The Hidden Splendor 18

Eighteenth Discourse from the series of 27 discourses - The Hidden Splendor by Osho.
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When you talked about the ultimate death of this world, I got suddenly in touch with deep aloneness, and this voice inside me said, “Remember: each single moment, remember that you are alone.” Osho, after our death, will you still be, in some mysterious way, with our wandering consciousness?
Aloneness is not something to be sad about – it is something to rejoice in. There are two words; the dictionary will say they have the same meaning, but existence gives them totally opposite meanings. One word is loneliness and the other word is aloneness. They are not synonymous.
Loneliness is a negative state, like darkness. Loneliness means you are missing someone; you are empty, and you are afraid in this vast universe. Aloneness has a totally different meaning: it does not mean that you are missing someone; it means that you have found yourself. It is absolutely positive.
Finding oneself, one finds the meaning of life, the significance of life, the joy of life, the splendor of life. Finding oneself is the greatest finding in man’s life, and this finding is possible only when you are alone. When your consciousness is not crowded by anything, by anybody, when your consciousness is utterly empty – in that emptiness, in that nothingness, a miracle happens. And that miracle is the foundation of all religion.
The miracle is: when there is nothing else for your consciousness to be conscious of, the consciousness turns upon itself. It becomes a circle. Finding no obstacle, finding no object, it comes back to the source. The moment the circle is complete, you are no longer just an ordinary human being; you have become part of the godliness that surrounds existence. You are no longer yourself; you have become part of the whole universe – your heartbeat is now the heartbeat of the universe itself.
This is the experience which mystics have been searching for all their lives, down the ages. There is no other experience which is more ecstatic, more blissful. This experience transforms your whole outlook: where there used to be darkness, now there is light; where there used to be misery, there is bliss; where there used to be anger, hate, possessiveness, and jealousy, there is only a beautiful flower of love.
The whole energy that was being wasted in negative emotions is no longer wasted; it takes a positive and creative turn. On the one hand you are no longer your old self; on the other hand you are, for the first time, your authentic self. The old is gone, the new has arrived. The old was dead; the new belongs to the eternal, the new belongs to the immortal.
It is because of this experience that the seers of the Upanishads have declared man as amritasya putrah: “sons and daughters of immortality.” Unless you know yourself as eternal beings, part of the whole, you will remain afraid of death. The fear of death is simply because you are not aware of your eternal source of life. Once the eternity of your being is realized, death becomes the greatest lie in existence.
Death has never happened, never happens, never will happen, because that which is, remains always – in different forms, on different levels, but there is no discontinuity. Eternity in the past and eternity in the future both belong to you. The present moment becomes a meeting point of two eternities: one going toward the past, one going toward the future.
You say, “When you talked about the ultimate death of this world, I got suddenly in touch with deep aloneness, and this voice inside me said, ‘Remember: each single moment, remember that you are alone.’” The remembrance has not to be only of the mind; your every fiber of being, your every cell of the body should remember it – not as a word, but as a deep feeling.
The English word sin has been corrupted by Christianity – they have given it a wrong meaning. Its original meaning is forgetfulness. Forgetfulness of yourself is the only sin there is, and to remember yourself is the only virtue.
Gautam Buddha emphasized one single word continually for forty-two years, morning and evening. The word is sammasati – it means “right remembering.” You remember many things – you can become an Encyclopedia Britannica; your mind is capable of remembering all the libraries of the world – but that is not the right remembering.
There is only one right remembering – the moment you remember yourself.

Gautam Buddha used to illustrate his point with the ancient story of a lioness who was jumping from one hillock to another hillock, and between the two hillocks a big flock of sheep was moving. The lioness was pregnant, and gave birth while she was jumping. Her cub fell into the flock of sheep, was brought up by the sheep, and naturally he believed himself also to be a sheep. It was a little strange because he was so big, so different – but perhaps he was just a freak of nature. He was vegetarian.
He grew, and one day an old lion who was in search of food came close to the flock of sheep – and he could not believe his eyes. In the midst of the sheep, there was a young lion in its full glory, and the sheep were not afraid. He forgot about his food; he ran after the flock of sheep. And it was becoming more and more puzzling, because the young lion was also running away with the sheep. Finally he got hold of the young lion. He was crying and weeping and saying to the old lion, “Please, let me go with my people!”
But the old lion dragged him to a nearby lake – a silent lake without any ripples, it was just like a pure mirror – and the old lion forced him to see his reflection in the lake, and also the reflection of the old lion. There was a sudden transformation. The moment the young lion saw who he was, there was a great roar – the whole valley echoed the roar of the young lion. He had never roared before because he had never thought that he was anybody other than a sheep.
The old lion said, “My work is done; now it is up to you. Do you want to go back to your flock?”
The young lion laughed. He said, “Forgive me; I had completely forgotten who I am. I am immensely grateful to you that you helped me to remember.”

Gautam Buddha used to say, “The master’s function is to help you remember who you are.” You are not part of this mundane world; your home is the home of the divine. You are lost in forgetfulness; you have forgotten that inside you God is hidden. But you never look inside. Because everybody looks outside, you also go on looking outside.
To be alone is a great opportunity, a blessing, because in your aloneness you are bound to stumble upon yourself and for the first time remember who you are. To know that you are part of the divine existence is to be free from death, free from misery, free from anxiety – free from all that has been a nightmare to you for many many lives.
It was good that you became aware of a deep aloneness – don’t lose track of it; become more centered in your deep aloneness. That’s what meditation is: becoming centered in one’s own aloneness. The aloneness has to be so pure that not even a thought, not even a feeling, disturbs it. The moment your aloneness is complete, your experience of it will become your enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something that comes from outside; it is something that grows within you.
To forget your self is the only sin. And to remember your self, in its utter beauty, is the only virtue, the only religion. You need not be a Hindu, you need not be a Mohammedan, you need not be a Christian – all that you need to be religious is to be yourself.
It has been immensely good that your whole being resounded with these words: “Remember: each single moment, remember that you are alone.” You also ask, “Osho, after our death, will you still be, in some mysterious way, with our wandering consciousness?”
We are not separate, even now – nobody is separate; the whole existence is one organic unity. The idea of separation is because of our forgetfulness. It is almost as if every leaf of the tree starts thinking it is separate, separate from other leaves. But deep down they are nourished by the same roots. It is one tree; the leaves may be many. It is one existence; the manifestations may be many.
I am with you right now. I have been with you forever, and I will be with you for eternity – there is no other way. Knowing oneself, one thing becomes absolutely clear: no man is an island – we are a continent, a vast continent, an infinite existence without any boundaries. The same life runs through all, the same love fills every heart, the same joy dances in every being.
Just because of our misunderstanding, we think we are separate. The idea of separation is our illusion. The idea of oneness will be our experience of the ultimate truth.
I have heard…

There are six people on an aircraft: the pilot, Gorbachev, Ronald Reagan, Rajiv Gandhi, the Catholic pope, and a young hippie. When something goes wrong with the plane, the pilot announces that he is taking one of the five parachutes and that they must decide among themselves who will take the remaining four.
Gorbachev declares that since he is the only hope for the spread of communism, he must jump, and taking a parachute jumps out of the plane. Ronald Reagan declares that he is the only hope for the defense of the free world against the spread of communism, and he too takes a parachute and jumps.
Then Rajiv Gandhi gets up. “I am the leader of the greatest nation and the greatest democracy of the world, India, and I am the most intelligent and youngest world leader; I must jump.” And he too jumps out of the plane.
Then the pope rises and says to the young man, the hippie, “My son, I am old and have lived my lifetime. Take the last parachute and jump.” But the young hippie protests, “Father, hurry up. There are two parachutes left, one for each of us. Put on one of them and jump.”
“But how is that?” asks the pope.
The young man replies, “That guy who said he is the most intelligent and youngest world leader – he took my sleeping bag!”

Just a little more intelligence is needed and you can come out of the gloom, the misery, the hell in which the whole humanity is living. The secret of coming out of this hell is to remember yourself. And this remembrance will become possible if you understand the idea that you are alone.
You may have lived with your wife or with your husband for fifty years; still, you are two. Your wife is alone, you are alone. You have been trying to create a facade: “We are not alone,” “We are a family,” “We are a society,” “We are a civilization,” “We are a culture,” “We are an organized religion,” “We are an organized political party.” But all these illusions are not going to help.
You have to recognize, howsoever painful it appears in the beginning, that you are alone and in a strange land. This recognition, for the first time, is painful. It takes away all our illusions – which were great consolations. But once you have dared to accept the reality, the pain disappears. And just hidden behind the pain is the greatest blessing of the world: you come to know yourself.
You are the intelligence of existence; you are the consciousness of existence; you are the soul of existence. You are part of this immense godliness that manifests in thousands of forms: in the trees, in the birds, in the animals, in human beings. But it is the same consciousness in different stages of evolution. And the man who recognizes himself and feels that the god he was searching and looking for all over the world resides within his own heart, comes to the highest point of evolution. There is nothing higher than that.
It makes your life meaningful, significant, religious, for the first time. But you will not be a Hindu, and you will not be a Christian, and you will not be a Jew; you will be simply religious. By being a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, or a Christian, or a Jaina, or a Buddhist, you are destroying the purity of religiousness – it needs no adjectives.
Love is love – have you ever heard of Hindu love? Mohammedan love? Consciousness is consciousness – have you ever thought about Indian consciousness or Chinese consciousness? Enlightenment is enlightenment: whether it happens in the white body or in the black body, whether it happens in the young man or in the old man, whether it happens in a man or in a woman, it does not make any difference. It is the same experience, the same taste, the same sweetness, the same fragrance.
The only person who is not intelligent is one who is running around all over the world in search of something, not knowing exactly what; sometimes thinking perhaps it is money, sometimes thinking perhaps it is power, sometimes thinking perhaps it is prestige, sometimes thinking perhaps it is respectability.
The intelligent man first searches his own being before he starts a journey in the outer world. That seems to be simple and logical – at least first look inside your own house before you go searching all over the world. And those who have looked within themselves have found it, without any exception.
Gautam Buddha is not a Buddhist. The word buddha simply means the awakened one, who has come out of sleep. Mahavira, the Jaina, is not a Jaina. The word jaina simply means one who has conquered – conquered himself.
The world needs a great revolution where each individual finds his religion within himself. The moment religions become organized, they become dangerous; they become really politics with a false face of religion. That’s why all the religions of the world go on trying to convert more and more people to their religion. It is the politics of numbers; whoever has the greater number will be more powerful.
But nobody seems to be interested in bringing millions of individuals to their own selves. My work here consists of taking you out of any kind of organized effort – because truth can never be organized. You have to go alone on the pilgrimage, because the pilgrimage is going to be inside. You cannot take anybody with you. You have to drop everything that you have learned from others, because all those prejudices will distort your vision – you will not be able to see the naked reality of your being. The naked reality of your being is the only hope of finding God. God is your naked reality – undecorated, without any adjective.
It is not confined by your body, not confined by your birth, not confined by your color, not confined by your sex, not confined by your country. It is simply not confined by anything. And it is available, so close: just one step inside and you have arrived. You have been told for thousands of years that the journey to God is very long. The journey is not long, God is not far away. God is in your breath, God is in your heartbeat; God is in your blood, in your bones, in your marrow – just a single step of closing your eyes and entering within yourself.
It may take a little time because old habits die hard: even if you close your eyes, thoughts will go on crowding you. Those thoughts are from the outside, and the simple method which has been followed by all the great seers of the world is just to watch your thoughts, just to be a witness. Don’t condemn them, don’t justify them, don’t rationalize them. Remain aloof, remain indifferent, let them pass – they will be gone.
The day your mind is absolutely silent, with no disturbance, you have taken the first step that takes you to the temple of God. The temple of God is made of your consciousness. You cannot go there with your friends, with your children, with your wife, with your parents. Everybody has to go there alone.
Don’t forget the experience that has happened to you – the feeling of deep aloneness and a voice inside saying to you, “Remember: each single moment, remember that you are alone.” The day of your glory will not be far away.

You shower me with love and I am so ashamed, I can't look at you sometimes. Inside I know I don't have anything to give you, and what little there is feels so inadequate. Osho, my heart is broken. Please help me.
Milarepa, your question surprises me because you give so much love to me. You have given yourself to me – your music, your poetry, your dance. What can be more valuable? You have trusted me – a stranger. What more can there be that you should feel ashamed? You should rejoice because all that you had, you have given to me, without holding anything back. You have given your heart.
But perhaps you don’t think that your songs, your music, your dance, your love, your trust, have any value. They certainly are the greatest value – although they don’t have any price.
You are not poor. Just not to have money does not make a man poor; not to have power, not to be a president or a prime minister of a country, does not make a man poor. What makes a man poor is not to have a soul. And your soul is so full of songs, so full of dance, so full of laughter – there is no question of your feeling ashamed. You have given to me the richest gifts that anyone can give. But perhaps you have not thought of it in this way.
Some of the richest people in the world are so poor inside that all their money cannot make any difference. Their money is outside, and their poverty is inside – anything from the outside cannot destroy the inner poverty. The inner poverty is destroyed only by inner values: love, compassion, silence, prayer, meditation – these are the things that make a person really rich. He may be just a beggar on the street, it does not matter, but even emperors will find themselves jealous of him. You are in a misunderstanding. Put things right.
I have heard…

Adolf Hitler dies and goes to heaven. He behaves so well that St. Peter tells him he can go back to earth again for a week as a treat. After twenty-four hours, he is back, hammering at the pearly gates to get in.
“What is the matter, Adolf?” asked St. Peter. “You have got six more days.”
“Let me in, let me in!” cries Hitler. So St. Peter unlocks the gate, lets him in and asks him, “Adolf, what is the matter? Didn’t you enjoy it?”
“Enjoy it?” says Hitler. “Enjoy it? Everyone has gone mad down there since I left. I come back, and what do I find? The Jews are fighting, and the Germans are making money!”

Certainly Adolf Hitler must have been shocked. His old idea, that Jews make money and Germans fight, is no longer relevant. Now Jews are giving a tough fight and Germans are making more money than anybody else in Europe.
Milarepa, you also have the old idea that the man of possessions is rich, and the man who does not possess anything is poor. It is not true. The man of inner possessions is the real rich man, and the man of outer possessions is simply deceiving himself that he is rich, but deep down he knows he is a pauper.
I have known the richest people, and when they expose their hearts, their eyes are full of tears – because they have all the money the world can afford, but the money cannot purchase love, the money cannot purchase peace. The money cannot purchase silence, the money cannot purchase prayer, the money cannot purchase God. So what is the use of it? Their inner being remains dark, empty.
It is the inner being that counts finally, because death will take away everything else and leave you only with that which is inner. Death should be accepted as the only criterion to decide what is richness and what is poverty. That which death can take away is not richness; that which death cannot destroy is the real richness.
And Milarepa, you are a rich man. You can become even richer. There is no end to it until you become enlightened, until you have reached the highest peak of the Himalayas of consciousness. That should be the goal for every human being who has any intelligence.

Can you talk about the difference between so-called self-consciousness and self-awareness? Is self-consciousness a form of unawareness, or is there something of awareness in it?
Self-consciousness is a disease, it is sickness. Self-awareness is health – it is wholeness. The words appear to be the same, but in fact, because language is created by unconscious people, they cannot make the fine demarcations.
Self-consciousness simply means ego consciousness and self-awareness means soul consciousness. Your ego is a false entity. Because you have so much money, because you have so much power, because you are born in a very respected family, your education, your position in life – all these things constitute your ego. But your soul comes with you when you are born; it has nothing to do with anything. Whether you come from a respectable family or not, whether you are educated or uneducated – Kabir was not educated, Jesus was not educated – does not matter.
It is not known whether Kabir was born from a Hindu family or a Mohammedan family. He was found on the bank of the Ganges by a sannyasin, Swami Ramananda; a small child whose parents had left him there. Perhaps he was illegitimate. But Kabir became one of the richest human beings the world has known. No family, no certainty of what religion he belonged to, no education, no riches – he remained a weaver his whole life. He would weave and go every market day into the market to sell his clothes, and that was his whole earnings; it was enough for seven days.
But you cannot find a richer man – so full of bliss that each of his songs still carries something alive in it. Even after centuries have passed, the words of Kabir can echo something within you – as if Kabir were present. He has poured his heart in his words; those words are of gold.
Jesus was a carpenter’s son – very poor, absolutely uneducated, had no idea about scriptures, learning, scholarship – but still he had a richness, a consciousness, so that even on the cross he did not forget to pray to God. His last words on the earth were: “Father, forgive these people who are crucifying me because they know not what they are doing; they are unconscious people.”
Such compassion comes out of self-awareness. And self-awareness does not depend on anything outside you; it depends only on you. The soul is there; you have just to wake it up. It is an awakening. Avoid self-consciousness – that is sickness of the soul; and go deeper into self-awareness – that is your authentic reality.

One morning a young woman got out of bed, slipped into her robe, raised the shade, uncovered the parrot, put on the coffee pot, answered the phone, and heard a masculine voice say, “Hello, honey. My ship just hit port and I am coming right over.”
So the young lady took the coffee pot off the stove, covered up the parrot, pulled down the shade, took off her robe, got into bed, and heard the parrot mumble, “Christ, what a short day that was!”

Man is not even that alert. You go on living like a zombie – a routine life, every day repeating the same – without ever thinking that you have not yet done the most important thing: you have not encountered yourself. You have not attained to self-awareness; you are engaged in making your ego as big as possible.
But the ego is your enemy, not your friend. It is the ego that gives you wounds and hurts you. It is the ego that makes you violent, angry, jealous, competitive. It is the ego that is continuously comparing and feeling miserable.
Self-awareness is awareness of your inner world, the kingdom of God, the Garden of Eden. As you become aware of the tremendous beauty of your own being – its joy, its light, its eternal life, its richness, its overflowing love – you feel so blessed that you can bless the whole world without any discrimination.
Kill the ego because it is hiding your authentic soul. And discover your soul; that will be your self-awareness. Self-awareness is the way to your kingdom, which is also the kingdom of God. It is within you. You are not to go anywhere; you have to come back home.

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