The Invitation 01

First Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Invitation by Osho.
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Can you say who you are?
I am an invitation for all those who are seeking, searching, and have a deep longing in their hearts to find their home.
I am an answer to the question that everybody is, but cannot formulate – a question that is more a quest than a question, more a thirst than a verbal, mental inquiry; a thirst that one feels in every cell and fiber of his being, but has no way to bring to words and ask.
I am an answer for that question which you cannot ask and you cannot expect that it could be answered.
When I say I am the answer, I don’t mean that I can give you the answer…yes, if you are ready, you can take it. I am just like a well, ready for you to throw your bucket and draw the water for yourself. I have it but I cannot reach to you without your efforts.
Only you can reach to me.
It is a strange invitation.
It will take you on a long pilgrimage and it will end only where you already are. You will have to move many steps and on many paths just to come to yourself, because you have gone far away from yourself. You have completely forgotten the way back.
I am a reminder, a remembrance, of the lost home.
As a person I do not exist.
As a person I only appear.
I exist as a presence.
Since the day I came to know myself, the person disappeared. There is only a presence, a very living presence that can quench your thirst, that can fulfill your longing. Hence, in one word I can say I am an invitation, of course just for those who have a deep longing in their hearts that they are missing themselves – a deep urge, that unless they find themselves, everything else is meaningless. Unless it is your a priori concern, your ultimate concern, such that if it is needed you are even ready to lose everything for it, but you cannot drop it….
There are thousands of desires, but as far as longing is concerned there is only one: to come back home, to find your reality. And in that very finding, you have found all that is of any value – blissfulness, truth, ecstasy.
Jesus used to say, “If you have eyes to see, see. If you have ears to hear, hear.” Of course, he was not talking to the blind and to the deaf. He was talking to people just like you. Perhaps he was talking just to you, because you are not new.
You are as ancient as the whole existence.
You have always been here.
You may have come across many masters; you may have come close to many buddhas, but you were too much engaged in trivia. You were not aware of your longing.
I am an effort to provoke the dormant in you, to wake up the asleep. The fire is there, but is burning very low because you have never taken any care of it.
My invitation is to make you aflame, and unless you know a life which is luminous and aflame all your knowledge is just a deception. You are gathering it to help you forget that the real knowledge is missing. But however great is your accumulation of the other, the objective, the world, it is not going to become a substitute for your self-knowing. With self-knowing suddenly all darkness disappears, and all separation from existence.
I am an invitation to take a courageous jump into the ocean of life. Lose yourself, because that is the only way to find yourself.

Each time I see you, I am shocked by your beauty. You've got to be the most gorgeous being that has ever happened!
Osho, in what way do you experience your own beauty?
There is no way to experience your own beauty.
All knowledge needs a certain distance between the knower and the known. If the beauty is physical then there are ways to know it – you can see yourself in a mirror. But if the beauty is coming out of your silence, out of your peace, out of your inner splendor – it may radiate from your physical being but it does not belong to your physical body, it is not physical – then there is no way to know it yourself, because it is not reflected in a mirror. You can experience it.
The most important thing to remember is that the beauty that you have seen in me is not my own, it is yours too – it is everyone’s. The bodies may be different, but the inner fire is the same. And when that fire starts radiating from your body, it creates a certain grace, a certain beauty. It is no one’s monopoly. It is everybody’s intrinsic potentiality.
If you can see my beauty, that’s an indication of seeing your own beauty, because I am nothing but a mirror to you. But it often happens…looking in the mirror you may see a beautiful face, and if you are asleep or drunk or half-asleep, half-awake, you may think the mirror is very beautiful. But the mirror is just a mirror; it is only reflecting you.

One drunkard was torturing his wife by continually coming home late. Every night it was a fight. Finally, the wife gave up and she told the man, “You keep the key. Unlock the door from the outside and come in silently. Don’t disturb my sleep, and don’t create any nuisance so that the neighbors are disturbed. Just come and go to sleep.”
The drunkard was very happy. That day he drank as much as he wanted; now there was no question of any problem arising out of it. Then he came home. He tried to be as silent as possible – opened the door, went into the bathroom to change his clothes, looked into the mirror and said, “My God.”
All his face was scratched. Blood was oozing, because he had been in a fight in the pub. He said, “Right now I have managed perfectly silently, but in the morning the wife is going to discover these scratches and this blood, and that will bring the whole problem again – the same fight. Somehow I have to hide the scratches; I should at least put some ointment on them.”
He looked all around. He could not find anything except his wife’s lipstick. He thought it looked like an ointment, and it was very helpful because it covered the scratches, the blood. He was very happy at his success, went to his bed, and there was no quarrel, no fight. It was one of the most beautiful nights of his life!
But in the morning, the wife shouted from the bathroom, “Are you mad or what? You have destroyed my lipstick. Not only that, why have you been painting the mirror?”
He was, poor fellow, trying to put the ointment on his face, but his face was in the mirror. So in the mirror wherever there were scratches or blood on his face, he did a great job of painting – the lipstick was finished and the mirror was spoiled.
He could not believe how it could have happened. He said, “I did not want to disturb you so I tried some ointment, and only this thing looked like ointment. I don’t know what happened to me, why I have put it on the mirror. I was putting it on my own face!”

In life, what you see shows much about you, not about what you are seeing. The same sunset looks beautiful to one person, and to another, sad. And to another it doesn’t matter; he remains indifferent. The sunset is the same. It looks beautiful to the person who is capable of being in tune with it, who is capable of being silent and a mirror to reflect it into his own being; who can drink out of it, its colors, its radiance, its splendor.
The same sunset looks sad not beautiful to somebody else because he is sad; he projects his sadness onto it. And the third person lives in a way which can be called the way of indifference. He never looks at the sunset or the moon or the trees or the flowers or people. He has eyes but he never uses them. He is in such a rush, in such a hurry to reach somewhere he knows not where…just a tension, a constant running after shadows. He does not have time to waste to look at a stupid sunset.
It all depends on you.
If you see the beautiful in me, something beautiful has arisen in you.

Two men were riding on a train for the first time in their lives. One of them had a bunch of bananas. He offered one to his friend and began to peel one for himself. Just then the train entered a tunnel.
“Have you tasted your banana yet?” asked the first man, very alarmed.
“No, I haven’t,” replied his friend.
“Well, for heaven’s sake, don’t,” said the first man, “I took one bite and went blind.”

We are very much enclosed in our own psychology, and we project that psychology all around.
A man of silence finds this whole world is full of silence. Even the sounds only deepen the silence. And a man full of noise never becomes aware of the immense silences in the night. It all depends on you. Your world is nothing but you, projected.
It is a good indication that you feel beauty in me – don’t stop there. It is not an objective experience, something beautiful is growing in you. Notice it, and a day will come you will see everybody beautiful around you, everything beautiful around you.
Only be satisfied when you cannot find anything which is not beautiful. When you have become capable of looking at the beauty of everything that exists and lives, you have reached to a flowering of your own being.
Your question can be looked at very easily from a different point. You say, “Each time I see you, I am shocked by your beauty. You’ve got to be the most gorgeous being that has ever happened! Osho, in what way do you experience your own beauty?”
There are people who see me as the antichrist. The American government, in conspiracy with fundamentalist Christians, destroyed the commune in America. And now they have raised a memorial in Wasco County where the commune was – a marble memorial, a memorial saying that they succeeded in getting rid of the antichrist.
It all depends on you what you see.
It always refers to you.

Two small children were standing inside an art gallery because it was raining and they could not find any other shelter. So they entered the gallery. Standing there soaked with water, dripping, one boy looked at a Picasso painting and he said, “My God, we should get away from here! If they catch us they will say we have done it. Some idiot has spoiled everything. We have not touched it, but we are in a position we will not be able to defend.”
It is said, that once Picasso’s car was stolen. He reported it to the police station, and the people knew him. They said, “It is very sad and sorry. Do you have some details and a description – number plate, what kind of car?”
He said, “I never looked at the number plate, but I can draw a sketch.” So he drew a sketch of his car and the police searched hard. And finally, they caught one horse, one washing machine and the Eiffel Tower!
The Picasso sketch gave them all these ideas – and it was a sketch of a car! Picasso’s way of thinking, way of looking at things, was strange and crazy. He was a great genius, but a little outlandish.
A very rich woman wanted him to make her portrait. He said, “I don’t generally do that kind of painting because my fee is so much. Secondly, nobody seems to be satisfied when the portrait is finished. It will be almost one million dollars. If you are ready to pay I can do the portrait.”
The woman said, “One million or two million, it doesn’t matter, but I want a portrait by you.”
So he made the portrait. It took many sittings and the woman became more and more puzzled as she saw the portrait coming up. When the portrait was complete she said, “Only one question, I want to know where my nose is. Everything is okay, but at least I should know where my nose is. From there I can figure out the eyes, the mouth, my ears – that can be the center for finding myself.”
Picasso said, “I told you in the very beginning…! Now it is a trouble to find the nose – who knows where your nose is! I have painted it, that is true, but in so many sittings I can’t remember exactly where I have put it. You take it home and contemplate; perhaps you may find it. It is there, that much is certain. It is there, this much I can guarantee because I remember I have painted your nose. But don’t harass me! You are paying money for the portrait not for these questions. If you had told me before that you would ask questions I would have refused, because who takes care where your nose is, and in what way does it matter? Somewhere it must be in the portrait. If somebody asks you, you can say, ‘Just look, you will find it.’ Just one thing: if you or somebody else finds it, inform me.”
Picasso became one of the great painters. But all his paintings are, to say the least, insane. He himself was insane; he was pouring his insanity into colors on the canvas – it was his projection. He was a genius. He could manage to paint, and paint in many original ways. Naturally, if you cannot find the nose, the portrait is original. What more originality can you expect? He has worked hard but his way of seeing….
I had a professor in my university…I used to listen to him with closed eyes. Finally, he could not resist the temptation. He said, “What is the matter with you? Whenever I talk to you, you close your eyes.”
I said, “To talk with you and to see your eyes – one going this way, one going that way – makes me dizzy. Sometimes I look to whom you are talking, because you never look at me.”
Those eyes were such that when he was talking to you one thing was certain, he would not be looking at you. That’s the only way he could look at you: when he was looking somewhere else.
I said, “Either you get your eyes fixed or please forgive me. I want to listen to what you are saying; I don’t want to get dizzy.”
The way you see the world, the way you see people, the way you see trees…all depends on you.
You live in a world of your own creation.
There are as many worlds as there are people because everyone is living in his own world. No two persons agree about anything. Somebody thinks a woman beautiful, and others laugh at the very idea: “If this woman is beautiful then…finished! Then what can be called ugly?”
So, Jalada, it is perfect for you to see beauty in me, but it is part of your own seeing, it has nothing to do with me. I am just a victim! Today I am beautiful, tomorrow if you are angry at me, then too remember. If you see that this is the antichrist, remember, it is your own idea.
It reminds me that there have been found a few inscriptions contemporary to Jesus’ life, which describe him as the ugliest man possible. Not only was he ugly, he was also a hunchback. And his followers have described him as one of the most beautiful men. Christians never even raised the question: What about those inscriptions? But fortunately, I am no one, neither Christian nor Hindu nor Buddhist, so I can see from a distance.
My feeling is that both descriptions may be right. It looks absurd – how can both descriptions be right about one man? They are not descriptions of Jesus, they are descriptions of the people who were describing him.
Those who loved him, because of their love they created a beautiful personality. Those who hated him, out of their hate have created an ugly man. And they were not satisfied even with that – they had to make him a hunchback. They had to reduce his height to four feet six inches; they had to make him a pygmy.
This has to be understood deeply, because then you don’t create the illusion and make it objective. You should always remember that whatever you see in the world is your own projection. Yes, there is a state when you are beyond mind and all projections have dropped. Then you see the world as it is. It is just unimaginably beautiful, but that beauty is a totally different kind of beauty, it is not your projection.
The moment you go beyond your mind, you suddenly become a mirror – then you reflect reality. Within the mind you project reality; you don’t reflect. Being with me, meditating for years, something must be getting out of the mind, beyond the mind. And you will be absolutely certain that some transcendence is happening when if not only in me but in everybody you start seeing the beautiful, the authentic, the sincere – even in those who are not beautiful, who are not sincere, who are not truthful. It doesn’t matter; their actions don’t constitute their being. Their being is far bigger than their small, tiny, actions.
It is a good indication: you love me. Naturally, you can see something beautiful, but trust in it only when you start seeing that beauty everywhere, when the whole of existence becomes beauty.
The ancient seers of India have described existence in two ways. One way they have called satyam shivam sunderam. Satyam means truth, shivam means good, sunderam means beautiful. This is one expression of the ultimate experience. Another trinity by a few other seers has one thing certainly in common – satyam, the truth. Sat-Chit-Anand: sat means the truth, chit means consciousness, anand means blissfulness.
Both are right; it is their choice. They could not avoid one thing: truth. If they had a poetic approach, then the good and the beautiful were naturally experienced. If they were of a different disposition, more of a mystic than of a poet, then consciousness and blissfulness became part of their trinity.
It is because of these statements that I say religions born outside of India are very childish. Just see these trinities and compare them with the Christian trinity: God the father, God the son, and the holy ghost.
It is not even comparable to Sat-Chit-Anand: truth, consciousness, bliss or to satyam, shivam, sunderam: truth, good, beauty. These seem to be experiences. God, the son and the holy ghost…I don’t think anybody has ever experienced them. And the experience would be more like a nightmare!
But it all depends on you. Just as your dreams are yours and show something about your mind, so are your ideas while you are awake. They show something about you, and this is to be remembered by every seeker. This is a turning point. We are easily objective but our reality is subjective. We see things there which are our own projections.
A poet looks around the trees in a different way. He sees many greens, not one green. His sensitivity is so deep that he can make very subtle distinctions in the green of one tree and the green of another tree. You ordinarily simply see that the trees are green, but not even two leaves are exactly the same green. It needs a very sensitive, artistic, poetic, approach – it depends on you; you live in your own world.
J. Krishnamurti used to say, “You are the world.” Once this is understood tremendous changes are possible. You will not throw tantrums at others. You will become more centered, you will become more subjective and introvert. Your world will start losing objects; it will become more of a subjectivity – and that is your truth.
Once you are centered in your being, beyond mind, then you can see the world as it is. Only very few people have seen the world as it is. Everybody sees it as his mood, his emotion, as his idea suggests to him.
It has to be remembered continuously, that whatever you see, it is your own projection. Unless you start seeing the same everywhere – in the friend and in the foe – then your experience has entered into a new realm.

Irving Levensky, a leading dress manufacturer, decided to go on an African safari. After spending six weeks in darkest Africa, he returned to Seventh Avenue. Everyone who worked in his show room gasped when he walked in the door.
Irving, who was six feet tall when he left New York, was now little higher than two feet. His employees all looked at him and asked, “Mr. Levensky, what happened?”
He replied, “Never, but never, under any circumstances, call a witch doctor a schmuck!”

It is better not to call anything to anybody – just remain centered in yourself. Look at the world and drop judgments, and you will have such a pure atmosphere around you – no appreciation, no condemnation, just a pure watchfulness.
This watchfulness, I call meditation.

Sometimes I am blessed by this overwhelming feeling that this commune is becoming gently one body, one organism, one heartbeat. Am I dreaming? Am I once more the usual utopian? Oh, amore, please tell me it is not a dream.
It is a dream that is coming true, but it is a dream – not your dream, but the dream of everybody who is here.
It is impossible to find a man who is not carrying a dream of utopia, of a world which is better, more human, more beautiful, more loving; a world without conflicts, wars, discriminations, a world sensitive, compassionate, understanding. Every human being carries in some corner of his consciousness the dream, and it is not a new phenomenon.
From the very beginning the dream has been present in humanity, and efforts have been made to make a reality of it. Almost all efforts have failed, not because of any intrinsic difficulty, but because of a vast world that surrounds you. Your dreams are not in tune with the vested interests of the world, and they are more powerful – immensely powerful. The dreamer is very delicate, very fragile, just like his dream.
It is a communion of dreamers.
We created a dream in America, but the American establishment could not tolerate it, because the dream of human beings living in peace and love as an organic unity is against all politics, against all those who are in power. It is against all the so-called religions, because if you succeed in creating a dream here and making it a reality, who is going to bother about their heaven and hell and God?
Bertrand Russell is right when he says that if people were really happy, religions would disappear. Religions have a vested interest in the misery of people. The people have to be kept miserable; otherwise, what will happen to Christianity, to Hinduism, to Judaism, and millions of priests who are living as parasites because you are miserable? In your misery you need some kind of consolation!
In the first place they make you guilty, and in the second place they ask you to go to the church to confess to the priest. The priest will fine you and will pray for you to God, that you should be forgiven – it is such a game! And it has been going on for centuries and still man is so asleep that he does not see in what ways he is being manipulated.
No child comes with any feeling of guilt and if you don’t teach him guilt, he will never know about it. He will live a natural, uninhibited, beautiful life, but that will destroy the whole profession of the priests. And now the psychoanalysts have also joined in that profession; they are the latest version of the priest.
Just the other day, I was reading that a patient said to the psychoanalyst, “Last night I did not dream.” The psychoanalyst was saying, “Tell me about your dreams. Unless I have your dreams I cannot analyze them and I cannot help you.”
The psychoanalyst became very angry. He said, “You are very uncooperative. Why did you not dream? Without dreams what can I do? My whole profession, my whole expertise depends on your dreaming. Continue to dream, and unless you cooperate, I am at a loss; I cannot help you.”
The psychoanalyst wants you to continue dreaming. That has become his vested interest. The priest wants you to go on committing sins. The priest will be at a loss if nobody commits any sin.

In a small school, the teacher was telling the children how to go to heaven. And after one hour’s continuous effort to make those small boys and girls understand, finally she asked, “Can anyone tell me, what are the requirements to go to heaven?”
One small boy said, “You have to commit sin.”
She said, “What? How have you managed to get this idea in your mind?”
He said, “Without committing sin, how is God going to forgive you? And without forgiveness, nobody can enter into paradise.”

The child was saying something immensely significant. The priests, the saints go on teaching: Don’t sin. But they don’t mean that; remember, they go on saying it because they know the human nature, that you will sin. If they were for a moment made aware that people had decided not to sin, they would be in difficulty. You would have taken their whole profession.
The pope this year declared that anybody who confesses to God directly is committing a grave sin, you have to go through the right channel. Naturally, because if people start confessing to God directly, raising their hands to the sky and saying, “God, I have committed this sin, please forgive me,” what will happen to the church? What will happen to the money that goes on flowing into the church because you commit sin?
I have heard….

A bishop was very friendly with a rabbi. They became friends because both were interested in golf. And they had decided that on Sunday after the bishop was finished with the confessionals, they would go to the golf course. The rabbi waited, but it was becoming late. So finally, he came to the church to see what was the matter. He went inside.
In the Catholic church the priest sits behind a small window with a curtain. On the other side stands the man who confesses his sin, and the priest gives him the punishment: “Donate ten dollars to the church and never do such a thing again,” although, deep down he wants him to do it every day. It is natural, because from where is the money going to come?
The rabbi said, “It is becoming late.”
The bishop said, “What to do? There is still a long line waiting, but you can be of help. You just sit here, so I can wash, change my clothes, and get ready. Meanwhile, you do the confessional.”
The rabbi said, “But I don’t know what confessional is.”
The bishop said, “It is very simple. You have just seen that man who raped a woman; I have fined him ten dollars. So just five dollars, ten dollars…fine them and tell them that they will be forgiven, and not to do it again.”
The rabbi said, “Okay, I will try.”
Of course, on the other side the people were not aware that there had been a change: the bishop was no longer there and the rabbi was sitting there. And one man said, “Father, you have to forgive me, I committed rape twice this week.”
The rabbi said, “Son, don’t be worried. Just put thirty dollars in the donation box.”
The man said, “But last time when I committed rape, you asked only for ten dollars. Is the rate going higher?”
The rabbi said, “Don’t be worried my son, ten dollars are in advance. You can commit another rape.”

Utopia is what every human heart carries within him, particularly the younger generation, because as you become older you become less and less optimistic. Seeing the reality and its ugliness, seeing that all the powers are against any utopia, any freedom for human heart, any love, they don’t want the world to become a paradise, because then they will be out of employment, and nobody is ready to lose his bread and butter.
So as you grow old, you slowly, slowly start thinking that utopias are utopias, and you start compromising with the society. But there are a few crazy people like me who go on dreaming in spite of the society, in spite of the whole world. And howsoever difficult the dream seems to be to materialize, still my heart says there is no harm in making another effort. Perhaps one day, if not in my life, then in the life of future human beings, utopia will become a reality.
When the commune in America was crushed, almost bulldozed criminally, anyone in my place would have dropped the idea – but I am stubborn! I will go on till my last breath…or even after that.
What is happening here again is that the dream is becoming true. And we have learned much in the destruction of the commune in America – it has not been a bad experience. Learning is always good, and learning always comes through failures. The commune had succeeded, almost succeeded.
Here, we will avoid those possibilities of destruction. It is better to continue to dream for a better humanity than to settle into sadness and pessimism. Things are still coming together again. People are returning and they are more experienced now. They know not to have a structure that is capable of being destroyed. Something totally new, a more organic body, not a dictatorial regime; no enforcement of ten to twelve hours’ work, but a more joyous, life-affirmative. Each according to his need, each according to his choice. We are making every effort not to disturb anybody’s individuality, not to sacrifice any individual for the commune. On the contrary, make every individual as strong as possible, because that will be the total strength of the commune – and the seeds have started sprouting.
You are right when you say, “Sometimes I am blessed by this overwhelming feeling that this commune is becoming gently one body, one organism, one heartbeat. Am I dreaming?” No, it is a reality that is happening.
“Am I once more the usual utopian?” We are making every effort to change the meaning of the word, utopia. The meaning of the word utopia is that which never happens, and we are determined to change the meaning. We are committed to the idea that utopia is that which can happen. Its old definition has to be changed totally. Utopia is the very heart of human beings. A man without dreams for a better humanity is not a man, he is a desert.
“Oh, amore, please tell me it is not a dream.” It is both: it is not a dream because the dream is turning into reality, but it is still a dream because much more has to be done. You should not be satisfied.
This is a dream which goes on growing with new possibilities, with new dimensions. But we are determined to create it, to make it a reality. This is our religion. We are not interested in going to paradise; we are interested in making the paradise come here. It all depends on our love, on our silence, on our peace, on our meditation, and being aware and alert not to fall again into any trap of the vested interests.
Once the tree has become strong, has gained roots in the earth, it will be difficult for anybody to destroy it.
I believe in the earth.
I repeat Zarathustra who said to his disciples, “Never betray the earth.” All the religions have betrayed the earth.
The earth is the only reality.
Everything else talked about by religions is only fiction to distract you. We don’t want religions which are interested in a future heaven after death. Our interest is here, now – before death. What is the point of thinking about after death? This has been the routine because people could not succeed to create something beautiful in life. They started postponing it beyond death because nobody knows what happens beyond death; so it was a very good postponement.
I am not for postponing it, not even for tomorrow. Whatever can be done should be done right now.
Don’t betray the earth; don’t betray the present.
Don’t betray your dream; your dream is your very soul.

At a party an elderly bishop tired of social engagements sank wearily into a chair. His hostess rushed up suggesting that he have a cup of tea.
“No tea,” grunted the bishop.
“No coffee,” was the solemn reply.
“Scotch and water?”
“No water.”

Just avoid Scotch. Just avoid unconsciousness. Water is perfectly good. Be clear in your vision, be conscious in your efforts. The dream is gaining roots and I hope soon we will see the flowers. They are not far away.

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