Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen 02

Second Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
What is Zen?
It is almost impossible to answer because Zen is not a philosophy, it is not a doctrine. It is an experience, an experience of your own interiority, of your own subjectivity – not an objective experience. If it were some object outside you, there would be a possibility of describing it, of analyzing it, of defining it. It is indefinable by its very nature; it is not within the grasp of intellect. It is an experience of dropping out of your mind: of disappearing from your mind into your being; of slipping out of the mind and entering into your being.
The mind is a false entity; your being is your real face, your original face. The mind is created by the society, hence there are different kinds of minds – the Hindu mind, the Christian mind, the Jewish mind – but the being is one. It is neither Christian, Hindu nor Mohammedan. Being is not even individual, it is universal. It is like a dewdrop slipping into the ocean. As a dewdrop, it disappears. As a dewdrop, nothing remains. It dies. On the other hand, it is reborn: it becomes the ocean. But there is nobody to say what has happened and there is no way to say it; no words are adequate enough.
I can tell you how it happens, but I cannot tell you what it is. I can indicate toward it – fingers pointing to the moon, but fingers are not the moon. There are millions of people who go on worshipping the fingers. The more attached you become to the fingers the less capable you will be of seeing the moon. The fingers have to be forgotten. Once you have understood the point, where to look – forget the fingers and look at the moon.
Zen is one of the purest spiritual experiences, uncontaminated by any thought, any theology, any speculation. It is nonargumentative, it simply is.
Listen to Yoka. Yoka says:
Dear friend, do you know the true man of Zen?
He has forgotten the intellectual understanding of what he has learned in order to reach profound understanding….

He lives in equanimity, calm and content. He is free from all care, and he acts naturally and reasonably. He does not struggle to avoid illusion nor does he seek for satori.

He knows that illusion is unfounded and that satori is none other than himself. He sees the real nature of not-knowing as the nature of the Buddha and he sees that the reality of his illusory body is equivalent to
the eternal body of the Buddha.

When he fully realizes the body of the Buddha, the body of the universal law, he has nothing. He becomes nothing. He himself is the source of all things and his ordinary life is another name for the eternal Buddha….
If you live in this understanding, you can change in a single moment. You can transform yourself absolutely, without wasting any time. Beautiful hints. First, you have to forget all that you have learned. All your learning is a barrier. Put it aside. Zen cannot be learned and cannot be taught. You can imbibe it, you can imbibe the spirit of it.
Living with a master, you can drink – you can drink the invisible nectar, you can be full with it – but you will have to fulfill one condition: you have to put the mind aside.
Gayan has written to me. She says that while listening to me she feels like dancing. That’s how the disciple is bound to feel; something inside you starts dancing, singing. Something inside you rejoices. Something inside you immediately falls in tune with the master; a deep synchronicity happens. It cannot be taught, it cannot be learned, but it can be transferred. That transfer is beyond words and beyond scriptures. It needs a totally new art: the art of surrender, the art of total let-go.
The first condition: forget all that you have learned. The second condition: be calm, quiet, contented. Desire keeps you away from the present moment, far away. Zen is the taste of reality here and now. It is the feel of the here and now. Zen is not concerned with any God after death. Zen is concerned with the godliness that surrounds you right now.
These sounds, these birds, these trees, these people, this silence – three thousand people disappearing into a silence, losing their identities, egos – and suddenly Zen is there! It becomes almost tangible. You can touch it, you can eat it, you can drink it. But there is no way to convey it through words. You have to be calm, quiet and contented so that you can be in the present. You have to be free of all care. Care simply means that you are not trusting existence; you are trying to be careful on your own. You are afraid. You are not yet aware that existence cares for you, that it mothers you, that it fathers you. Once you start feeling the mothering and the fathering that surrounds you, in the air, the sun, the moon, the stars, you drop caring for yourself. There is no need to be worried. You start flowing with existence. You drop pushing the river. And you are then able to understand what Zen is. You have to live naturally and reasonably.
Remember, society has made you absolutely artificial. It has given you ideas, it has imposed certain moralities, characters upon you. It has destroyed your spontaneity. You have to regain it, you have to reclaim it. That is the most essential thing to be done.
Once you have claimed your naturalness, Zen starts welling up within you. Zen is your nature, your very nature. When you are spontaneous and responsible, responding to reality moment to moment without any ready-made formulas and reflecting reality like a mirror – you are living the life of Zen. And that is the reasonable life – not rational, remember, but reasonable.
A reasonable man is not rational. They are not equivalent, they are not synonymous. The rational man is never reasonable, the rational man tries to deny all that is irrational. Life consists of both the rational and the irrational. The reasonable man accepts both. He accepts the paradox of life. He accepts the rational, he accepts the irrational and he sees no inconsistency in them. Hence he remains undivided; nothing can divide him. No division exists in his being and he sees no division anywhere. Life and death are one to him; summer and winter are one to him; men and women are one to him. He knows that divisions are superficial; deep down everything is one. He knows the oneness of life, hence he is not disturbed by any contradictions.
The man of Zen contains all contradictions. He is vast enough, he can contain contradictions. He enjoys paradoxes and does not make life a problem. He looks at life as a mystery. He is not interested in solving it, he is interested only in living it – living it to the uttermost. He knows that illusion is unfounded.
Hence he is not worried like the Hindu monks, escaping from the world because the world is illusory. Do you see the stupidity of it? If the world is illusory, why are you escaping from it? For what? If it is not, if it is not really there, why are you escaping?
If you see a man running and you ask him, “Where are you going?” and he says, “There is a rope which only appears to be a snake – it is not a snake – and I am running away from that appearance of a snake,” you will say, “You are stupid! If you know it is a rope, stop running. If you know it is not a rope, stop saying that it is illusory, that it is only an appearance.”
But that’s what the Hindu monks have been doing for thousands of years: calling the world maya, illusory and yet renouncing it. Renounce your wife because she is illusory; renounce your children because they are illusory; renounce your day-to-day, ordinary life because it is illusory. Escape to the Himalayas – everything is illusory. But why are you escaping? From what?
That is the beauty of Zen. Zen says:
He knows that illusion is unfounded and that satori is none other than himself.
He knows that all is illusory so there is no need to escape. It is unfounded, you need not be worried about it. It is a rope that appears to be a snake. So why escape? Why renounce? Let it appear to be a snake, let it be there as a rope. Whatsoever it is, the appearance is unfounded, hence there is no need to renounce.
Zen does not teach renunciation. It teaches understanding, awareness, alertness, and the capacity to see things as they are. There is no need to escape from anywhere. Wherever you are, Zen helps you to relax.
There is no need to search for God, to search for satori, samadhi, enlightenment. The very search is a barrier. We search for things only if they are not within our being. If they are within our being, there is no need to seek and search. Just relax! In that very relaxation you have found them. Satori is our nature. Samadhi is our nature. Godliness is our nature. Hence, the man of Zen goes nowhere; he simply rests in himself.
He sees the real nature of not-knowing as the nature of the Buddha…
To function from the state of not-knowing is to function in the present. If you function from the state of knowing you are functioning out of the past. All knowing is from the past. Knowledge means the past: your experiences, your memories. If you function through them you are not responding to reality. The only way to respond to reality is to be utterly innocent.
When you function from the state of not-knowing, your response is total and always adequate. It always brings fulfillment, it is liberating. Hence Yoka says it is: …the nature of the Buddha. When you realize this totally, you are nothing. Not that you become an enlightened soul, no; you disappear. The ego is no longer found. There is nobody to become enlightened – that is enlightenment. According to Zen: “When there is nobody to be enlightened, enlightenment has happened.” When you are just a pure nothing, a silence so profound, so unfathomable that there is no way to measure it; so virgin, so pure, that nobody has ever walked into it –even you cannot enter into it. Only when you disappear, is it there.
This nothingness is the ultimate truth. Buddha calls it shunya, the void. If you can live in this nothingness, your ordinary life is another name for the sacred life. That is one of the greatest messages of Zen. It does not destroy your ordinary life, it enriches it. All other religions have been destructive, they have been poisoners, they have been condemnors. They have been condemning your ordinary life and praising some ideal life which exists nowhere. They condemn that which is and they praise that which is not.
Zen says: “This is all. There is no other life, there is no other existence. This ordinary existence is beautiful. There is no need for any other world; this world is more than enough.” Zen is the greatest alchemy. It transforms your ordinary, mundane life into a sacred, holy life.

A Zen master, Rinzai, was asked, “What did you used to do before your enlightenment?”
He said, “I used to do the same as I am doing now. I used to carry water from the well for my master and I used to chop wood for him and the commune. I continue to do the same: I carry water from the well and I chop wood for my disciples.”
The man said, “But, what is the difference between an enlightened man and an unenlightened man?”
Rinzai said, “The difference is the unenlightened man thinks that this is an ordinary life – chopping wood, carrying water from the well. And the enlightened man knows this is holy, sacred, divine.”

The last thing to be remembered is that Zen does not believe in a gradual process. It says: “Because buddha is your nature, because enlightenment is your very nature, you can get it right now. There is no need to wait even for a single moment.” Zen believes in sudden enlightenment, hence Yoka says: “It can happen in a moment.”
All other religions are postponements. Hindus say: “You will have to be born many, many times; only then can you become enlightened.” Why? – because first you have to undo all the bad karmas that you have done in your past lives. Now, you have lived for millions of lives. How long is it going to take to undo all those karmas? And while you are undoing those karmas you will be doing other karmas, so once again you will be accumulating bad karma. That means it is impossible to become enlightened or next to impossible.
Zen says: “Whatever you have done has been done in a dream. Wake up and it is finished.” It is not that when you wake up you have to undo what you have done in your dream; just by waking up all dreams are finished. Knowing that they were dreams is to end them. You have lived your sleepy life for many lives and whatever you have done has been done in your sleep. It is nothing very important. It is of the same stuff as dreams are made of.
Just wake up!

The second question:
Why do all the awakened ones say that man is asleep? I don't agree. I think I am fully awake. What do you say?
It is impossible to understand what the awakened ones say unless you are also awakened. They speak your language – they have to speak your language out of sheer necessity because there is no other language – but their meaning is totally different.
When the buddhas say that you are asleep, they don’t mean ordinary sleep. Of course, you are not ordinarily asleep, you are awake. You go to the marketplace, to the office and you do your things. Of course, in the night you sleep. But buddhas say that you are asleep twenty-four hours of the day. Certainly, they are not using the word sleep in the same sense that you are acquainted with it; they mean something else, something totally different. They are talking about a metaphysical sleep. They are talking about an inner state of unconsciousness.
You walk, you talk, you do a thousand and one things, but like a zombie. You live mechanically. You don’t live in awareness. When you listen to the awakened ones, you are listening again through all the barriers that you have created in your sleep, through all the layers of your sleep. You go on misinterpreting them. Of course, you are right – you are awake. In that sense, all the buddhas are wrong. They know it too. But when they say that you are asleep they mean something more fundamental, not the ordinary sleep, not the ordinary awakening.
When they say to you, “Wake up!” They mean, be totally conscious so that nothing unconscious and dark remains in your being; so that no nook or corner of your being remains dark and unconscious. Right now only a very small part – one-tenth – is conscious; very fragile. Nine-tenths of your being is unconscious. You are just like an iceberg: just a little fragment of it shows on the surface – one-tenth, exactly one-tenth – and nine-tenths is underneath the water.
When you listen to the awakened ones, you will have to learn to understand their language, not according to you, but according to them.

As the Prime Minister was waiting to board the special plane that was taking him to the capitals of Europe, the Home Secretary, who had come along to see him off, whispered, “What is your advice on the Homosexual Bill?”
“Oh yes… Hmm,” said the Prime Minister. “Tell him we’ll pay him off when I get back!”

You listen according to yourself. You don’t listen silently. You don’t listen, having put your mind aside.

“Have you ever had an X-ray before this?” the doctor asked the sexy Italian girl.
“No, doc,” she said, “but I have been ultra-violated a couple of times.”

Your mind is constantly distorting and giving its own color to everything that it hears. Your mind is making you stupid, although you think your mind is making you intelligent.
Listening to the buddhas needs a certain space, a different kind of space. You have to listen very silently, you have to listen without any thoughts. You have to listen without any prejudice, you have not to decide for or against. You are not to be in a hurry – whether they are right or wrong. Just listen without being for or against. Don’t be in a hurry, otherwise you will do something stupid.

The Polish rapist is standing in the line-up of criminals at the police station. Bright lights blaze in his face and there are sleazy characters on either side of him.
The police bring in the rape victim and he jumps forward and shouts, “That’s her!”

Keep your stupid mind silent. Tell the mind, “Please be quiet.” It is okay in the ordinary world, but not with the buddhas, not with the awakened ones.
Whenever new disciples came to Gautam the Buddha he would say to them, “Just sit silently by my side for two years, then something will be possible. I can then say something to you and you will be able to understand.”

Once a great philosopher, Maulingaputta, came to see him. He had thousands of disciples of his own. He was a well-known philosopher, very respected, a great scholar. When Buddha said to him, “Be here and be silent for two years, then there will be a possibility of something transpiring between me and you,” of course he was offended.
He said, “Do you think that I am an ignorant person who cannot understand you? You can say whatever you want to say right now. There is no need for me to wait for two years. I understand the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita – why not you?”
Buddha said, “If you have understood the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Gita, why have you come here? For what reason? Your questions are answered. If you have understood the Upanishads, what is left? Don’t waste my time. You know already. So, get lost!”
He must have felt very shocked. He had come with five hundred disciples; they were also shocked. But he must have been a man of great guts – he understood the point. He said, “That’s right. If I had understood – really understood – there would have been no need to come to you. I have come to you because my questions have not yet been answered. I know all the Vedas and the Upanishads, but they have not transformed my being.”
Buddha replied, “Follow what I am saying. Ask no questions for two years. Unlearn everything. For two years keep quiet and be silent and sit here.”
While this was happening, Sariputta, one of Buddha’s greatest disciples, who was sitting there, started laughing.
Maulingaputta said, “Why is this man laughing? Is he crazy or something?”
Buddha said, “Ask him.”
Sariputta was asked and he said, “I am laughing because this man is really very cunning” – he was talking about Buddha – “I came here just like you and he told me to be quiet and silent for two years. During those two years all my questions disappeared. Now I have nothing to ask. And he goes on asking me, ‘Sariputta, why don’t you ask now?’ So my suggestion to you is that if you want to ask, ask now. If you don’t want to ask, then listen to him and be silent for two years.”
This happened. After exactly after two years, Buddha asked Maulingaputta, “Where are your questions?”
He laughed, bowed down, touched his feet, and said, “They have disappeared in silence. Just watching you, just seeing you, slowly, slowly my clarity became more and more transparent. The mind disappeared and I could see you with a no-mind. A totally different kind of relating has happened. Something has transpired. There are no questions, no answers either, but I am utterly contented. I have arrived home.”

A man says to his friend, “When you get to New York, call up my college chum, Jimmy Sexover. He is now working at the XYZ Company.”
When the out-of-towner reached New York he phoned the XYZ Company and asked the receptionist, “Have you a Sexover there?”
“Sex hour? Hell!” she replied. “We don’t even have a coffee break!”

You ask: “Why do all the awakened ones say that man is asleep?” Because man is asleep. It is a simple fact. Watch yourself and you will find the truth in it.
You say: “I don’t agree.” You can’t agree. You will have to disappear for the agreement to happen. If you persist, agreement is not possible. Both things are not possible: you and the agreement. Either the agreement is possible, then you will not be there, or you are possible, then agreement will not be there.
You also say: “I think I am fully awake.” If you are awake there is no need to think that you are awake. When you love a woman you don’t say, “I think I love you.” If you say that she will slap your face! If you love her, you love her. What is the point of saying, “I think”? When you are thirsty you don’t say, “I think I am thirsty.” If you are thirsty you are thirsty. You simply say, “I am thirsty.”
You say: “I think I am fully awake.” You are fully asleep! Maybe you are dreaming in your sleep that you are awake, that is possible. That’s what thinking is all about: dreaming, dreaming with open eyes.
Listen to the buddhas. Be more silent, quiet, calm. In your silence you will disappear, then the agreement, the harmony. It is not a question of agreeing philosophically. It is a question of being harmonious with the awakened one, falling in tune with his being. That’s what real agreement is.
If you go on thinking like this you will miss me totally. Here, thinking is not required; non-thinking awareness is required. It is hard to put thinking aside because we are so accustomed to thinking, and we think it is very clever to think about everything. There are things you cannot think about; either you know or you don’t know. The things I am talking about belong to that category: either you know or you don’t.
If you are fully awake, what are you doing here? Such a nice guy, what are you doing here? If you are fully awake, go and help other people to be fully awake. But you are not awake. I know you, I know your sleep – it is deep. You need a real hammering on your head. Unless your skull is broken you will not awaken, you will not be able to wake up.
Ordinary alarms won’t do. I am creating extraordinary alarms here. So I go on sending you from one therapy group to another. That means being pulled and pushed, beaten, shaken and shocked. We don’t leave any opportunity for you to remain asleep. Only when a little bit of awakening happens to you, will you understand what is happening here; what is transpiring here between me and the mad people who have gathered here.

The third question:
Can affirmations be helpful for deconditioning the mind?
Deconditioning is possible only through negations, never through affirmations. Affirmation is the way of conditioning the mind. You have to negate: neti-neti. The Upanishads say: “Neither this nor that.” You have to go on negating till nothing is left to negate. When there is absolute emptiness, and no content is left to be negated, that is the state of a deconditioned mind.
A deconditioned mind is not a mind at all, it is a no-mind. How can you achieve a no-mind through affirmations? Affirmations mean that you are repeating something constantly, creating an atmosphere of autohypnosis. That’s how people have been doing it for thousands of years. Go on telling the child again and again and again, “God is. He created the world.” The whole of society goes on repeating it in the home, in the school, in the church – everywhere you go on repeating it – and the child becomes conditioned. He starts thinking he knows that God is. He is simply a gramophone record. It has become imprinted on his mind that God is. If he had been born in Soviet Russia the situation would have been just the opposite because there they go on repeating, “There is no God.”
One of my friends visited Soviet Russia. He was a teacher and he was very interested in the Soviet system of education, so he visited schools, colleges, universities – many schools. He told me that even small children laugh at the idea of God.
On his first visit he went to a small school and asked the younger children, “Do you believe in God?” They all laughed and said, “Do you?” He replied, “Yes, I believe in God.” And they said, “In the past, primitive people used to believe in God; ignorant people used to believe in God. Now nobody does.” These children are conditioned that there is no God.
Just because of the word no, don’t think that it is a negation – it is an affirmation. Affirmation can be of belief, and can also be of disbelief. Real negation means helping people to get rid of all kinds of beliefs and disbeliefs; helping them to get rid of all the conditionings that society enforces upon them.

Adolf Hitler writes in his autobiography: “There is only a very small difference between truth and untruth. Truth is untruth repeated many times, that’s all.”
He is right in many ways. Repeat any untruth, just go on repeating it and sooner or later people will start believing it. People have believed in all kinds of things for the simple reason that the people who were in authority were believers, they believed in these things. If they believed in God, the masses believed in God. People look up to the authorities: the priests, politicians and the rich people; the scholars and the professors. If they are all believers, there must be a God. If they believe that there is no God, the masses start following them. The masses are simply imitators. The society – every society – creates a certain atmosphere of conditioning. There exists no society in the world yet which does not live through this process of conditioning.
The whole process of conditioning is harmful, poisonous because it destroys the freedom of the individual. It destroys his capacity to inquire into truth; it destroys his adventure into life; it destroys his initiative to explore what is. Even before he asks a question, the answer is imprinted upon him. The people who go on doing this have vested interests. The priests would like you to believe in God. The communists would like you not to believe in God. There is nobody who is interested in you; they are all interested in their vested interests.
So affirmations cannot be helpful. All affirmations are conditionings. You need total negativity. That’s what Zen is: it negates. It says that there is no God; it says there is no soul; it says there is no paradise; it says there is nothing. It leaves you nothing to believe in. Even if you start believing in nothing, the Zen master is going to hit you hard.
It happened…

A disciple of Bokuju would bring his new experiences again and again – that he had experienced energy rising in his spine… And he would be beaten. Bokuju said, “Get out of here! Don’t bring such nonsense to me! You are not it. You are the watcher who watched the energy rising. So don’t get identified with it, otherwise it is once again a new identification, a new ego: the birth of a new ego, a spiritual ego, which is far more dangerous than ordinary egos.”
One day the disciple came and said, “You are right. Now I am seeing great light. I am full of light, all is light!”
He was beaten again, and was told, “You are not light either, you are the watcher. Who is seeing the light? You are the seer.”
It went on again and again in this way for years. After ten years he came to Bokuju really happy, fell at the feet of the master and said, “Now you will be happy with me – and no need to beat me. I have experienced nothingness!”
This time the master was so angry! He physically threw him out of the window – of a two-story house. He fell on a rock and the master looked from the window and said, “How are you feeling now?”
The hit was so hard that it really brought the disciple to his senses. He started laughing; lying down there on the rock he started laughing. The master also jumped from the window, embraced the disciple and said to him, “Now I am happy, really happy!”
The other disciples asked, “What has transpired? It is so mysterious!”
Bokuju said: “To say ‘I have experienced nothingness’ is wrong because you have made an object of nothingness. Nothingness has become your affirmation again – a thought, a content. You have to get rid of nothingness too! When he laughed, I could see nothingness in his laughter. There was nobody who was laughing, there was simply laughter – no claim, no claimer, just simple laughter, pure laughter. There was nobody who was laughing.”

That very moment the master felt connected to the disciple for the first time. Otherwise, all those experiences were creating barriers. Affirmations can’t help. All affirmations are conditionings.

“Cats, my dear,” said the spinster, “I hate the very sight of them. I had a sweet little canary and some cat got that. I had a perfect parrot and some cat got that. I had an adorable fiancée, and – oh, don’t mention cats to me!”

This is how things become conditionings. Now the very word cat has become associated with many, many bad experiences. The word cat has nothing to do with those experiences.
It is said of Napoleon that he was defeated because of cats. The enemy general brought seventy cats and placed them in front of the army because he had found out that the moment Napoleon saw cats he went crazy. He would lose all balance, he would lose all intelligence and become very nervous. That was true because apparently when Napoleon was only a six-month-old child, a wild cat had jumped on his chest. Since then, although he could fight with lions, don’t mention cats! That had become a very deep conditioned reflex.
Behaviorists all over the world are trying to manipulate this process of conditioning to create a robot-like humanity. Skinner says, “We can change the whole of humanity within a few years.” There is no need for a Buddha, a Jesus or a Mohammed to change humanity – and they have not changed it. For centuries they have been teaching, and nothing has happened; humanity has remained the same. We can change humanity very easily. All that is needed are methods of conditioning people.
If you want somebody not to steal again, there is no need to put him in prison for ten years. That is not going to help. In fact, that will condition him to be a bigger thief than he ever was before because he will be living with thieves. He will be living with greater experts than himself and all that he is going to learn is why he got caught in the first place. Next time he is not going to commit the same mistake.
That’s why once a person goes to jail he becomes a regular. He returns again and again. The jail becomes his home – he becomes a jailbird. He goes outside only to practice his art and he comes back again to do the homework. He does the homework in jail.
Skinner says that there is no need to waste time, just give him electric shocks and within two to three weeks he will be conditioned. He will never think of stealing. Even the idea of stealing will be enough, and he will start trembling and fall to his knees. Just the very idea will be enough to make him so nervous… He will remember all those electric shocks.
He proposes that every vice can be dropped from humanity just by giving electric shocks or with methods like it. And all virtues can be established by giving rewards, by giving beautiful rewards. For example, they have found that in your head there are different centers for different experiences. There is a pleasure center. When you are making love, the pleasure that you derive from it has nothing to do with your genital organs, it happens in your head. The genital organs simply trigger a process. In fact, the pleasure happens in your head, in your brain.
Now, Skinner says that there is no need to go into such a long process of courtship, talking nonsense to a woman or to a man. And then getting caught and married and having a thousand and one troubles. He says that simple things are possible. You just have to keep a small box in your pocket which will be connected to the pleasure center in your head – without any wires; it will be a wireless connection. So don’t be worried if people see wires coming out of your head and going into your pocket. Everybody will know what you are carrying in your pocket! Just a small box in your pocket and you can push the button. Suddenly you have a great orgasm and you are all smiles.
Skinner says that if you reward people for their virtue, for their good deeds, by manipulating their pleasure center, they will keep doing those things. For example, if whenever you go into a church suddenly you have great orgasms, naturally you will go more often. In fact, you will not leave the church at all! You will have to be forced to go out and do something else.
When Skinner was working on a rat, he connected the rat’s pleasure center with a small box and taught the rat to push the button. You will be surprised what the rat did. The rat pushed the button six thousand times. He went on pushing it right up until he fell down dead. He forgot everything else. He forgot all about food, he forgot to drink, he forgot everything else. He just went on and on pushing – six thousand times. The poor rat could not bear that much joy! Died, but died in ecstasy!
This can be done to man. This is going to be done because the idea is simple, very simple; the process is simple. Governments are bound to use it because it is easy to condition people to do and not to do certain things. Everyone will then be a saint and nobody will be a sinner. But saints or sinners – they will all be robots. They will not have any choice of their own.
Ultimately it could be that there is no need to have your own small boxes. In every country’s capital – in New Delhi, in Washington, in London – the prime minister or the president could hold the key. And every once in a while he could push the button and the whole country goes into an orgasmic joy. Then everybody will be obedient. Nobody will break any commandments, nobody will go against them. The whole country could be punished just by pushing a button because just as there is a pleasure center in the brain there is also a pain center. Just push the pain center and you could be in such agony, in such hell. But this is not going to bring freedom to humanity. This will be the destruction of all freedom and all possibility of freedom. It has to be stopped.
Affirmations, whether repeated in the old, primitive way or done by a more scientific, technological methodology, are the same. Man needs to be totally free of all conditionings. And that is possible only through absolute negation, where only pure consciousness is left and everything else is negated. Just the watcher is left and nothing to watch; the seer is left and nothing to see; the experiencer is left and nothing to experience.
That’s what we in the East have called “the witness.” That is transcendence – transcendence of all bondage; transcendence from the body, the mind and all the limitations that they impose upon you. Nirvana is possible, absolute freedom is possible, but only via the negativa.

The fourth question:
What is compassion?
We know what passion is, hence it is not very difficult to understand what compassion may be. Passion means a state of biological fever – it is hot. You are almost possessed by biological, unconscious energies. You are no longer your own master, you are just a slave.
Compassion means you have transcended biology, you have transcended physiology. You are no longer a slave, you have become a master. Now you function consciously. You are not driven, pulled and pushed by unconscious forces; you can decide what you want to do with your energies. You are totally free. The same energy that becomes passion is transformed into compassion.
Passion is lust, compassion is love.
Passion is desire, compassion is desirelessness. Passion is greed, compassion is sharing. Passion wants to use the other as a means; compassion respects the other as an end unto himself or herself. Passion keeps you tethered to the earth, to the mud, and you never become a lotus. Compassion makes you a lotus. You start rising above the muddy world of desires, greed, anger. Compassion is a transformation of your energies.
Ordinarily you are scattered, fragmentary. Some energy is being absorbed by your anger; some energy is being absorbed by your greed; some energy is being absorbed by your lust, and so on and so forth. There are so many desires surrounding you that you are left without any energy. You are left hollow, empty.
Remember what William Blake said. There is great insight in it. He said, “Energy is delight.” You don’t have any energy left; all your energy keeps on going down the drain. When all these energies are no longer being wasted, they start filling your inner lake, your inner being. You become full. A great delight arises in you. And when you start overflowing, you have become a buddha and you have come upon an inexhaustible source.
Compassion is a key word, but you will understand it only if you go deep into meditation. Meditation is the key to transform passion into compassion. You will have to become more conscious. Right now you are unconscious – notwithstanding what you think, you are unconscious.

A girl taking a job in an office is asked by her intended employer how much she hopes to earn.
“Twenty dollars a week,” she answers.
“Twenty dollars?” he says. “I’ll give you that with pleasure.”
“With pleasure, that will be thirty dollars,” she replies.

Watch what you do, what you say, what you think, and you will be surprised – without taking any alcoholic beverages, without taking any drugs, you are in a state, a mess.

Mrs. O’Brien was berating her husband for his drunken behavior at the party the previous night.
“For sure, you were making an ass of yourself,” she asserted, “cavorting around like that!”
“I was not cavorting or nothing!” O’Brien defended himself. “I was walking as straight a line as any man there… Till all those people started stepping on my fingers!”

Just look at what you have been doing to yourself, to your life. What have you made of yourself? What have you gained? What meaning have you attained? What significance have you experienced? People don’t ask such embarrassing questions because the questions make them feel very depressed. But these questions have to be asked. Unless you ask these questions you are not going to change.

An Irish immigrant walked up to a vending machine, put in a coin and pressed the button labeled: “Coffee, double cream, sugar.” No cup appeared. Then two nozzles went into action, one sending forth coffee, the other, cream. After the proper amounts had gone down the drain where the cup should have been, the machine turned off.
“Now, that’s real automation!” the Irishman exclaimed. “This thing even drinks it for you.”

Man goes on living like a robot, functioning well, efficiently. In fact, the more like a robot you are, the better you function, the better society feels about you – because it is a society of robots. To be awakened, alert, conscious is dangerous. It is a society of blind people; to have eyes is to invite danger.
But without creating consciousness you will never know the beauty, the blessing that existence has bestowed upon you. You will never know the great opportunity that has been given to you to grow, to become. You can be sunlit peaks and you are just dark holes!

“Shit!” said Polaris. “I got a real jolt in court this morning. The judge fined me five hundred dollars for attempting to rape some broad I met on the subway. And then when he took a good look at her he fined me an extra ten dollars for being drunk!”

If you become alert to at least one thing – that you are not alert – that’s a great beginning.

A big Irishman said to a homely woman on the subway, “My God, you’re looking lovely tonight.”
“Oh, thank you, sir.”
“But don’t mind what I say, I’m drunk.”

Even if you are aware of that much – that you are drunk – you are not absolutely drunk.
Socrates says, “If you know that you don’t know, that is a great beginning. It is then possible for you to know.” To be aware that “I am ignorant” creates the possibility of seeking, searching in your own interiority for the truth – for your truth.
Compassion is the ultimate transformation of passion. You are in passion, but you go on thinking that you are right as you are. You go on defending yourself. You go against anything that disturbs your comfortable, mechanical life.
A visitor has written to me: “Your medicine seems to be too bitter. Osho, are you sure that you are a physician and not a horse doctor?” When I look at all the monkeys and the donkeys and the Yankees surrounding me, I wonder myself! I must be a horse doctor. The medicine is bitter and it is difficult to push it down your throat.
I have heard…

Mulla Nasruddin went to the horse doctor and said “My horse has become so lazy that something has to be done. He does not run. Not to mention running – he does not even walk! So give me something really vital.”
The doctor said, “We have the medicine, but it is very bitter and the horse may not take it, so you will have to use a certain device. Take this bamboo pipe, it is hollow inside. Fill it with the medicine – it is a powder.” He gave Mulla the powder. “Put one end of the pipe into the horse’s mouth and the other in your own mouth and blow so that it will go down the horse’s throat.”
Everything went well up to the last moment – the horse blew first! Nasruddin, an eighty-year-old man, jumped the fence of his garden and ran so fast that no Olympic runner would have been able to compete with him.
His wife rushed to the horse doctor. She said, “Give me a double dose immediately because I have to catch him. He has escaped!”

Looking at you, I can only say that I must be a horse doctor. But I take every care so that you cannot blow before I blow!
The first thing to be understood is that the medicine is bitter because you don’t know anything. It is bitter to accept. The second thing to be understood is that you are a machine. It is very bitter to accept. And the third thing to be understood is that you are just living in mud, crawling into dark holes, while you are meant to be flying into the sky toward the sun. It is hard to accept. You want lullabies, you want me to sing beautiful songs to you so that you can fall asleep, so that you can dream better dreams.
When you come to me you don’t come to be awakened, you come to me so that you can dream beautiful, sweet dreams. That is your purpose for coming; that is not my purpose in being here. Once you are here, you are caught. Slowly, slowly I start taking your dreams away. Slowly, slowly I go on destroying your illusions. Once your illusions are dropped, your dreams shattered, a great awakening is waiting for you – a great awakening which makes you a buddha.
When you are a buddha, only then will you experience what compassion is. It is cool love – not cold, mind you – cool love. It is a sharing of your joy with the whole of existence. You become a blessing to yourself and a blessing to the whole of existence. That’s compassion. Passion is ugly, compassion is beautiful. Passion is a curse, compassion is a blessing.

The last question:
I wrote twenty questions and tore them all up. I realized that all I wanted was to say, “Hello, Osho. I am still here.” And to hear you say my name in lecture.
Hello, Deva Mohan. How do you do?
Enough for today.

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