The goose has to come out whole and the bottle has to remain whole. Nothing has to be destroyed, no destruction allowed.
Now, how are you going to solve it? But meditating on it… Meditating on it, one day it happens that you see the point. Not that you solve the problem, suddenly the problem is no longer there.
Nansen gave a great clap with his hands and shouted,
“Yes, master,” said the official with a start.
“See,” said Nansen, “the goose is out!”
Now, it is tremendously beautiful. What he is saying is that the goose has never been in; the goose has always been out. What is he saying, the moment he said: “Riko!”? What happened? Those seven layers of ego disappeared and Riko became aware. The shout was so sudden, the sound was so unexpected. He was expecting a philosophical answer.
That’s why sometimes the Zen master will hit you on your head or throw you out of the window or jump upon you or threaten that he will kill you. He will do something so that those seven layers of ego are immediately transcended, and your awareness which is the center of all, is alert. You are made alert.
Now, shouting: “Riko!” so suddenly, for no reason at all… And he has brought a small puzzle to be solved and this master suddenly shouts: “Riko!” He cannot see the connection. And that is the whole clue to it. He cannot see the connection, the shout startles him, and he says: “Yes, master.”
“See,” said Nansen, “the goose is out!” Those seven layers of the bottle are crossed. “Yes, master.” In that moment Riko was pure consciousness, without any layers. In that moment, Riko was not the body. In that moment, Riko was not the mind. In that moment, Riko was just awareness. In that moment, Riko was not the memory of the past. In that moment, Riko was not the future, the desire. In that moment, he was not in any comparison with anybody. In that moment, he was not a Buddhist or a Mohammedan or a Hindu. In that moment, he was not a Japanese or an Indian.
In that moment, when the master shouted: “Riko!” he was simply awareness, without any content, without any conditioning. In that moment, he was not young, old. In that moment, he was not beautiful, ugly. In that moment, he was not stupid, intelligent. All layers disappeared. In that moment, he was just a flame of awareness.
That is the meaning when the master says, “See, the goose is out, and I have not broken the bottle, I have not even touched the bottle.” The bottle means the ego, those seven layers. “I have not broken the bottle. It is there, and I have not killed the goose. And the goose is out.”
Now, there are three types of religions in the world. One which will destroy the bottle. Then you become very vulnerable, then you become very insecure, then great trembling arises in you, and then there is every possibility you may go mad. That sort of thing happens many times in India. There are methods which can destroy the bottle, easier methods. They destroy the bottle and the goose is out, but then the goose has no house to abide in, no shelter. Then there is every possibility the man may go mad. And many people in India, seeking, searching, working toward the unknown, become mad. When the unknown comes into them, they have no protection.
Remember, you need protection even against God because God can be too much too suddenly. Those protections have not to be destroyed. Practically, they have to remain there. Just think of a person who has no ego. Now, the house is on fire; he will not run out. For what? “I am not. The fire cannot burn me, because I am not.” Just think of a man who has no ego and he is standing in the middle of the road, and there comes a bus and the driver honks and honks, and he does not bother. He is the immortal soul, he is not the ego. This state can be dangerous. It happens if you destroy the bottle.
Zen says don’t destroy the bottle. Use it when it is needed. Whenever you feel to have protection, the goose simply goes inside the bottle. Sometimes one needs rest, and sometimes the bottle is also useful. It can be put to a thousand and one uses. The ego can be used if you know that you are not the ego. Then the ego cannot use you, you can use it.
And there are methods which will save the bottle and kill the goose. Self-destructive methods are there, so one becomes more and more unaware. That is what I mean when I say kill the goose: one becomes more and more unaware. Drugs can do that. Drugs have been used in India for thousands of years. They can kill the goose. The bottle remains protected, but the goose is killed. If you take some foreign chemicals inside your being, and your nature is not ready to absorb them, by and by you will kill the goose, your consciousness will be gone, you may fall into a coma.
The first possibility, if the bottle is broken, you may go mad. The second possibility, if the goose is killed, or almost killed, you will become so unconscious that you will become a zombie. You can find zombies. In many monasteries there are zombies, whose goose is killed, or at least drugged. And there are mad people, maniacs.
Zen says avoid both. The bottle has to remain and the goose has to come out. This is a great synthesis.
“Yes, master,” said the official with a start. “See, “said Nansen, “the goose is out!” It must have been a moment of great discovery to Riko. He must have seen it, “Yes, it is out.” He was fully aware. The trick worked, the device worked, the shouting and clapping worked. In fact, Riko must have been almost on the verge, otherwise shouting would not do. You can go on shouting… Clapping won’t do. But the man must have been just on the verge. Just a small push and he has jumped the barrier.
Meditate over it. This is the way to attain the first principle. To know that the goose can be out without destroying the bottle, that you can be God without destroying your humanity, that you can be God without destroying your ordinariness.
A disciple of His Divine Grace Prabhupad came to see me. Prabhupad is the founder of the Krishna Consciousness movement. Naturally, to be respectful to me, he also called me “His Divine Grace.” I said, “Don’t call me that, just call me ‘His Divine Ordinariness.’”
The ordinary is the extraordinary. The ordinary has not to be destroyed. Once the ordinary is in the service of the extraordinary it is beautiful, it is tremendously beautiful.
Let me repeat. The trivial is the profound, samsara is nirvana. Whatever you are, there is nothing wrong with it. Just something is missing. Nothing wrong with it. Something is simply missing. Just that missing link has to be provided, that plus, and everything that you have becomes divine.
Love has not to be destroyed, only awareness has to be added to it. Relationship has not to be destroyed, only meditation has to be added to it. You need not go from the marketplace, you need not go to any cave in the Himalayas. Only God has to be called there in the marketplace.
The bottle is beautiful, nothing is wrong in it. You just have to learn that you can come out of it whenever you want, and you can go into it whenever you want, that it is your pleasure. It is almost like the house. When you feel too cool or cold in the house, freezing cold, you go out under the sky, under the sun, to warm yourself. Then it becomes too warm and you start perspiring, you go into the house. You are free. The same door takes you out, the same door takes you in, and the house is not the enemy.
But if you cannot get out of the house, then something is wrong. There is no need to leave the house, there is no need to drop being a householder. There is only one thing needed. In the house become a sannyasin, in the world remain in such a way that the world is not in you.
See, the goose is out. In fact, the goose has always been out, just a recognition is needed.
Enough for today.

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