The Real Question

Your question is not even under the law of synchronicity, it is something even more mysterious.

The experience of the infinite, the absolute is Acausal. You cannot cause it by any preparation, for the simple reason that it is already there. It is not something that has to be produced, it is something that you have forgotten, something that has only to be remembered.

You will be surprised to know that the English word `sin’ means forgetting. There is only one sin — that you have forgotten yourself. You are there in your totality, nothing has to be added, nothing has to be produced so there is no question of cause. You are not going to be an effect of something. You have been eternally there, and you will be eternally there. It is something that you all may have experienced sometimes: somebody asks you someone’s name you used to know, and you know that you know this name — it is just on the tip of your tongue. You say, “It is just on the tip of my tongue, but I cannot remember it.” It is a very strange experience: you know it; you know that you know it; you know that it is almost on the tip of the tongue — still, you cannot remember it. The more you try, the more difficult it becomes, because the more tense you are, the less is the possibility for it to surface. Finally, everybody has to give up.

You drop the whole idea. You go into the garden, you start digging a hole you had left half done; you forget all about that name, you start doing something else — and suddenly it is there. The moment you do not try, you find it there; it has come. This is neither a question of causality, nor is it a question of synchronicity. It is something totally different. The ultimate experience of oneself, whatever the name one gives to it, is only of something forgotten. All that has to be done is to remember it. And for remembering what can you do? If you try too much, you will not get it. That’s what happened in Gautam Buddha’s life. I will remind you….For six years he was trying too hard to get it — and he could not get it. Then finally he dropped the idea, saying, “It is not worth it. I have simply wasted six years. I have renounced the world, renounced my kingdom. I have destroyed my body, I have tortured myself in every possible way — and nothing has happened.” And that very night it happened. It would not have happened if he had not tried for six years. But those six years are not the cause.

You can try for six years and it may not happen. Millions of Buddhist monks have been trying for twenty-five centuries — there is no necessity. It may happen to different people in different ways. Causality is always the same. Synchronicity is something that may be helpful in remembering it, but just helpful, it cannot cause it.

And the mystics have used synchronicity; they have called it satsang, sitting with the master. Just sitting with the master, not doing anything, just being in his presence — it is a very difficult thing for the Western mind to understand. And the Western mind is the modern mind. Even in the East the modern mind is Western. It is difficult to understand what you are doing just by sitting with a silent man. But his silence can create a synchronicity in you. His silence may vibrate silence in you.

It is not necessarily certain, because it is not a question of causality, when at one hundred degrees the water is going to boil. Whether you do it in India or in Nepal or in Tibet or in Japan… it does not matter where, but at one hundred degrees water is going to boil — that is absolutely certain.

Synchronicity is not such a certainty. It may happen, it may not happen. It depends on very mysterious things — how powerful is the presence of the master; how ready you are to allow his presence to enter you, to vibrate in you; how much trust you have; how much compassion the master has…. It will differ in every case. Sometimes it can happen, sometimes it will not happen.

Synchronicity is not a law of certainty, but it is certainly a law. A few things happen that way. Love happens that way. What in the East we have called darshan — which is absolutely an Eastern concept, that people go to a master just to see him. In the West this seems absolutely absurd. Unless you have some question to ask, it is meaningless just to see a person, or just to touch his feet. But the West has not been aware of the law of synchronicity. Just seeing may do something miraculous. Just in the moment of touching his feet, something may transpire in you. Just seeing the master, something will immediately change within you. You are certainly not the same person in the presence of the master as you are ordinarily.

These things can be just helpful, not causes to make you remember yourself. Coming close to a person who has remembered, falling in love with the person who already remembers, may create an atmosphere of synchronicity. And if you are available, open, receptive, something inside you which has always been there… and just because it has been always there, you have not taken any note of it.

The obvious is always forgotten, and you are the most obvious thing to yourself.

 You are. You know you are. You may remember thousands of other things, but you need not remember yourself. Life goes on perfectly well without remembering yourself. That is not a need. It is absolutely useless. As far as life and its day-to-day work is concerned, you don’t need to know the absolute, the infinite. Naturally, you start taking yourself for granted, as if you know, as if you remember. It is only rarely… when you come in contact with somebody who makes you aware that you don’t remember yourself, you have forgotten yourself, you have fallen asleep. Unless somebody provokes you, creates a question in you, the obvious will remain forgotten.

Being with a master is just to learn — not the answer but the question. The answer is within you. You have forgotten the question.

Gertrude Stein was dying. The friends of the poet were around. The dying poet asked, “What is the answer?”

Naturally, somebody said, “But you have not asked the question.”

So the dying poet asked, “Then what is the question?”

And the poet died….

Neither do we know the question, nor do we know the answer — but the answer is within you. Nobody can give it to you, but somebody can certainly provoke the question, the quest. It is a very strange thing. You have come with questions to me, but my basic work is to create the real question in you. By answering your questions, I am simply eliminating all other questions so the basic question comes up. When there is nothing to be asked, only then are you going to ask about the real question. And the beauty is, that the real question has just to be asked, and the answer surfaces within your consciousness itself. The answer is already there, only the question is missing. The question is not a cause, it is not producing anything. It is simply removing perhaps a curtain at the most, and making you aware of something which has always been there.

The experience of the infinite is not an ordinary experience, hence it does not come under the category of causality. It is not something that is produced in you. It is not something that has to be brought from somewhere. It is something that is already there, you have just forgotten it…

A master creates devices. All devices are just arbitrary, but they are not causes. They only create a certain situation in which perhaps you can remember yourself.

What I call witnessing is only a device. What I call meditation is nothing but a device. It is not going to give you anything that you don’t have. It is only going to make you aware of all that you have, and that you have had it always.

Now this is not even under the law of synchronicity, it is a totally different world of mystery which comes under no law. The world needs saints of that quality who can create such a situation. You have saints who are dull and dead, traditional, orthodox. You worship them because they fulfill your expectations. You have certain expectations of how a saint should be, and they fulfill it. It is a strange conspiracy against yourself. They fulfill your expectation of being a saint, and then you touch their feet because they are saints. But real saints cannot fulfill your expectations. Real saints will destroy all your expectations.

A real saint is going to be almost an electric shock. That’s why the real saint is always misunderstood. People feel annoyed, irritated. You can think of that rich man when his bag is lost. In those moments he cannot believe that this man is a saint. If this man is a saint, then who can be a sinner? But when the saint returns the bag and asks him, “Do you have a little peace of mind?” then he falls at his feet and he thanks him for reminding him about something which has become absolutely certain for him. For a moment he lost that big bag of money. He got it back — it was the same bag which he had brought himself, but now it brings with it peace of mind.

There are very few real saints in the world. The only definition of the real saint is that he will not fulfill your expectations, that he does not want you to worship him. He wants you to be awakened. He wants you to be in the same state in which he is. He does not want followers, he does not want worshippers. All that is simply nonsense. He wants people to be awakened so that they can remember their real treasure. It is infinite because it has no limits. And the moment you remember it, it is not just yours. It is something universal…So when you have the experience, it envelops the whole existence. It is cosmic. It is infinite. And the moment you know it, you laugh at yourself that you have been searching for something which you have never lost, that you have been looking for something which has been always with you, which even if you wanted to lose, you could not lose, it is your very nature. Every person who has become enlightened, his first act is to laugh at himself.



This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: The Sword and the Lotus
Chapter #15
Chapter title: A meditator is a rain cloud
4 February 1986 pm in


Osho has spoken on ‘synchronicity, satsang, master, disciple, silence’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
  2. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, 3, 6, 10, 12
  3. From Personality to Individuality
  4. The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
  5. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1
  6. The First Principle
  7. A Bird on the Wing
  8. And The Flowers Showered
  9. Beyond Enlightenment
  10. From Bondage to Freedom
  11. Light on the Path
  12. The Osho Upanishad
  13. The Secret
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