The New Alchemy 17

Seventeenth Discourse from the series of 34 discourses - The New Alchemy by Osho.
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It is written that for him who is on the threshold of divinity no law can be framed, no guide can exist. Yet to enlighten the disciple, the final struggle may be thus expressed:

Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
It is written that for him who is on the threshold of divinity no law can be framed, no guide can exist. The ultimate is uncharted. Nothing can be said about it because nothing that can be said will be true – for so many reasons. It remains indefinable, uncharted, unknown. Not only unknown, but, in a sense, unknowable.
The first reason: those who enter it are dissolved into it. They cannot remain themselves. They are totally destroyed by it. They are reborn, they are totally new. And only the old can define.
Try to understand this: only the old can define. If I see you and I have seen you before, I recognize you immediately. Who recognizes you? – the past. Because I had known you before, I remember your face, I recognize you. Recognition comes from the past. But if my mind is totally washed clean and I have completely forgotten the past, or if my memory is eliminated and there is no connection with the past, I cannot recognize you. One who enters the ultimate loses his past completely so he cannot recognize what is happening now. There is no reference.
Secondly: you can recognize only that which you have known before. And the phenomenon of the divine is absolutely unknown. You have never known it before. In what terms to interpret it, to define it? You don’t have any reference, you don’t have any terms, you don’t have any definitions. The experience is so absolutely new – how to translate it into language?
Thirdly: when you enter the ultimate, language becomes impossible because all language is based on duality. You define life by death; you may not be aware of this absurdity. You define matter by mind, you define mind by matter. If someone asks “What is matter?” you say “That which is not mind.” But are you sure? What is mind? Then you define mind as that which is not matter. So you are moving in circles.
When you are asked about matter you talk about the mind as if you know the mind. You say “That which is not mind.” But if someone asks you “What is mind?” you start defining it in terms of matter: “That which is not matter.” Both are unknown. But you are playing tricks with yourself. When one is asked, you define it by the other. When the other is asked, you define it by the first – and both are indefinable.
As far as worldly activities are concerned it’s okay to do this. It’s utilitarian, helpful. Not true, but utilitarian. But when you enter the ultimate, this dualism cannot be of any help. You cannot define the divine by anything that is against it because nothing is against it. It is the whole.
You could say matter is not mind, or you could say mind is not matter, because mind is not the whole thing: matter exists as the opposite. You can define it. You can say life is not death, you can say death is not life. You can say darkness is not light, and light is not darkness. You can say man is not woman, and woman is not man. You can go on defining with the opposite.
But what is opposite to the divine? – there is nothing opposite to it. Divine means the whole, the totality, so how to define totality? – it is indefinable because all definitions are based on the opposite, and nothing is opposite to it. Language falls flat. It says “I cannot enter this dimension.” Language exists in duality and cannot penetrate the non-dual.
The divine is uncharted because it is just like the sky. It is not like the earth: if you walk on the earth, footprints are left behind, others can follow. You have passed, others can follow you; they can track you. Following your footprints, they can reach the same goal. But the totality – the divine or God or whatsoever you want to call it: X, Y, Z, the total – is just like the sky. Birds have flown in it but no footprints are left. You cannot follow. You have to start from A, B, C.
Whenever you enter the divine… Buddha passed before you, Jesus passed before you, Krishna passed before you, but there are no footprints. When you enter the divine it is as if man is entering for the first time. The sky remains virgin, untouched, unscarred. But it is good; this absolute virginity is good because then this experience is unique and yours.
Otherwise if you find Buddha’s footprints, Krishna’s footprints – maps, definitions, guidebooks – everything will be secondhand because many have known it, many have come before you. They have said everything that you can know. Everything will be secondhand.
But the divine is not secondhand, it is always firsthand. Whenever you enter it, it is as if someone is entering for the first time. No one has entered before you and no one will enter after you, because no footprints can be left: everyone is unique.
That’s why all worldly experiences become boring. One gets fed up because everything becomes secondhand, everything becomes borrowed. Someone has known it, nothing is virgin.
The divine is always virgin, absolutely virgin. You cannot corrupt it, you cannot make it old, you cannot make it repetitive. That’s why nothing can be defined, nothing can be mapped, and no guide can be supplied.
Yet to enlighten the disciple, the final struggle may be thus expressed. But just to enlighten the disciple – one who has not yet entered but is just on the verge of it, ready to take the jump – something can be said tentatively, some indications can be given. But don’t take them in any absolute sense. They are just a help, the last help that can be given, because once the disciple enters this temple of the divine he will be lost. This is the last instruction from the master.

The thirteenth sutra:
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.
Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence. There are two things Matter has substance, it is substantial. If I throw a stone at you it has substance to it, mass. It will hit you: matter is substance. But what is mind? What are you in your inner being, in your consciousness?
Consciousness is not substance. It exists, it has existence, but it has no substance. I cannot throw consciousness at you. And even if I throw it, you will not be hit. Consciousness exists, matter subsists. Matter has substance, consciousness has existence.
This sutra says: Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence. The divine is different from both. It is not like matter, not like substance. It is not like mind or consciousness. You cannot say God is substance and you cannot say God exists – for many reasons. When you say God exists, you are saying something tautological, a repetition. When I say this table exists, it is meaningful because the table can go out of existence: we can destroy it. But when I say God exists it is meaningless, because God cannot go out of existence and cannot be destroyed. Existence is meaningful only if nonexistence is possible. If nonexistence is impossible, existence is meaningless.
When you say God exists, what do you mean? Can God not exist? Then, it is meaningful. But if you say he cannot be in a state of nonexistence, then what you really mean is that God is existence, not that God exists.
God cannot exist; God can only be existence. When I say the table exists, the table is not existence; it can go out of existence, so the sentence is meaningful. When I say God exists, it is meaningless, because he cannot go out of existence. So when I say God exists, I mean that existence exists – a tautology, a repetition, useless. Even to say God is, is meaningless because he is the very isness. There is no need to say is. God is not is; he is isness.
You cannot say God is substance nor can you say he exists. He is beyond both: beyond matter and beyond mind. Or, he is both. In both ways, he transcends.
These are the last instructions for the disciple when he is ready to enter the temple of the divine. Nothing more can be said.
Remember this: God is not matter. We have a concept of God as matter. That’s why we create idols, we create temples, we make images – all substances.
Islam does not allow idols to be made of God only because of this: so that God will not be made identical with matter in any way. No idol, no image should be made of God because an image gives a sense of substance, and he is not substance.
But then we think of God as mind: the controller, the creator, the sustainer. We have some vague idea of God as a supreme mind somewhere above, in the sky, who controls everything. But then he becomes the mind. He may be a great engineer or, as Plato says, a great mathematician, but the conception is that he is the mind. He is neither mind nor matter. He is beyond both.
This sutra says to remember this transcendence. He is neither the outer nor the inner. He is neither the body nor the mind. He is neither any thing nor any thought. Before you enter the ultimate temple from where no coming back is possible, remember this: Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence.

The fourteenth sutra:
Listen only to the voice which is soundless.
Listen only to the voice which is soundless. All sounds are created. All the sounds that we know are created in some way or the other. The wind blows and a sound is created. You clap your palms and a sound is created. I speak and a sound is created. But all these are created sounds. They will die because that which is born is bound to die, that which is created will be destroyed.
Is there any sound that is uncreated? If there is any uncreated sound, truth can be expressed only through that – because that which can die cannot express the truth. That’s why it is said again and again that truth can be expressed only in silence; it cannot be said through words.
Words may lead you toward silence, but they cannot speak the truth. Words will die, and that which is immortal cannot be said through mortal words. How can it be? It is impossible. How can that which is eternal be put into the temporal? How can that which is timeless be brought into time? How can that which is beyond space be placed somewhere in a temple, in a space? Truth can be revealed only through something that is eternal.
Through meditation, many seekers have come to know a soundless sound within, a silent sound. The words soundless sound are contradictory. It is soundless because you cannot hear it with your ears. It is soundless because sound is always created through conflict, and there is no conflict. Sound is always created through duality, two things in conflict, but there are not two things in the heart. It is soundless because it cannot be heard, it can only be experienced.
Remember: Listen only to the voice which is soundless. How can one listen to the voice which is soundless? In Zen they have a koan: to listen to the sound of one hand clapping. We can listen to the sound of two hands clapping. In Zen the master gives the discipline a koan, a puzzle to meditate on: listen to the sound of one hand not clapping with another. They call this the deepest meditation, to try to listen to some sound that is uncreated. If you go on meditating, go on meditating – just sitting and meditating, trying to listen – you will hear many things. This is one of the most beautiful techniques. Just close your eyes, sit under a tree and start listening. You will hear many new sounds you were never aware of before. Birds, insects… Very slowly, you will become aware of many sounds around you. Go on finding the sound which is uncreated.
Every sound will be created. A bird starts singing and then stops. That which was created has now moved into nonexistence. Go on listening, go on listening. And go on trying to find out which is the sound that is uncreated. By and by, more and more subtle sounds will be heard. By and by you will start hearing your own heartbeats, you will start hearing your own breathing. But that too is created. Your heart will stop, your breathing cannot continue forever. It was not always so. When a child is born there is no breathing. Then suddenly the child starts crying and breathing starts.
Go on listening deeply. These are not soundless sounds. Throw them out, eliminate them. You will start listening to the sound of your blood circulating. More subtle: you are not ordinarily aware of your blood circulating. You will hear it circulating, you will hear the sound. But it is also created through circulation, through conflict. Go on eliminating. A moment comes, if you persist long enough, when all sounds have disappeared; you cannot hear anything. A gap is created: all sounds have disappeared, and with these sounds, the whole universe has disappeared for you, as if you have fallen into emptiness.
But don’t be afraid now. Otherwise you will fall back again to the world of sounds. Remain unafraid. It will look like a death. It is, because with the sounds lost, you have also lost your mind. Your mind is just a chattering box. No more mind, no more sounds, no more world: you will feel as if you have died. You are no longer, because you were nothing but a combination, a collection, of sounds.
Persist! This death is beautiful because it is the door to the divine. Go on trying to listen to what is there now, after the gap, if you have traveled it without becoming afraid and scared.
If you are scared, you will fall back again; you will run back again to the world of sounds, and the mind will start functioning again. But if you are unafraid and can persist in this gap of soundlessness, you will become aware of a new sound, which is uncreated. Hindus have called the sound omkar, om. Om is just a symbol, just a symbol for the sound that is always there, in the innermost self: omkar. Aum, aum, aum, is going on there, uncreated. No one is uttering it. It is.
This is the soundless sound – uncreated. And only with this sound can you enter the holy of holies.

The fifteenth sutra:
Look only on that which is invisible alike to the inner and outer sense.
We look at the world with the outer senses. Matter is perceived. But matter is not really there – now physicists say that matter is not. It is simply energy, vibrating energy. Matter is illusory. This is very strange because in the East mystics have always said that matter is illusory, maya. By this they meant that whatsoever appears is not so. Now physicists agree with Shankara, now Einstein agrees with Vedant. Now scientists also say that matter is illusory. No one ever thought or imagined that someday science would say that matter is illusory.
Matter appears to be so, but it is not. It is energy – but energy moving with such speed, such tremendous speed, that you cannot see it moving. That’s why it appears to be unmoving matter. Electrons move with such tremendous speed that you cannot see them moving. They give an illusion of being static, substance.
Matter is really not there but through your outer senses matter appears. It is your interpretation. Mind is also not there, but through your inner senses it appears to be. What then is real? If you look through the outer senses matter appears, which is unreal, not real; and if you look through your inner senses mind appears, which is also unreal, which is also an interpretation of the senses.
So the eastern mysticism says that the real can be found only when you have ceased to use both the outer and the inner senses. When no senses are used, there is no possibility of distorting reality. Then, you are immediately in reality.
The senses divide: I look at you – I don’t know what you are, how you are, but my eyes look at you and my eyes give me certain information. I cannot come to you directly, eyes are the mediators. Whatsoever they say I have to believe.
So whatsoever your senses say you have to believe; you don’t know whether it is reality or not. Your senses may be defective, or they may be interpreting the world in a wrong way. There is no way of knowing whether your senses are interpreting wrongly or rightly. There is no way to know, because whatsoever you know, you know through the senses. There is no other way to know, to judge and compare.
Because of this, Immanuel Kant said that no thing can be known in itself. There is no way to know a thing in itself, because whatsoever you know is known through your senses. You cannot know anything directly, only indirectly. You have to believe in your senses. Who knows what is there? You have never been there, your senses go there and they inform you.
The same happens when you start using your inner senses. They inform you of what is inside: what is the soul, what is the self. But that too is just an interpretation of the senses.
This sutra says: Look only on that which is invisible alike to the inner and outer sense. The real is invisible to both. It cannot be known through the mind; it cannot be known through meditation. When both mind and meditation are thrown away, only then do you enter reality. When there is no meditation, when you have come directly upon it, when you have entered it, when there is no more distance, when you have become reality, only then do you know it.
This can be said in a different way: you cannot know God unless you become God himself. If you say “I can know God without becoming God,” you are saying something impossible. Because of this, a very strange thing has happened. Christianity and Mohammedanism both think that to say that you can become God is sacrilegious, profane, irreligious; it doesn’t show respect. The Mohammedan attitude about it has been so stubborn that it killed Mansoor and other Sufi mystics because they declared that they were God.
Mansoor said, “Ana’l haq. I am the divine: Aham brahmasmi.” He was killed because: “This is too much! A human being saying that he is God?” But what Mansoor is saying is a very simple, basic truth. He is saying that you can either say that God cannot be known or you can concede that a man can become God – because how can God be known unless you are not? Unless you enter him, and become one with him, how can you know him? You can just move around and around him. But whatsoever you come to know is just information that is gathered from without, it is not direct knowledge.
Mansoor says that you can know God only if you have become God himself. Otherwise there is no way. How can you know from without unless you become the very heart of divinity, unless you yourself have become divine?
This sutra says that reality cannot be known by the outer senses – the outer senses interpret reality as matter. And reality cannot be known through the inner senses – the inner senses interpret reality as mind. Reality can be known only when you have thrown out all the senses completely and you have taken a jump into reality itself, without any mediators; when you have lost your mind and when you have lost your meditation also.
Meditation is complete when you are capable of throwing it out too. You have entered samadhi, you have entered reality, the ultimate.
Peace be with you.
And only then can peace be with you, not before. Before that, you will remain in anguish in this way or that; you will remain tense this way or that – because you are the tension, you are the anguish. Your feeling that you are is the problem. When you are not, the problem is not.
And how can you be in a state of nonexistence? How can you cease to be? That is the way of peace. If you can cease to be, you have entered reality; you have entered infinite peace, absolute peace.
Your being, as separate, is the problem. You feel like an outsider, a stranger, alien, and this alienation creates disturbance. This alienation creates fear, this alienation creates death. You cannot be at peace. When you have completely thrown off your alienation and you have merged into reality, melted into it, lost yourself in it – you are no longer, only reality is – only then can you be in that peace, which is impossible to disturb, which nothing can disturb.
Remember that you are the disease. You cannot be cured because you are the disease. If the disease is something else it can be cured, but you are the disease. You cannot be cured, you are incurable. Throw off the disease. Throw off yourself, feel as if you are not. More and more, create the feeling of being nobody, of being nothingness.
Move toward nonbeing, because nonbeing is the door to the ultimate being. When you have completely ceased to be, you will be divine. When you are not, you will be godliness itself.

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