The Ultimate Alchemy Vol 2 02

Second Discourse from the series of 12 discourses - The Ultimate Alchemy Vol 2 by Osho.
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After eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge, Adam and Eve, for the first time, became aware of their nakedness and felt ashamed. What is the deeper meaning behind this feeling?
And, secondly, it has been said that the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge is knowledge of sex. What is your view about this?
Nature in itself is innocent, but the moment man becomes aware of it many problems arise, and what is natural and innocent is interpreted. And when it is interpreted, it is neither innocent nor natural. When humanity becomes aware of it, man begins to interpret it, and the very interpretation begins to produce many concepts – of guilt, of sin, of morality, of immorality.
The story of Adam and Eve says that when the fruit of the tree of knowledge was eaten, for the first time they became aware of their nakedness and felt ashamed. They were naked, but they had never been aware of it. The awareness, the very awareness, creates a gap.
The moment you are aware of something, you begin to judge. You are different from it. For example, Adam was naked. Everyone is born naked like Adam, but children are not aware of their nakedness. They cannot judge it, whether it is good or bad. They are not aware, so they cannot judge. When Adam became aware that he was naked, judgment entered: “Now, is this nakedness good or bad?”
Every animal was naked around him, but no animal was aware of his nakedness. Adam became aware, and with this awareness he became unique. Now to be naked was to be like an animal, and Adam, of course, would not like to be an animal. No man likes it, although every man is.
When for the first time Darwin said that man is a growth, a growth from certain animals, he was opposed vehemently because man has always been thinking himself a descendant of God, just a little bit lower than the angels. And to conceive of the ape as the father was very difficult, in a way impossible. God was the father, and suddenly Darwin changes it: the God is dethroned and apes are enthroned, the ape becomes the father. Even Darwin felt guilty about it; he was a religious man. This was a misfortune that the facts were saying that man has come through animal evolution, he is part of the animal world, he is not something different from animals.
Adam felt ashamed. That shame came because he could now compare himself with animals. In a way he was different, because he was aware. Man clothed himself just to differentiate between animals and himself. And then we are always ashamed about something which looks like animals. The moment someone is doing something like animals, we say, “What are you doing? Are you an animal?” We can condemn anything if we can prove that “this is just like animals.” We condemn sex because it is animalistic. We can condemn anything if somewhere it can be linked with animals.
With awareness came the condemnation, condemnation of the animal. And this condemnation has produced the whole body of suppression, because man is animal. He can go beyond it – that’s another thing – but he belongs to animals. He can transcend, but he comes from the animals. He is an animal. He may not be one day; he can go beyond, but he cannot deny the animal heritage. It is there.
And once this thought came to the human mind, that we are different from animals, then man began to suppress everything in him that was part of his animal heritage. This suppression has created a bifurcation, so every man is two, double. The real, the basic, remains the animal; and the intellectual, the cerebral, goes on thinking in terms of celestial things, abstract, divine. So only a part of your mind is identified by you as yourself, and the whole is denied.
Even in the body we have divisions. The lower body is something condemned. It is not only lower, it is lower in terms of values also. The upper body is not only upper, it is higher. You will feel guilty about your lower body. And if someone says, “Where are you located?” you will point to your head. That is the locus – the cerebral, the head, the intellect. We identify ourselves with the intellect, not with the body. And if someone presses us more, then we will identify ourselves with the upper body, never with the lower. The lower is something condemned.
Why? The body is one. You cannot divide it, there is no division. The head and feet are one, and your brain and your sex organs are one. They function as a unity. But to deny sex, to condemn sex, we condemn the whole lower body.
This shame came to Adam because for the first time he could feel himself different from other animals. And the most animalistic thing – I use the word animalistic in a purely factual way, with no condemnatory tone – the most animalistic thing is bound to appear to be sex, because sex is life and the origin and the source. Adam and Eve became conscious of sex. They tried to hide it – not only outwardly: they tried to hide the very fact even in inner consciousness. That created the division between the conscious and the unconscious mind.
Mind is also one, just like the body is one. But if you condemn something, then that condemned part will become unconscious. You condemn it so much that you yourself become afraid of knowing it, that it exists somewhere within you. You create a barrier, you create a wall, and throw everything that is condemned by you beyond the wall, and then you can forget it. It remains there, it goes on working from there, it remains your master, but yet you can deceive yourself that now it is no more.
That condemned part of our being becomes the unconscious. That’s why we never think that our unconscious is ours. You dream in the night: you dream a very sexual dream, or a violent dream, and you murder someone – you murder your wife. In the morning you feel no guilt; you say it was just a dream. It is not just a dream. Nothing is just something. It was your dream, but it belongs to your unconscious. And in the morning you identify yourself with the conscious, so you say, “It is just a dream. It doesn’t belong to me. It just happened. It is irrelevant, accidental.” You never feel associated with it. But it was your dream and you created it. It was your mind and it was you who did the act. Even in the dream it was you who murdered, who killed or who raped.
Because of this condemnatory phenomenon of consciousness, Adam and Eve became afraid, ashamed of their nakedness. They tried to hide their bodies – not only their bodies, but later on their minds also. So we are also doing the same thing. What is good, what is taken as good by our society, you put it in your conscious; and what is bad, what is condemned by our society as bad, you throw into the unconscious. It becomes a rubbish bag. You go on throwing things into it – it remains there. Deep down in your roots it goes on working. It affects you every moment. Your conscious mind is just impotent against your unconscious, because your conscious mind is just a byproduct of the society, and your unconscious is natural, biological. It has the energy, the force. So you can go on thinking good things, but you will go on doing bad things.
Saint Augustine is reported to have said, “My God, this is the only problem for me: whatsoever I think is worth doing I never do, and whatsoever I know is not to be done I do always.” This is not a problem only for Augustine – it is for everyone who is divided between conscious and unconscious.
With the feeling of shame, Adam was divided into two. He became ashamed of himself, and that part he became ashamed of was cut loose from his conscious mind. Since then man has lived a bifurcated, fragmented life.
And why did he become ashamed? There was no one, no preacher, no religious church, to tell him to be ashamed. The moment you become aware, ego enters in. You become an observer. Without awareness you are just part, part of a great life; you are not different and separate. If a wave in the ocean can become aware, the wave will create an ego different from the ocean that very moment. If the wave becomes aware that “I am,” then the wave can never think itself one with the ocean, one with other waves. It becomes different, separate; ego is created. Knowledge creates the ego.
Children are without egos because they are without knowledge. They are ignorant, and ego cannot come up in ignorance. The more you grow, the more you grow towards ego. Old men have very strengthened, deep-rooted egos. It is natural. Their egos have existed for seventy or eighty years. They have a long history.
If you go back in memory and remember your childhood, you may be surprised to know why you cannot remember, you cannot regress beyond your fourth or third year. You can remember, ordinarily we remember, facts which belong to our fifth year or fourth year, at the most the third year, but the first three years are just vacant. They were there, and many things happened, but why can we not remember? Because the ego was not there it is difficult to remember – because, in a way, you were not, so how can you remember? If you were there you would remember, but you were not. You cannot remember.
Memory exists only after the ego has come into existence, because memory needs a center to hang on. If you are not, where will the memory hang? Three years is a big thing, and for a child every moment is an event. Everything is something phenomenal, nothing is ordinary. So, really, he should remember more of the first years, the first days of life, because everything was colorful, everything was unique. Whatsoever happened was new. But there is no memory of it. Why? The ego was not there and memory needs an ego to hang on.
The moment the child begins to feel himself as separate from others, he will begin to feel shame. He will begin to feel the same shame that came to Adam. He found himself naked – naked like animals, naked like everyone else. You must be different and unique, you must not be like others, only then can you grow in ego.
The first act was to hide the nakedness: he became suddenly different. He was not an animal. Man is born. With Adam, and with Adam’s shame, with Adam’s feeling of shame, man is born. A child is not a man. He becomes a man only when he begins to feel himself separate, different from others, then he becomes an ego.
So, really, it is not religion which gives you the feeling of guilt, it is your ego. Religion exploits it; that’s another matter. Every father exploits it; that is another matter. Every father is saying to his son, “What are you doing, behaving like animals? Don’t laugh, don’t cry! Don’t do this, don’t do that; don’t do this before others! What are you doing? – behaving like animals!” And the child feels that if he is an animal, his ego is hurt. To fulfill his ego he follows, he falls in line.
To be animal is very blissful, because there is a freedom, a deep freedom, to move, to do. But it hurts the ego, so one has to choose. If you choose freedom, then you will be like animals, condemned. In this world and in the other world to come, you will be condemned. You will be thrown into hell. “Be a man. Don’t be like an animal.”
The ego is fed. One begins to live around the ego. Then one begins to act according to what is ego-fulfilling. But you cannot deny nature absolutely. It goes on affecting you. Then one begins to live two lives: one, the pre-Adam life; the other, the after-Adam life. So one begins to live two lives, one begins to live a double-bind existence. Then a face is created to show to the society. One is a private face and one a public face. But you are your private face. And everyone is Adam, naked, animal-like, but you cannot show it to the public. To the public you show the after-Adam face: everything clean, everything fitted to the social norm, everything to show for the others, not the real but the desired, not that which is but that which should be.
So everyone has to go continuously from one face to another. From private to public you are changing every moment. This is a great strain. This dissipates much energy. But what am I saying and what do I mean? I don’t say be like animals; you cannot be now. The forbidden fruit cannot be returned. You have eaten it; it has become your blood and bones. There is no way of throwing it. There is no way to return it and go to God the Father and say, “I return this – this forbidden fruit of knowledge. Forgive me.” There is no way. There is no way to go back. Now it is our blood.
We cannot go back, we can only go forward. There is no going back. We cannot go below knowledge, we can only go beyond knowledge. Only a different innocence is possible – the innocence of total awareness.
There are two types of innocence. One, below knowledge: the childlike, the pre Adam-like, animal-like, below knowledge. You are not, the ego is not, the troublemaker is not. You exist as part of the cosmic whole. You don’t know that you are part. You don’t know that there is a cosmic whole. You know nothing. You exist without knowing. Of course there is no suffering, because suffering is impossible without knowledge. One has to be aware of suffering to suffer it. How can you suffer if you are not aware?
You are being operated upon, a surgeon is operating on you. You suffer if you are conscious. If you are unconscious, there is no suffering. The leg is cut completely, thrown; there is no suffering, because suffering is nowhere recorded, nowhere known, you are unconscious. You cannot suffer in unconsciousness. You can suffer only when you are conscious. The more conscious, the more you will suffer. That’s why the more man grows in knowledge, the more he suffers.
Primitive people cannot suffer so much as you can suffer, not because they are better but because they are ignorant. Villagers, even today, villagers who are not yet part of the modern world, live in a more innocent way. They don’t suffer so much. Because of this, many fallacies have come to the thinkers, to philosophers. For example, Rousseau or Tolstoy or Gandhi: they think because villagers are more blissful it would be good if the whole world became primitive again, went back to the jungle, back to the forest, back to nature. But they are wrong, because the man who has lived in a civilized city will suffer in a village. No villager has suffered that way.
So Rousseau goes on talking about “back to nature” and continues to live in Paris. He himself will never go to the village. He talks about the poetry of village life, of the beauty, of the innocence, but he himself will never go. And if he goes, then he will know that he will suffer as no villager has suffered, because once consciousness is attained you cannot throw it – because it is you. It is not something that you can throw. It is you – how can you throw yourself? Consciousness is you.
Adam suffered shame; he felt his nakedness. Ego is the reason. Adam attained a center, though false, but still a center. Now Adam was different from the whole cosmos. Trees were there, stars were there, everything was there, but Adam was now an island, separate. Now his life was his life, not part of the cosmic whole. And the moment your life is your life, struggle enters. You have to fight inch by inch to exist, to survive.
Animals are not in a struggle. Even if they appear to us, to a Darwin, to be in a struggle, they are not in a struggle. They appear to Darwin to be in a struggle because we go on projecting our own ideas. They cannot be in a struggle. They appear to us to be in a struggle, because for us everything is a struggle. With the ego everything is a struggle. They seem to be fighting to be. They are not fighting to be: they are just flowing in the cosmic unity. Even if they are doing something, there is no doer behind it. It is a natural phenomenon.
A lion killing some victim for his food…there is no doer, there is no violence. It is a simple phenomenon: just hunger after food. There is no hungry one: simple hunger, a mechanism finding the food, no violence. Only man can be violent because only man can be a doer. You can kill without hunger. A lion can never kill without hunger, because hunger kills in a lion, not the lion. A lion can never kill in play. There is nothing like hunting for a lion, it exists only for man. You can kill in play, just for fun. If a lion is satisfied, there is no violence, no play, no game, nothing. It is a hunger phenomenon. The doer is not there.
Nature exists as a deep cosmic flow. In this flow Adam becomes aware of himself, and he becomes aware because he has eaten the forbidden fruit of knowledge. Knowledge was forbidden: “Don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge” was the commandment. He disobeyed it, he couldn’t go back. And the Bible says every man will suffer for Adam’s rebelliousness because in a way every man is an Adam again.
You cannot suffer for it – how can you suffer for something someone else did somewhere? But it is a continuous history repeated every day. Every child has to pass from the Garden of Eden to the expulsion. Every child is born as Adam and then he is expelled. That’s why there is so much nostalgia in poets, in painters, in literary persons, in all those who can manipulate to express. There is a nostalgia always. The golden age was childhood.
Everyone thinks that childhood was something golden, utopian, and everyone longs to go back to it. Even an old man, just on the deathbed, thinks with nostalgia of childhood: of the beauty, of the happiness, of the bliss, of the flowers, of the butterflies, of the dreams, of fairies. Everyone in his childhood is in a wonderland, not only Alice, everyone. This shadow follows….
Why is childhood so beautiful, so blissful? Because you were still a part of the cosmic flow, with no responsibility, with absolute freedom, with no conscience, with no burden. You existed, as if it was not something to be done by you. It was there, taken for granted. And then comes the ego, and then comes the conflict, and the struggle. Then everything becomes a responsibility, and every moment is a bondage, no freedom.
Psychologists say that religions only reflect this nostalgia to be again in childhood. And they go even further: they say ultimately everyone longs to be again in the womb of the mother, because then you were really part of the cosmos. The cosmos was even feeding you. Even to breathe was not for you to do; the mother was breathing for you. You were not aware of the mother, you were not aware of yourself. You were there with no awareness.
The womb is the Garden of Eden. So every man is born as an Adam, and everyone has to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge, because the moment you grow, you grow in knowledge. That is inevitable. So it is not that Adam rebelled. Rebellion is part of growth. He couldn’t do otherwise: he had to. Every child has to rebel, has to disobey. Life demands it. He has to go further away from the mother, from the father. He will long for it; again and again he will desire and dream, but still he will go further away. This is an inevitable process.
It is asked: “What is the deeper meaning behind this feeling?” This is the meaning: knowledge gives you ego, and ego gives you comparison, judgment, individuality. You cannot think of yourself as an animal, so man has done everything to hide the fact that he is an animal. He has done everything! We are doing things every day to hide the fact that we are animals. But we are. And by hiding the fact, the fact is not destroyed; rather, it becomes a perverted fact.
So whenever that hidden perversion erupts, man proves to be more animalistic than any animal. If you are violent, no animal can compete with you. How? No animal has known anything like Hiroshima, Vietnam. Only man can create a Hiroshima. There is no comparison. All the animals in all the history are just playing with dolls in comparison to Hiroshima. Their violence is nothing. This is accumulated violence – hidden, accumulated. We go on hiding and then we are accumulating. And the more we accumulate, the more ashamed we feel, because we know what is hidden inside. You cannot escape it.
A certain psychologist was experimenting with hidden facts, which, howsoever you try, you cannot hide. For Example, if someone says that he is not attracted to women, he can practice it. He can practice it and he can convince himself and others also that he is not attracted. But Adam is bound to be attracted to Eve, Eve is bound to be attracted to Adam. That is part of their nature, unless one goes beyond, unless one becomes a buddha.
But then Buddha never says, “I am not attracted to women,” because even to say that, you have to think in terms of attraction and repulsion. He will not say, “I am repelled by women,” because you cannot be repelled by anything unless you are attracted. If you ask him he will simply say, “Men and women, both have become irrelevant to me. I am neither. If I am man, then woman will be there hidden somewhere. If I am woman, then man will be there hidden somewhere.”
One psychologist just recently experimented with a man who said, “I am not attracted to women.” And he was not, as far as outward things go. He was never seen to be attracted to anyone. Then this psychologist showed him some pictures, ten pictures, of different things, only one picture of a naked woman.
The psychologist was not seeing what picture the man was seeing. He was just looking in his eyes; the back of the picture was in front of the psychologist. He would show a picture to the man and just look in his eyes. And he said, “If you are not attracted…. I will tell you when you are seeing the naked woman just by seeing your eyes. I am not seeing the pictures.”
The pictures were shown, and with that very picture the psychologist said, “Now you are seeing the naked woman,” because the moment a naked woman is there, the eyes extend. And that is involuntary; you cannot control it. You cannot do anything. It is a reflex action. Eyes are made that way biologically. The man says that “I am not attracted,” but this is only his conscious mind. The unconscious is attracted all the same.
And when you hide certain facts and they go on manipulating you, you become more and more ashamed. The higher a civilization, the higher its culture, the more ashamed the human being will be – the more ashamed. Really, the more ashamed you are about sex, the more civilized you are. But then civilized man is bound to be insane, schizophrenic, divided. This division starts with Adam.
“And, secondly, it has been said that the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge is knowledge of sex. What is your view about this?”
Of course, it is. But not only that: sex is the first knowledge and sex is also the last knowledge. When you enter humanity, the first thing you begin to feel and be aware of is sex. And the last thing, when you go beyond humanity, is again sex – the last thing and the first. Because sex is the most foundational, it is bound to be the first. It is the alpha and the omega.
A child is just a child unless he becomes sexually mature. The moment he becomes sexually mature, he is a man. With sexual maturity, the whole world becomes different. It is not the same world, because your approach, your outlook, your way of seeing things, changes. When you begin to be aware of the woman, you begin to be a man.
Really, in old biblical texts, knowledge is used in the Hebrew language with a sexual meaning. For example, in such sentences: “He didn’t know his wife for two years,” or, “She didn’t know her husband for two years,” it means there was no sexual relationship for two years. “He knew his wife for the first time on that day”: it means there was a sexual relationship for the first time. Knowledge in Hebrew is used for sexual knowledge, so it is right that Adam became aware of sex then.
Sex is most foundational. Without sex there is no life. Life exists because of sex and life disappears with sex. That’s why Buddha and Mahavira say unless you go beyond sex you will be born again and again. You cannot go beyond life, because with a sexual desire inside you will be born again. So sex is not only giving birth to someone else; ultimately, it is giving birth to yourself also. It works in a double way. You reproduce someone through sex, but that is not so important. Because of your sexual desire, you are reborn; you reproduce yourself again and again.
Adam became aware of his sex; that was the first awareness. But with sex it is only a beginning. Then everything else will follow.
Really, psychologists say that every curiosity is sexual in a way. So if a person is born impotent, he will not be curious about anything – not even about truth, because curiosity of any type is basically sexual. To discover something hidden, to know something which is not known, to know the unknown, is sexual. Children will play with each other to find out the hidden parts of the body. That is the beginning of curiosity and the beginning of all science: to find out that which is hidden, that which is not known.
So really it happens that the more sexual a person is, the more inventive he can be. The more sexual a person is, the more intelligent. With less sex energy, less intelligence exists; with more sexual energy, more intelligence, because sex is a deep search to uncover, not only bodies, not only the opposite sex body, but everything that is hidden.
So if a society is very sex-condemnatory, it can never be scientific, because then you condemn curiosity. The East could not be scientific because of so much antagonism toward sex. And the West also could not be scientific as long as Christianity retained its hold. It was only when the Vatican disappeared, when Rome was not significant at all, only within these three hundred years when the palace of Christianity came down and disappeared, that the West could be scientific. The release of sexual energy also became a release into research. A sexually free society will be scientific, and a sexually prohibitive society will be nonscientific.
With sex everything begins to be alive. If your child, when he attains maturity, sexual maturity, begins to behave rebelliously, forgive him. It is but natural. With a new energy coming into his veins, with new life running, he is bound to be rebellious. That rebellion is just part of it. He is also bound to be inventive. He will invent new things, new ways, new styles, new manners of life, new societies. He will dream new dreams, he will think about new utopias. If you condemn sex, then there is no rebellion of youth. All over the world, the rebellion of youth is part of a sexual freedom.
In the old cultures there was no rebellion because sex was so much condemned, the energy was so much suppressed. With that energy suppressed, every rebellion is suppressed. If you give freedom to sex energy, every rebellion will be there, every type of rebellion will be there.
Knowledge in itself has a sexual dimension, so it is right in a way that Adam became aware of sex, the dimension of sex. But with that dimension of sex he became aware of many other things also. This whole expansion of knowledge, this explosion of knowledge, this probing into the unknown, this going to the moon and to other planets, it is a sexual thirst. And the West will go further and further into knowledge, because now the energy is released, and now the energy will take new shapes, new adventures.
With sex and the awareness of sex, Adam started on a long journey. We are on it, everyone is on it, because sex is not just a part of your body – it is you. You are born of sex and you will die of sex, exhausted. Your birth is the birth of sex, and your death is the death of sex. So the moment you feel that the sexual energy is waning, know that death is coming near.
Thirty-five is the peak age. Sex energy is at the peak, and then everything declines, then one begins to be old, on the downward path. Seventy will be the death age. If fifty can be the peak of sexual energy, then a hundred will be the death age. The West will soon attain a hundred years as a normal, average age, because now a fifty-year-old man is behaving like a boy. It is good, it shows an alive society. It shows that now life will be lengthened.
If a hundred-year-old man can behave like a playboy, then life will be lengthened to two hundred years – because sex is the energy. Because of sex you are young and because of sex you will be old. Because of sex you are born and because of sex you will die. And not only that: Buddha and Mahavira and Krishna, they say that because of sexual desire you will be born again. Not only is this body run by sex, but all your bodies in continuity are run by sexual desire.
Of course, when Adam became conscious for the first time, he became conscious of sex. That is the most foundational fact. But this was misinterpreted by Christianity, and then much nonsense followed. It was said: Because Adam became aware of his sex and felt ashamed, sex is bad and a sin, original sin. It is not. It is original life. He became ashamed, not because sex is bad: he became ashamed because he saw that sex is an animal affair and “I am not an animal.” So sex has to be fought, cut, and thrown. Somehow one has to become without sex. This is a misinterpretation, the Christian interpretation of the parable: “So fight against sex.” Religion became just a fight against sex. And if religion is a fight against sex, then religion is a fight against life.
To me, religion is not a fight against sex. Rather, it is an effort to go beyond, not against. If you are against, you will remain on the same level with sex. Then you can never go beyond. So Christian mystics and saints, they are fighting to their deathbed against sex. And the temptation comes, and every moment they are tempted. There is no one to tempt them…their own suppression. Their own suppression is the creation of their temptation. They live in a very tortured world of inner mind where they are constantly fighting with themselves.
Religion is to go beyond, not against. And if you want to go beyond, you have to step, to use sex energy to transcend it. You have to move with it, not fight with it. You have to know it more. To be ignorant now is impossible – you have to know it more. Knowledge is freedom. If you know it more and more and more, and a moment comes when you are totally aware, sex disappears. In that total awareness, the energy is transformed, mutated. You now have a different dimension of the same energy.
Sex is horizontal. When you are totally aware, sex becomes vertical. And that vertical movement of sex is kundalini. If sex moves horizontally, then you go on reproducing others and reproducing yourself. If the energy begins to move upward, vertically, you just go out – out of the wheel of existence, as the Buddhists say, out of the wheel of life. It is a new birth: not in a new body, but in a new dimension of existence. This Buddhists have called nirvana, or moksha, or whatsoever you like to call it you can call it. Names don’t mean much.
So there are two ways. Adam becomes aware of his sex. He can suppress it; then he will move horizontally, fighting with it, in a constant anguish, always knowing the animal is hidden inside and always pretending that it is not there. This is the anguish. And one can move horizontally for lives together, reaching nowhere, because it is a repetitive circle. That’s why we call it a wheel, a repetitive circle.
You can jump out of the wheel. That jumping will not be through suppression; it will be through more knowledge. So I will say: you have eaten the fruit of the forbidden tree – now eat the whole tree! That is the only way. Now eat the whole tree. Don’t leave even a single leaf. Let there be no tree. Eat it totally. Only then will you be freed of knowledge, never before.
And with that, when I say eat the whole tree, I mean: now, when you have become aware, be aware totally. Fragmentary awareness is the problem. Either be totally ignorant or be totally aware. Totality is bliss. Be totally ignorant – you are in bliss. You will not be aware of it, but you will be in bliss. Just as we are when we are deep asleep, not even dreaming, simply asleep, with no movement of the mind – you are in bliss, but you cannot feel it. You can say in the morning that the night’s sleep was very blissful, but it was not felt when the sleep was there. It is felt only when you have come out of it. When knowledge enters, awareness comes, you can say the night was very blissful.
Either be totally ignorant, which is impossible, or be totally knowing, which is possible. With totality there is bliss. Totality is bliss. So eat the tree, root and all, and be aware. This is what is meant by an awakened man, a buddha, an enlightened man: he has eaten the whole tree. Now nothing is left to be aware. A simple awareness exists.
This simple awareness is a re-entry into Eden. You cannot find the old gate again; it is missed forever. You can find a new gate; you can enter again. And, really, whatsoever the Devil promised to Adam will be fulfilled: you will be like gods. He was right in a way. If you eat the fruit of knowledge, you will be like gods.
We cannot conceive this in this state of mind, because we are just in a hell; because of this Devil’s temptation, we are in a hell. We are as if suspended in between two things, always divided, in agony, in anguish. It seems that the Devil deceived Adam, deceived us. This is not the whole thing; the story is incomplete. You can complete it, and only then can you judge whether whatsoever the Devil said was right or not. Eat the whole tree, and you will be like gods.
A person who has become totally aware is divine, he is not human. Humanity is a sort of disease. I say dis-ease, a continuous dis-ease. Either be like animals, you are healthy; or be like gods, you are healthy – healthy because whole, a wholeness.
The English word holy is good. It doesn’t mean only pure; really it means to be whole. And unless you are whole you cannot be holy. Be whole. And there are only two types of wholeness: one, the animal type; the other, the godlytype.

You said that awareness creates centering and crystallization, but I personally feel that awareness brings a feeling of deep void within me. Please explain the relationship between centering and inner void.
As man is, he is without a center, without a real, authentic center. He has a center, so to speak, but the center is false. He only thinks that he has a center. The ego is a false center. You feel that it is there, but it is not. If you go to find it, you will not find it at all.

Bodhidharma reached China one thousand years after Buddha. He was a buddha himself. The Emperor Wu came to receive Bodhidharma. The emperor, when no one was there, asked Bodhidharma, “I am very, very disturbed. My mind is never at ease, so what can I do? Tell me. Make my mind at peace, at ease. I am a deep conflict, an inner struggle, continuous, so do something!”
Bodhidharma said, “I will! Come in the morning, early, at four o’clock – but remember to bring your self.”
The Emperor Wu felt that “Either this man is mad or I have not understood what he is saying.” He said, “Of course, when I come I will come with my self.”
Bodhidharma still insisted, “Don’t forget! Bring your self with you. Otherwise, whom am I going to make at ease?”
The whole night Emperor Wu couldn’t sleep. It was such a strange thing. It looked weird. What does this man mean? And then he began to feel doubtful whether to go or not, and at this early hour, four o’clock in the morning. And Bodhidharma has said, “Come alone! Only let your self be with you, no one else. So no one knows what he is going to do, and he looks mad. It is even dangerous.” But, still, he was tempted. This man was really a different type of being. He attracted, he was magnetic.
So he couldn’t stay at home. He came. When he was coming near, Bodhidharma said, “You have come, but where is your self?”
Wu said, “You make me puzzled. The whole night I couldn’t sleep. What do you mean by ‘my self’? I am here.”
So Bodhidharma said, “Give me your self. I will make it silent, at peace, at ease. Close your eyes and find out where it is, your self. Point it out to me and I will make it totally disappear, and there will never be any problem again.”
So Emperor Wu closed his eyes, sat before Bodhidharma. The morning was absolutely silent. No one was there. He could hear his own breath, he could hear his own heartbeat. And Bodhidharma was there constantly telling him, “Go in and find out where it is. If you cannot point it out, then what can I do?”
And he searched and he searched and he searched, for hours together. Then he opened his eyes…he was a different man. He said, “I don’t find it anywhere. It is all void. There is no self.”
Bodhidharma said, “Then, if there is no self and all is void, are you disturbed now? Is someone at dis-ease inside? Now where is the anguish you were talking about, so much talking about? Where is it?”
So Wu said, “Nowhere, because the person has disappeared, so how can the dis-ease exist without him? I tried and tried, but it is nowhere to be found. Really, I was myself in a deception. I always thought I am inside. I tried to find it and it is not there. There is simply a void, a shunya, emptiness, a nothingness.”
So Bodhidharma said, “Now go home, and whenever you feel that something is to be done with your self, first find out where it is.”

It is a false entity. Because we have never searched for it, it seems to exist. Because we have never gone in, we go on talking about the I. It is not there. So the first thing to be understood is: if you meditate, if you become silent, you will feel a void, because you cannot find the ego. The ego was all the furniture; now the furniture has disappeared. You are just a room – rather, a roominess. Even the walls have disappeared; they were part of the ego. The whole structure has disappeared, so you will find a void.
This is the first step. When the ego disappears…. It is a false entity. It is not there. It only appears to be, or you go on thinking that it is there. It belongs to your thinking, not to your being. It belongs to your mind, not to your existence. Because you think it is there, it is there. When you go to find it, it is not found. Then you feel the void, emptiness. Now persist in this emptiness, remain in this void.
Mind is very cunning. He can play games. If you observe this voidness, and if you begin to think, you will fill it again. Even if you say, “This is void,” you are out of it, already out of it. The void has disappeared, you have come in. Remain with the void, remain void. Don’t think. It is difficult, very frightening. One gets dizzy. It is an abyss, an infinite abyss. Falling down and falling down, and with no bottom to reach, one gets dizzy…one begins to think. The moment you think, you have found the ground again. Now you are not in the void.
If you can be in the void without escaping it by any thinking whatsoever, suddenly the void will also disappear, as the ego has disappeared – because, really, it is because of the ego that it looks like a void. Ego was the thing which was filling. That was the furniture, and there was no void. Now the ego has disappeared; that’s why you feel it as a void. This feeling of emptiness is just because something that was always there is not there.
If you see me in this chair, and suddenly you don’t find me in the chair, the chair will look empty – not because the chair is empty, but simply because someone was there filling it and now he is no longer there. So you see the void, not the chair. You see the void because the absence of something looks like emptiness. You are still not seeing the chair. You were seeing a person there, now you are seeing the absence of the person, but the chair is still not seen.
So when the ego disappears, you feel the void. This is only a beginning, because this void is also the negative part of the ego, the other aspect. This void also must disappear.

It is reported about Rinzai, a Zen master, that when he was learning with his teacher, the teacher always insisted on attaining the void, the nothingness, the shunya. So one day he came: he had attained it. It was a long effort; to dissolve the ego is a long effort. It was a long journey, difficult, sometimes virtually impossible, but he had attained it. So he came, laughing, dancing, happy, in ecstasy. He fell down at his master’s feet and said, “I have attained. Now the void is there!”
The master looked at him very unsympathetically and said, “Now go and throw this void out too. Don’t bring it here. Throw this void out too. Throw away this nothingness.”
Because if you have nothingness, it becomes something again. Even a void is something. If you can feel it, it is something. If you can know it, it is something. If you can observe it, it is something. Even nothing becomes a something if it is in your hands.
The master said, “Throw this void out. Only come to me when even nothingness is not there.”
So Rinzai wept.

Why couldn’t he see it himself? If void is an attainment, it is something. If you have achieved nothingness, nothingness becomes a thing. When you go deep in the void, without any thinking, without any vibration in the mind, if you remain in this, suddenly the void just disappears – and then the self is known. Then you are centered. Then you have come to the real center.
The false center, the absence of the false center, and then the real center. By “centering” I mean the ground, the very ground of being. It is not your center, because you are the false; so it is not your center, it is the center, just the center of being, the very existence centered in it.
You are the false center, you will disappear. But even in your disappearance, if you begin to feel fulfilled with the void, the ego has returned in a very subtle way. In a very subtle way it has come back. It will say, “I have attained this void.” It is still there.
Don’t allow it to come back. Remain in the void. Don’t do anything with the void – not even thinking about it, not even feeling about it. The void is there. Be at ease, let it be there. It will disappear. It is just a negative part. The real thing has disappeared; it is just the shadow. Don’t catch the shadow, don’t cling to the shadow, because the shadow can remain only if the real thing is somewhere near. Only then can the shadow remain.
The void disappears ultimately, and then there is centering. Then for the first time you are not and you are, not as you but as pure being, rather, as the all. And this point must be noted carefully: that it is not your center, it is the center of all.
Forget your false center. Go in, dig for it – it dissolves. It is never found. It is not, so you cannot find it. Then a more arduous thing befalls you: then you encounter the void. It is very silent. Compared to the ego world, it is very silent, very silent. You are in a deep peace. But don’t be satisfied with it. It is false, because it is part of the ego. And if you feel satisfied the ego will re-enter, it will come back. A part of it was still there. That part will bring it back again, whole.
Remain with the void without any thinking. That is just deathlike. One is dying before one’s own eyes, everything dissolving, a great abyss. And soon you will disappear, only the abyss will be there – not even the knower of the abyss, not even the observer of the abyss, just the abyss. Then you are centered, centered in the cosmic center. It is not your center, but for the first time you are.
Now language will have a different meaning. You are not and you are. Here, no and yes lose their traditional difference, the customary meaning. You are not as you, you are now as divine, as the cosmos itself. This is the existential centering, centered in existence.

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