The Secret of Secrets Vol 1 01

First Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - The Secret of Secrets Vol 1 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Master Lu-tsu said:
That which exists through itself is called the Way, Tao. Tao has neither name nor shape. It is the one essence, the one primal spirit. Essence and life cannot be seen. They are contained in the light of heaven. The light of heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes.

The Great One is the term given to that which has nothing above it. The secret of the magic of life consists in using action in order to attain nonaction.

The Golden Flower is the light. One uses the Golden Flower as a symbol. The phrase “The lead of the water-region has but one taste” refers to it.

The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together. The heavenly heart lies between sun and moon.

The Book of the Yellow Castle says: “In the square inch field of the square foot house, life can be regulated.” In the middle of the square inch dwells the splendor. In the purple hall of the city of jade dwells the God of Utmost Emptiness and Life. Therefore when the light circulates, the energies of the whole body appear before its throne, as, when a holy king has established the capital and has laid down the fundamental rules of order, all the states approach with tribute; or as, when the master is quiet and calm, man-servants and maids obey his orders of their own accord, and each does his work.

Therefore you only have to make the light circulate; that is the deepest and most wonderful secret. The light is easy to move, but difficult to fix. If it is made to circulate long enough, then it crystallizes itself. It is the condition of which it is said: “Silently thou fliest upward in the morning.”

In carrying out this fundamental principle you need to seek for no other methods, but must only concentrate your thoughts on it. By collecting the thoughts one can fly and will be born in heaven.

The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life. Although it works very accurately, it is yet so fluid that it needs extreme intelligence and clarity, and the most complete absorption and tranquility. People without this highest degree of intelligence and understanding do not find the way; people without this utmost capacity for absorption and tranquility cannot keep fast hold of it.
A parable.

Once there was a very rich magician who had a great many sheep. But at the same time this magician was very mean. He did not want to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing. The sheep consequently often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and so on, and above all they ran away, for they knew that the magician wanted their flesh and skins, and this they did not like.
At last the magician found a remedy. He hypnotized his sheep and suggested to them first of all that they were immortal and that no harm was being done to them when they were skinned, that on the contrary, it would be very good for them and even pleasant.
Secondly, he suggested that the magician was a good master who loved his flock so much that he was ready to do anything in the world for them. And in the third place, he suggested to them that if anything at all was going to happen to them it was not going to happen just then, at any rate not that day, and therefore they had no need to think about it.
Further, the magician suggested to his sheep that they were not sheep at all. To some of them he suggested that they were lions, to others that they were eagles, to others that they were men, and to others that they were magicians.
And after this, all his cares and worries about the sheep came to an end. They never ran away again but quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their flesh and their skins.
George Gurdjieff loved this parable very much. His whole philosophy is contained in this small parable. And this parable represents man in the ordinary state of unconsciousness. It is one of the most beautiful illustrations of man as he is: man is a machine.
Man is not born to be a machine, but man lives like a machine and dies like a machine. Man has the seed of a great flowering of consciousness, man has the possibility to become God. But that doesn’t happen. It does not happen because man has been hypnotized – by the society, by the state, by the organized church, by the vested interests. The society needs slaves, and man can remain a slave only if he is not allowed to grow into his uttermost flowering. The society needs your flesh and your skins and naturally nobody likes it. Hence the whole process of socialization, of civilization, is nothing but a deep hypnosis.
Man is being hypnotized from the very moment he is born. He is being hypnotized: that the society exists in his favor, for his good. That is utterly wrong. He is being hypnotized: that he is immortal. He is not. He can be, but he is not. And if the hypnosis persists he will never be immortal.
You live only as a mortal being because you live in the body. The body is going to die. That which is born is bound to die; birth is the beginning of the body and death the end. Do you know anything more than the body in you? Have you experienced anything higher than the body, deeper than the body? Have you seen anything in you which was even before you were born? If you have seen that, then you are immortal. If you know your face, your original face, the face that you had before you were born, then you know you will be there after death too; otherwise not.
Man can be an immortal, but man lives surrounded by death because man lives identified with the body. The society does not allow you to know more than the body. The society is interested only in your body; your body can be put to use, your soul is dangerous. A man of soul is always dangerous because a man of soul is a free man, he cannot be reduced to slavery. A man who has an immortal soul in him has a deeper commitment to existence itself, to God himself. He does not care a bit about the man-made structures of society, civilization and culture; these are prison cells for him. He does not exist as a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. He cannot be part of a crowd. He exists as an individual.
The body is part of a crowd, your soul is not. Your soul is deeply individual. Its flavor is that of freedom. But your soul cannot be put to any use in the marketplace. The society needs only your body. And it is very dangerous for the society if you start striving for the soul, because then your interest changes. You turn from being an extrovert into an introvert; you start moving inwards. The society is outside, the society wants you to remain an extrovert – interested in money, power, prestige, and all that – so that your energy goes on moving outwards. If you start moving inwards, that means you have become a dropout, you are no more part of the game that is being played on the outside. You don’t belong to it. You start diving deep within your own being. And there is the source of immortality.
The society prevents you from going inwards. And the best way is to give you a false idea that you are going inwards. The magician told the sheep that they are lions, suggested to them that they are immortals, hypnotized them into believing that they are not only men but they are great magicians.
When you go to a church you are not going inwards, when you go to the temple you are not going inwards. But the society has hypnotized you to believe that if you want to go inwards, go to the church. But the church is as much outside as anything else. The society has hypnotized you to believe that if you want to go inwards, go to the priest. And the priest is an agent of the state and the society. The priest has always been against the mystics, because if you go to a mystic you will start moving inwards.
A mystic lives in a totally different way. His energy has a different gestalt: his river moves inwards. So one who comes to a mystic, falls in tune with the mystic, will start moving inwards naturally, simply, spontaneously. That is the whole purpose of being with a master, with a mystic.
This book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, is one of the most esoteric treatises in the world. It will show you the way to become more than the body. It will show you the way to go beyond death. It will show you the way to bloom – how not to remain a seed but to become a golden flower – what in India we have called the one-thousand-petaled lotus, in China they call the golden flower. It is a symbol.
The flower represents perfection, totality. The flower represents the uttermost expression of the potential, the actualization of the potential. The flower represents the beauty, the grandeur, the splendor of being. And unless you have become a thousand-petaled lotus or a golden flower….
Remember, you have to go far. Remember, that you have to get out of the traps that the society has put around you. Remember, that you have not yet done the work for which you have come to the Earth. Remember, you are just a seed, not yet a soul.
This treatise, The Secret of the Golden Flower, is very ancient – possibly one of the most ancient treatises in the world – certainly twenty-five centuries old, but the possibility is that it is older than that. But twenty-five centuries can be traced back very easily. And this treatise is also a great synthesis of all the great religions. That is rare, unique. The Bible belongs to the Christians, the Talmud belongs to the Jews, the Vedas belong to the Hindus, the Dhammapada to the Buddhists, the Tao Te Ching to the Taoists. But this small book, The Secret of the Golden Flower, belongs to no one in particular, or it belongs to all.
It is deeply based in Taoist teachings, it is a flowering of the Taoist approach to life and existence. But it is not only that – Zarathustra has played a role; Zarathustra’s teachings have been incorporated in it. Buddhist teachings have also been incorporated in it, and a certain esoteric school of Christians, the Nestorians, they have also played their part. So Christianity and Judaism also have become part of it.
It is one of the most synthetical approaches. It combines all that is beautiful in all the traditions of the world. For centuries it was only transmitted orally and the book remained esoteric. It was not available to the public because it has something very secret to teach; it was available only to the disciples. The master would tell it to the disciple only when the time was ripe, because it gives you such a potential secret that if you don’t understand rightly, if you do something wrong with it, there are bound to be harmful effects from it. It has to be understood rightly, and it has to be worked at only in the presence of a master. It is a powerful method – it is as powerful as atomic energy.
Now the secrets of atomic energy are kept hidden from the public. Once they start leaking out to the public there is going to be great danger. If people can manufacture atom bombs privately, there is bound to be great chaos. Great secrecy is maintained about atomic research. Exactly in the same way this book teaches you one of the most potential methods of inner explosion. For centuries the secrets were guarded – only given to the disciples in privacy, in intimacy – and the people who followed this particular esoteric school resisted all temptations to write the book. In fact, all the religions of the world have long resisted writing their spiritual teachings.
There is some beauty when something is transferred orally. It is alive, one thing – the master is behind it. It is not a dead word, the word has soul, wings. The experience of the master supports it, the master is a witness to it. It is not just speculation, not only a philosophy, but something existential, experienced, lived. And the master has traveled the path – he knows the dangers of the path, he knows the pitfalls, he knows the points at which people go astray – and he will take every care so that the disciple cannot go astray.
The closer you come to the truth, the more is the possibility of going astray, because when you come closer to the truth, you can become very egoistic, thinking that, “Now I know,” that “Now I am.” And if the ego exploits the situation you will fall back to your old dark valley, you will lose the peak. When you come closer to the truth, a great desire arises to share it with people. But you have not attained it in its wholeness and it is dangerous to share half-truths because half-truths are more dangerous than lies, because they are powerful. Lies are impotent. Sooner or later people will themselves find that it is a lie. But the half-truth can persist for centuries, can have effects for centuries.
Nobody can reach through the half-truth. And the person who travels half the way will belong neither to this world nor to the other. He will be in a limbo, and that is a very strange situation to be in: you lose the old and you don’t gain the new; you become a chaos. The old order is gone and the new has not happened. You become a cloud, you become confusion. Rather than becoming more clear, rather than becoming more alive, rather than becoming more light-full, your life becomes a conflict between two polarities. You are pulled apart, you start falling into pieces. Half of you belongs to the earth and half of you belongs to the sky. Now you are nowhere. Now you are nobody. This can create madness. So for centuries The Secret of the Golden Flower was only conveyed orally.
Secondly, with an oral tradition the book remains always alive. That’s how it became a synthesis. Basically it was born in the Taoist climate of China. But then Bodhidharma reached China – a new master, with a new message from India, Buddha’s message. And the people who were following The Secret of the Golden Flower were very open people; they were not part of any established church. They could immediately see that Bodhidharma also has it – it was so apparent, so manifest. They allowed Bodhidharma’s teachings to be part of their teaching. And the same happened with Zoroastrian masters, with Nestorian Christians: again and again something came to China, and if it was worthwhile it was incorporated.
An oral teaching remains alive, growing, like a river. New streams of water come and become part of it. Once a teaching is written, then it cannot incorporate anything anymore. Then it becomes rigid, it loses fluidity; it becomes dead, it is a corpse. Now The Secret of the Golden Flower is not growing; for centuries it has not grown. Since it has been written it has not grown.
Why have I chosen to speak on it? – so that it can still grow. It is such a beautiful message to the world, it should not die. I would like to revive it. And now I can talk to people who are disciples, who have come to me and who are ready to die in order to be reborn, who are ready to die for flowering. The seed has to die, only then can it grow; the seed has to disappear, only then can the tree happen.
I will be speaking to you on this small but immensely valuable book so that the book can become alive again. It can become alive between me and you. It can again start flowing. And it has something of immense importance. If you understand it and if you practice it, you will be enriched.
But the first thing to understand is: remember that you have been hypnotized, and you have to go through a de-hypnotizing process. Remember that you have been conditioned and you have to be unconditioned. Remember that death is coming. Don’t think that it is not going to happen today; it can happen any moment.
In fact, all that happens always happens now. The seed dies now, the bud becomes the flower now, the bird starts calling now. All that ever happens happens only in the space made available by now, this moment. Nothing ever happens in the past and nothing ever happens in the future. All that happens always happens in the present – that is the only way for things to happen because the present is the only time there is.
Past is just your memory and future is just your imagination. But you have been hypnotized to live in the past and you have been hypnotized to live in the future: Choose, either past or future. But no society allows you to live in the present.
Christians and Hindus and Mohammedans – they condition you to live in the past. Their golden age was in the past. Communists, socialists, fascists – they condition you to live in the future, their golden age is in the future, the utopia is coming: when the revolution comes, then you will be able to really live, then there will be a golden age. Either you are taken to the past, which is false, or to the future, which is again false. No society tells you to live in the present, in the herenow.
To be a sannyasin, to be a real seeker, means to live herenow – and there is no other life. But for that you will have to de-automatize yourself, you will have to become a man and not a machine. You will have to become a little more conscious. You are not conscious.

Once I was sitting by the side of a dying man – he was a professor in the same university where I was a professor. He was at the pinnacle of his successful career and then came the heart attack – which always comes when you are at the pinnacle. Success is always followed by a heart attack. What else can you have after it? So he had a heart attack and he was dying. I went to see him. He was very sad – who wants to die? – and he was in great despair and anguish. I told him, “You need not worry. You are not going to die.”
He said, “What are you saying? But the doctors…all the doctors say that there is no possibility of my survival. On what grounds are you saying that I am not going to die?”
I said, “In the first place you cannot die because you never lived. You have not fulfilled the first requirement for dying. For these fifty-five years you have been sleepwalking, you have dreamed; you have not lived. I have watched you for years.”
He was shocked, he was angry – so angry that for a moment he forgot all about death. His eyes were aflame with anger and he said, “Is this the way to treat a dying man? Can’t you be a little courteous? Why are you so hard on me? I am dying and you are talking such great philosophy – ‘You never lived.’ Is this the time to say such things?”
I listened silently. I just became absolutely silent. Then the rage disappeared and he started crying, and great tears came to his eyes. He held my hand with great love and then he said, “Maybe you are right. I never lived. Maybe you are not rude, you are just being true. And I know nobody else would have said this to me.” And then great gratitude, and for a moment he became so conscious that one could have seen the light on the face – it was there, he was all aura. And he thanked me. That night he died. I remained with him to the last moment.
And he said, “If you had not been here I would have missed my death too, as I have missed my life. But I am dying consciously. At least one thing I am happy about – I am not dying unconsciously.”
And his death was beautiful. He died without any regret, he died in a relaxed way. He died almost with a welcoming heart. He died full of gratitude. He died prayerfully. His next life is bound to have a different quality.

If death is so beautiful it brings a new life to you.
But one has to live each moment, whether it is of life, of love, of anger, of death. Whatsoever it is, one has to live each moment as consciously as possible.

A peasant, carried away by his imagination, found himself in a vegetable garden stealing cucumbers.
“I’ll carry off this sack of cucumbers,” he thought, “and with the money I get for them I’ll buy a hen. The hen will lay eggs, she will sit on them and hatch a brood of chicks, and I’ll feed the chicks till they grow, then I’ll sell them and buy a suckling pig. I’ll feed the suckling pig till it grows into a sow, I’ll breed her, and she’ll have a litter of pigs and I’ll sell them. With the money I get for the pigs I’ll buy a house with a garden; I’ll plant cucumbers in the garden, and I won’t let anyone steal them – I’ll keep guard over them. I’ll hire a strong watchman, and from time to time I’ll go out to the garden and shout, ‘Hey, you! Take care!’”
The peasant was so carried away by this thought that he shouted at the top of his voice. The watchman heard him and came running. He caught the peasant and gave him a good thrashing.

But this is how man lives: in dreams, in imagination, in projections. This is how you live, and this is not the way to live this beautiful, tremendously valuable life – this is sheer wastage. You have to become more attentive to the moment, to the present. You have to gather your consciousness. Consciousness is your treasure, and all the methods that have been invented, devised down the centuries, are nothing but ways to create more consciousness in you, to create more fire in you, to make your life a passionate affair, a flame. People are living dull lives, people are living absent-mindedly, people are living inattentively. How can you live with so much inattention around you? Inattention is darkness, attention is light. And this treatise will teach you how to create more light in you, so that one day…the golden flower.

Two psychiatrists met on the street. “You are feeling fine,” said one. “How am I doing?”

People are asking each other. Nobody knows how they are doing, they are looking into each other’s eyes, gathering information about themselves from others. That’s why the opinion of others has become so important. If somebody says you are a fool, you become angry. Why? Or you become sad. Why? You are shattered. You were thinking you are a wise man because others had told you that you are wise. It was the opinion of others that you depended on. Now somebody else says you are a fool. He can easily shatter your wisdom, very easily. He has thrown a stone and you had made a palace with playing cards. Now all is shattered. That’s why one becomes so angry, so enraged, so violent, and one becomes so worried, anxious. You are continually looking for what others are thinking, because you know only that which others think about you, you don’t know anything about yourself. Now what kind of situation is this? If I cannot know about myself, who else can know about me? From the outside nobody can watch me, I am not available that way. From the outside only my body can be watched. From the inside I can know my consciousness.
Even when you stand before a mirror you see only your body, you cannot see your consciousness in the mirror. Even you cannot see it in the mirror – your own consciousness. You have to see it directly. It is never mirrored, it is never reflected in anything; it is invisible. You have to close your eyes and be it. And that is the only way of knowing it. But people live so unconsciously. They simply live by the opinion of others. What others say becomes their soul. Others can take it away any moment. People remain beggars.
Have you known anything about yourself directly? Have you ever encountered yourself directly without bringing the opinion of others into it? If you have not done it, you have not yet lived. Life starts only by encountering oneself, by seeing oneself directly, immediately. Life exists only when you are capable of seeing yourself as you are, not as others think about you. What can they think about you? What can they say about you? They can watch your behavior, they cannot watch you. If you want to watch yourself, only you can do that, nobody else. It cannot be done by servants, it cannot be delegated to somebody else. It cannot be done by the experts either. But we are so much interested in others’ opinions because we are absolutely absent, there is nobody awake inside – deeply asleep, we are snoring inside.

The absent-minded professor went in for a haircut. He sat down in the barber’s chair, but didn’t remove his hat.
“I’m afraid you will have to take off your hat,” said the barber.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” said the professor, “I didn’t know there were ladies present.”

Watch your own absent-mindedness. Watching it will create attentiveness in you. Watch what is happening within you: thoughts passing, memories arising, a cloud of anger, a dark night of sadness, or a beautiful morning of joy. Watch all that passes in you, become more and more watchful. Slowly, slowly you will become an integrated watchfulness. And the method taught by The Secret of The Golden Flower is how to become integrated in your inner light. This is the story of this book before we enter into the sutras.
The book comes from an esoteric circle in China. The founder of this esoteric circle is said to have been the well-known Taoist adept, Lu Yen. Where did Lu Yen get this secret teaching? He himself attributes it to Master Kuan Yiu-hsi, for whom, according to tradition, Lao Tzu wrote down his Tao Te Ching.
Lao Tzu never wrote a single word in his whole life. He declined again and again, to write anything. He conveyed to his disciples what he had come to know, but he was not ready to write because he said, “The Tao which can be said is not the true Tao.” The Tao which can be expressed is already falsified. It can be learned only in intimate contact with the master. There is no other way of communicating it. It can only be learned in a deep communion where the disciple and the master meet, where the disciple holds nothing back, where the disciple and the master overlap, where their consciousnesses merge into each other. Only in such a meeting, communion, can Tao be conveyed. So he refused again and again.
He lived a long life. But when he was going to die he left China on a water buffalo. Why on a water buffalo? His whole teaching had been the teaching of the watercourse way.
He said: One should be like water – flowing, fluid, fresh, always moving towards the ocean and one should be like water – soft, feminine, receptive, loving, nonviolent. One should not be like a rock. The rock appears to be very strong but is not, and water appears to be very weak but is not. Never be deceived by appearances. Finally the water wins over the rock and the rock is destroyed and becomes sand and is taken to the sea. The rock disappears finally – against the soft water.
The rock is masculine; it is the male mind, the aggressive mind. Water is feminine, soft, loving, not aggressive at all. But the nonaggressive wins. The water is always ready to surrender, but through surrender it conquers – that is the way of the woman. The woman always surrenders and conquers through it. And the man wants to conquer and the ultimate result is just a surrender and nothing else. Hence, Lao Tzu chose a water buffalo when he left the country. Where was he going? He was going to the Himalayas to die into that eternal beauty.
A real man knows how to live and how to die. A real man lives totally, dies totally. A real man lives in benediction and dies in benediction.
He was going into absolute aloneness in the Himalayas, but he was caught on the border. And the man who caught him on the border is Master Kuan Yiu-hsi. He was a guard at the last post of the Chinese border. Lao Tzu had to pass that post; there was no other way to get out of the country. And Kuan Yiu-hsi persuaded him: “You are going to die, you are leaving the country forever, and soon you will be leaving the body. Please write just a few words. And I won’t allow you to get out of the land if you don’t write them. This price you have to pay.” And Lao Tzu had to sit in Kuan Yiu-hsi’s hut for three days, and there he wrote the Tao Te Ching.
The tradition of The Secret of the Golden Flower is said to have originated with Lu Yen. Lu Yen himself attributes it to Master Kuan Yiu-hsi for whom, according to tradition, Lao Tzu wrote down his Tao Te Ching. Kuan means “the Han-ku pass”; hence he is called Master Kuan, that is “Master of the Han-ku pass.” And he must have been a great adept, otherwise it would have been impossible to persuade Lao Tzu to write – his whole life he had declined. He could not decline the invitation of this man. This man must have had something that it was impossible even for Lao Tzu to say no to.
This is how the tradition of The Golden Flower is connected with Lao Tzu. But it didn’t start with Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu himself says that whatsoever he is saying has been said before, again and again, down the centuries. He is not bringing a new truth in the world but only a new expression. It is always so: truth is the same, only expressions differ.
What Lao Tzu said is the same as what Krishna had said before him. What Krishna said is the same as what Buddha said later on. What Buddha has said is the same as Mohammed, as Jesus, as Zarathustra have said, although their expressions are so different that you will need great intelligence to see to the very core. The structure is different, the language is different, their ways of saying it are different; naturally, because they are different persons, different individuals, with their own uniqueness. But truth is neither new nor old and wherever truth is, it is eternal.
The book The Secret of the Golden Flower is one of the eternal sources where one can again become alive, one can again find the door to the divine.
The sutras:
Master Lu-tsu said:
That which exists through itself is called the Way, Tao.
The word Tao essentially means “the Way.” Nothing can be said about the goal. The goal remains elusive, inexpressible, ineffable. But something can be said about the Way. Hence, Taoists have never used the words God, truth, nirvana; no, they simply use the word Way. Buddha says: “Buddhas can only show you the Way. If you follow the path, you will reach to the truth.”
Truth will have to be your own experience. Nobody can define the truth, but the Way can be defined, the Way can be made clear. The master cannot give you the truth, but the master can give you the Way. And once the Way is there then all that is needed is to walk on it. That has to be done by the disciple. I cannot walk for you and I cannot eat for you. I cannot live for you and I cannot die for you. These things have to be done by oneself. But I can show the Way, I have walked on the Way.
Tao simply means “the Way.”
That which exists through itself is called the Way
And the definition is beautiful. Lu-tsu says, “That which exists by itself, that which needs nobody else’s support, that which has always existed whether you walk on it or not….”
Whether anybody walks on it or not does not matter, it always exists. In fact, the whole existence follows it unknowingly. If you can follow it knowingly your life will become a great blessing. If you follow it unknowingly, then you will go on stumbling, then you cannot enjoy it as it should be enjoyed.
A man can be brought into the garden and he may be unconscious; he may be drunk or he may be in a coma or under the impact of chloroform. He can be brought into the garden, he is unconscious, the songs of the birds will be heard by his ears, but he will not know. The fragrance of the flowers will come riding on the breeze to his nostrils, but he will not know. The sun will shine on him and will shower light on him, but he will not know. The breeze will caress him, but he will not know. You can put him under the shade of a big tree and the coolness of it, but he will not know. That’s how man is.
We are in Tao, because where else can we be? To live is to be on the Way. To live is to live in God, to breathe is to breathe in God. Where else can we be? But just as the fish lives in the ocean and is completely oblivious of the ocean, we are living in Tao and are completely oblivious of Tao. In fact it is so obvious, that’s why we are so oblivious. The fish knows the ocean so well…the fish is born in it, the fish has never been out of it, the fish takes it for granted, hence the fish is not aware of it. We are on the Way, we are in God, we live in Tao, through Tao, but we are not aware of it. The Tao exists, because without the Tao trees will not grow and stars will not move and the blood will not circulate and the breath will not come in. Life will disappear.
Life is possible only if there is a fundamental law holding it. Life is possible only if there is something that supports it. Look at the immense order in existence. It is not a chaos, it is a cosmos. What makes it a cosmos? Why is there so much harmony? There must be a law that keeps the harmony going, flowing, keeps everything in accord. But we don’t know about it. We don’t know anything about our own being, and we are joined through our being with Tao.
Tao has neither name nor shape. It is the one essence, the one primal spirit.
It is the ocean of life that surrounds us, it is within and without – the pure essence. It is existence, it is the primal spirit. No name can contain it. All names are its name. And no shape is particular to it, because all shapes are Tao’s shape. Tao exists in millions of forms. In the tree it is green, in the flower it is red, in man it is man, in fish it is fish. It is the same law. You can replace the word Tao with God and it will be the same. What Christians and Mohammedans call God, Taoists call Tao, Buddhists call dhamma, Jews used to call it “Logos,” but they mean the same thing. No name can contain it, or, it can be expressed by any name.
Essence and life cannot be seen. They are contained in the light of heaven. The light of heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes.
You can see the form, you can see the body – the body is the form, the substance that surrounds the essence – but you cannot see the essence. The essence is invisible to the eyes, unapproachable by the senses. It has to be felt immediately, not through any media.
You see my body, I see your body – it is through a medium. My eyes are telling me you are here, your eyes are telling you that I am here, but who knows? – the eyes may be deceiving, they do deceive sometimes. In the night, in the dark, you see a rope as if it were a snake, and when you see it as a snake it affects you as a snake: you are afraid, you start running. Or you can see in the desert an oasis which is not there, which is only a projected phenomenon because you are so thirsty that you want it to be there, so you create it there. Eyes deceive many times, so who knows?
If truth is known through a medium then it will always remain suspect, doubtful; it can’t have any certainty – absolute certainty it can’t have. And a truth which is not absolutely certain is not truth at all. The truth has to be absolutely certain, it cannot be only approximately certain. Then there is only one way: it should be known without a medium, one should know it directly, immediately, one should know it without any senses. And that’s how it is known: you cannot see life, but you can feel it. It is a subjective experience, not an object.
Essence and life cannot be seen. They are contained in the light of heaven. The light of heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes.
You have these two eyes. These two eyes for the Taoist are very significant. Only modern science has been able to see the truth of it. These two eyes are not only the visible eyes. These two eyes represent the male and the female in you. Now modern science says that the mind of man is divided into two hemispheres, and one hemisphere is male, the other is female. The right side of your mind is feminine, and the left side is masculine. So your one eye represents the male in you and your other eye represents the female in you. And when your male and female meet inside you, that meeting is what is called heaven – that meeting, that inner communion of your male and female.
Jesus says: “When your two eyes become one, there will be light.” He is talking like a Taoist alchemist: When your two eyes become one there will be light. When your two eyes become one – when your male and female disappear into each other – that is the ultimate orgasmic experience. What you feel making love to a woman or to a man is only a glimpse of it, a very fleeting glimpse. It is so momentary that by the time you become aware of it, it is already gone. You become aware of it only in the past – it is so fleeting. But it is a glimpse, a glimpse of the meeting of the man and the woman.
This is an exterior meeting. It is a miracle that it happens even for a single moment. But there is a deep possibility, and that has been the work of Tantra, Tao, yoga, and all the great secret teachings of the world: to help you become aware of your feminine and your masculine inside – what Tantrikas call Shiva and Shakti and what Taoists call yin and yang. The polarity, the positive and negative in you, the day and night in you – they have to meet there.
The light of heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes.
But unless they become one you will not become aware of it.
It is contained in the two eyes.
But you cannot see it unless they become one. Then it is released, then there is a great explosion of light. Zarathustra calls it “explosion of fire,” Lao Tzu calls it “explosion of light.” It is the same.
You must have come across the statement of John the Baptist. He used to say to his disciples, “I baptize you with water. After me shall come one who will baptize you with fire.” That’s what he meant – “After me there will come one who will baptize you with fire” – the baptism of water is an outer baptism; to John the Baptist, water represents the outward flow.
Remember this, that the outward and the downward are synonymous and the upward and the inward are synonymous; whatsoever goes downward also goes outward and whatsoever goes upward also goes inward, and vice versa. Water always goes downward, hence it represents an outward flow, it goes away from itself; its journey is an exterior journey. Fire goes upward, always upward, and upward is synonymous with the inward; its journey is always interior.
John the Baptist is saying: I am baptizing you with water, I am giving you the outer body of religion. After me will come Christ who will give you the inner baptism, the baptism of fire.
Jesus himself again and again says, “Repent. Repent ye!” and the word has fallen into a wrong interpretation with the Christians. They have made it repentance for misdeeds. It has nothing to do with misdeeds. The word repent actually means return, go in, go back. It means turning back: restore your originality. The word repent means metanoia, turning back – a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn. If you go on flowing outwards you remain water. If you turn in you become fire.
And when the two eyes, when these two flames, when these two hemispheres of your consciousness join together, are absolutely bridged and you become one flame, that one flame is what Plotinus calls the “flight of the alone to the alone.”
The Great One is the term given to that which has nothing above it.
And if you can become that one, you have become the Great One. This is the Taoist way of saying something about God without using the word God: if you become one, you have become God.
The secret of the magic of life consists in using action in order to attain nonaction.
These are potential words. What is the secret of making these two eyes one? How to make the male and the female one in you? How to let your woman and man dissolve into each other so that you are no more a duality, so that you are no more a divided house, against yourself, so that there is no longer any conflict and tension, so that all is one? In that oneness is bliss because all tension disappears, all conflict disappears, all anxiety disappears. How to become that one?
The secret of the magic of life consists in using action in order to attain nonaction.
Man represents action, woman represents nonaction. You have to use action to attain nonaction, you have to make effort to become effortless. You have to go and put in all your energies, you have to become so active that nothing is left behind – all energy becomes involved in that creativity – and then suddenly, when all energy is involved, there happens a trans-formation. Just as at a hundred degrees water evaporates, action when it becomes total evaporates and nonaction is left behind.
First you have to learn how to dance, and you have to put all your energies into dancing. And one day that strange experience happens when suddenly the dancer disappears in the dance and the dance happens without any effort. Then it is inaction. First you have to learn action to go into inaction. That’s what meditation is all about.
People come and ask me why I teach active meditations. Because that is the only way to find inaction: dance to the uttermost, dance in a frenzy, dance madly. And if your whole energy is involved in it, a moment comes when suddenly you see the dance is happening on its own, there is no effort in it – it is action without action.
The Golden Flower is the light. One uses the Golden Flower as a symbol. The phrase “The lead of the water-region has but one taste” refers to it.
The golden flower is a symbol, the symbol of when your energies are no more dual and have become one: great light is released, and the light is golden. It is as if a flower of golden light has opened in you. And it is not just a symbol. It is a symbol but it is almost literally true; it happens exactly like that. Right now you exist as a darkness, as a dark night. Then you exist as a sunrise. You cannot see the sun anywhere but the light is there. There is no source to it – it is a sourceless light. But once you have known that golden light in you, you have become an immortal. Then there is no death because the light never dies.
The whole life, the whole existence consists of nothing but of light – all are forms of light. You can ask modern physics too, and modern physics is in perfect agreement with Tao, that all is light; forms go on changing, but the light continues. Light is eternal.
Many scriptures of the world begin with the word light. “In the beginning God said, ‘Let there be light.’” That is the beginning. If there had ever been a beginning, it cannot be otherwise; it had to have been with light. But there has never been a beginning; this is just a parable! Light has existed always. The Koran says God is light. One of the names of God given by the Sufis is Noor. Noor means light.
And the taste is the same – whether it happens in me or it happens in you, the taste is the same. The taste of buddhahood is the same. Buddha has said: “The taste of buddhahood is like the ocean. You can taste it from the north or from the south, or from this part or from that part, from the shore or from the middle, but the taste of the ocean is the same. So is the taste of buddhahood.” The moment a person attains to this eternal light, his life has a single flavor. That flavor is contained by absolute awareness: his unconscious has disappeared, there is no longer any dark part in his being.
Now if a Freudian looks into such a man, he will find only consciousness, only consciousness; he will not find the unconscious. If a Freudian looks into you, only one part is conscious, against this one part there are nine parts which are unconscious – only one-tenth of your mind is conscious. A buddha is one hundred percent consciousness.
The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together. The heavenly heart lies between sun and moon.
Again remember, the sun represents the male energy, the moon represents the feminine energy. And the heart lies between the two. The heart is neither male nor female and that is the beauty of the heart: the heart is divine, neither male nor female, and it lies exactly between the two.
If you are leaning too much towards the male energy, you are too active and you don’t know how to be passive. That’s what has happened in the West: the West is sun-oriented – too much activity. People are driving themselves mad with their activity. Too much speed – everything has to be done immediately – no patience, no waiting. They have forgotten how to be passive, how to be patient, how to wait for things. They have lost all capacity to be inactive. They don’t know how to go on a holiday. Even if they go on a holiday they are more active than ever.
More people have heart attacks on Sundays in the West than on any other day, because it is a holiday and people are too occupied. The whole working week they think they will rest when the holiday comes, and when the holiday comes, they have a thousand and one things to do. Not that they have to do them, that they are needed – no, not at all – but they cannot live in rest. They cannot just lie down on the lawn and be with the earth, they cannot just sit silently under a tree and do nothing. No, they will start doing a thousand and one things around the house. They will fix this and unfix that, they will open their car engines and start doing things to it. They will do something, but they will remain active.
Their whole life people think that when they are retired then they will enjoy. But they cannot enjoy, they cannot rest. People die very fast once they become retired. Psychologists say they die ten years earlier because they don’t know what else to do. Death seems the only way to get rid of a life which has become meaningless, which has always been meaningless, which has been just a rush. People are rushing, not knowing where they are going. All that they know is they have to go faster and faster and faster without ever being worried: where exactly are you going? You may be running in a circle. That is exactly what is happening: people are running in a circle.
The West is sun-oriented, the East is moon-oriented. The East has become too passive, too fatalistic: “Nothing has to be done. Simply wait, God will do it.” This is another kind of foolishness and stupidity. The East is poor, lazy, lousy, and people are not worried by anything. The misery all around, the poverty, the beggars, the illness – nobody is worried, everything is accepted. “What can you do? It is God’s will. We have to accept. We have just to wait. When things are too much, God will come. What else can we do?” This is the feminine mind.
The Secret of the Golden Flower says you have to be exactly in the middle – neither male nor female, no leaning to any extreme – then there is balance. Then one is active and yet remains inactive deep inside, then one is inactive and yet remains active on the outside. On the outside be sun-oriented, on the inside be moon-oriented. Let sun and moon meet in you and you be just exactly in the middle. And in the middle is transcendence.
The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together.
Man is a center and also a circumference. If you move towards the circumference, then you will have many thoughts. The circumference consists of the many, the center is one. If you move towards the center, thoughts start disappearing. At the very core all thoughts disappear – there is only awareness. That’s what this secret treatise says:
…so that the thoughts are gathered together.
The light has to move inwards.
When you look at a tree, your eyes are throwing their light on the tree – the light is moving outward. When you close your eyes, the light starts turning inward – metanoia, repent, return. And when the light falls on your own being, there is self-knowledge, self-knowing. And that self-knowing brings you freedom – freedom from all entanglements, freedom from all attachments, freedom from death, freedom from body. It creates the soul in you.
That’s what Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples: that you are not born with a soul, you have to create it by metanoia.
The Book of the Yellow Castle says: “In the square inch field of the square foot house, life can be regulated.”
In this small temple of your body life can be regulated.
In the middle of the square inch dwells the splendor. In the purple hall of the city of jade dwells the God of Utmost Emptiness and Life.
Just see the contradiction: emptiness and life. Life is male, emptiness is female. Life and emptiness – both are two aspects of the inner God. When you have not chosen either in preference to the other, when you have not chosen at all – you have been just a watcher – you become that God whose one aspect is life and whose other aspect is death, whose one aspect is perfection and whose other aspect is nothingness.
Therefore when the light circulates, the energies of the whole body appear before its throne…
And when the light moves inwards and circulates inside your being, because there is no outlet left – that’s what meditation is, that’s what Buddha is doing under the bodhi tree – you sit silently, you close all the doors and the light circulates within. Then for the first time you become aware of the body and all that the body contains – all its mysteries. This small body contains all the mysteries of the universe. It is a miniature cosmos.
Therefore when the light circulates, the energies of the whole body appear before its throne, as, when a holy king has established the capital and has laid down the fundamental rules of order, all the states approach with tribute; or as, when the master is quiet and calm, man-servants and maids obey his orders of their own accord, and each does his work.
And when this light is there moving inside you, the body becomes a servant, the senses become obedient servants, you need not try to control them. Of their own accord they follow you.
This is the beauty of Tao: it never enforces anything, it does not want to cultivate any character. It says: Simply become full of light and all else will follow.
Therefore you only have to make the light circulate; that is the deepest and most wonderful secret. The light is easy to move, but difficult to fix. If it is made to circulate long enough, then it crystallizes itself. It is the condition of which it is said: “Silently thou fliest upward in the morning.”
A very significant thing is being said in this sutra: The light is easy to move; it is difficult to fix it, so don’t try to fix it.
That’s where yoga tries to do something which cannot be done easily. Hence, the difficulty, the arduousness of yoga: yoga tries to fix the light. It also tries to fix the light between the two eyes, just exactly between the two eyebrows at the third eye center. Yoga tries to fix it. That is the difference between Tao and yoga: yoga wants to fix it – concentrate on the third eye. In a nutshell, that is the whole philosophy of yoga: if you can concentrate your whole consciousness on the third eye you will be transformed, your two eyes will become one and you will be full of light.
And just beyond the third eye – the third eye is the sixth center in the yoga map of consciousness – beyond the sixth is the seventh. The seventh is called the one-thousand-petaled lotus. If the light is concentrated at the third eye, when it becomes too much, it will give a push to the seventh center, it will start rising like water in a reservoir. And the push to the seventh center will open the bud that has remained a bud for centuries, for millions of lives.
Tao works from a different route. Tao says: To fix the light is very difficult. Don’t become concerned with fixing it. The easy way is to circulate it.
Mind always finds circulation easy: it is mind’s nature to move; mind always finds it difficult to concentrate. So why not use mind’s capacity? Why not ride on it?
Tao is a spontaneous science: Don’t cultivate, don’t force, don’t create unnecessary troubles for yourself; use the natural capacity of the mind – that it moves, that it likes movement, that it is a wanderer. Use it, let light circulate. We will come to know how to circulate it later on – find paths, and let it circulate.
Through its circulation, Taoists came to discover the seven hundred points of acupuncture. Circulating it all over the body, they became aware that there are seven hundred points where light becomes very, very aflame, and they counted them exactly. Now science corroborates it: there are exactly seven hundred points. Now even machines have been invented which can just picture your seven hundred points, and where the light is missing in your points, where the energy is not moving in the right meridians. How did the Taoists come to know about it? They had no machines, no technology. Their only technique was to go in and circulate the light.
We will come to know about the actual method – how to circulate it. This is just to make a background so you understand what exactly their approach is.
They say if you circulate the light and go on circulating it, at a certain point it crystallizes on its own, you need not worry about fixing it. Circulating, circulating, circulating, one moment, suddenly, you find all has stopped, and the thing has happened that yoga tries to make happen. In Tao it is a happening, in yoga it is a hard, long journey of effort. Yoga is male-oriented.
Tao is not female-oriented, Tao is both – a synthesis. Circulation is masculine energy and fixation is feminine energy. Reach to the nonactive, reach to the passive through action, through effort attain to effortlessness.
In carrying out this fundamental principle you need to seek for no other methods, but must only concentrate your thoughts on it. By collecting the thoughts one can fly and will be born in heaven.

The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life….
It is the secret of all immortality. This is what the Western alchemists used to call the philosopher’s stone, what in India is called amrit, elixir, nectar. This is an alchemical treatise: it gives you the secrets for transforming your chemistry into alchemy, for transforming the baser metal into gold. Right now you are only a baser metal, but you contain the secrets. If those secrets are worked out, you are transformed into gold. The gold is immortal.
The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life. Although it works very accurately, it is yet so fluid that it needs extreme intelligence and clarity, and the most complete absorption and tranquility. People without this highest degree of intelligence and understanding do not find the way; people without this utmost capacity for absorption and tranquility cannot keep fast hold of it.
Two requirements…. First, one needs intelligence and clarity. Don’t be worried about it. Don’t start thinking that if you are not intelligent, then what? Everybody is born intelligent. Intelligence is an intrinsic quality: just as everybody is born breathing, everybody is born intelligent. The idea that a few people are intelligent and a few are not is utterly wrong and has been de-humanizing many many people, is very insulting, degrading.
All are born intelligent, although their intelligences may differ in their expressions. One is intelligent in music, another is intelligent in mathematics, but if you make mathematics the criterion then the musician looks unintelligent. If you put them both into one examination where mathematics is the criterion, the musician fails. Change the criterion, let music be the criterion and put them both into the examination where music will decide, then the mathematician looks stupid.
Because we have chosen certain criteria, that’s why many people have been condemned as stupid – they are not. I have never come across a single person who is stupid – it does not happen – but his intelligence may be a different kind of intelligence. Poetry needs a different kind of intelligence than being in business. A poet cannot be a businessman and the businessman will find it very difficult to be a poet. One kind of intelligence is needed in being a politician, another kind of intelligence is needed in being a painter. And there are millions of possibilities.
Remember, everyone is born intelligent, so that is not debarring anybody. You just have to find your intelligence – where it is. And once you have found your intelligence you will be clear. People are living with unclarity because they are living with wrong ideas about themselves. Somebody has told you – a schoolmaster, a headmaster, a university – that you are not intelligent. But their criterion is only a chosen criterion, their criterion is not applicable to all. The universities are not yet universal: they don’t allow every kind of intelligence, they don’t accept all manifestations of intelligence. Once you have accepted your intelligence and you start respecting it, you will become clear, there will be no problem.
The poet feels stupid because he cannot be a good businessman. Now this creates confusion. He becomes inferior in his own eyes, disrespectful, condemning. He tries to succeed in business but he cannot. This creates great smoke around him. If he simply understands that he is a poet and he is not meant to be a businessman, and to succeed as a businessman will be a suicide to him – he has to succeed as a poet. That is his intelligence, and his intelligence has to flower in his own way. He has not to imitate anybody else. Maybe the society will not pay for it, because poetry is not needed as much as bombs are needed, love is not needed as much as hatred is needed.
That’s why in the movies, on the radio, on the television, murder is allowed; it is not called obscene. But lovemaking is not allowed; it is called obscene. This society lives through hate not through love. If somebody is murdering, it is perfectly okay. If somebody puts a dagger into your heart and the blood rushes like a fountain, it is perfectly okay. But if somebody hugs you, kisses you, loves you, the society is afraid. This is strange, that love is obscene and murder is not, that lovers are condemned and soldiers rewarded, that war is right and love is wrong.
If you accept your intelligence, if you accept yourself, you will become clear, absolutely clear; all clouds will disappear.
And the second thing: you need absorption and tranquility. Intelligence and clarity are part of the male mind, absorption and tranquility are part of the feminine mind. Only a woman can absorb, that’s why she becomes pregnant – she has the womb.
These two things are needed together. If you are not intelligent you will not be able to understand what is being said to you, you will not understand what the master is imparting to you. And if you are not feminine, you will not be able to absorb it, you will not be able to become pregnant with it. And both are needed: you have to be intelligent, utterly intelligent to see the point, and you have to be utterly absorptive to keep it in you, so that it becomes part of you.
This is just a background. Slowly, slowly we will go into the techniques of how to circulate the light. Listen attentively, intelligently. Absorb it. It can be one of the greatest experiences of your life.
Enough for today.

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