World: Flowering of God
22nd of may, the birthday of Richard Wagner, who was the German composer, theatre director, polemicist and chiefly known for his operas. He was one of the best musician of his times and so he is remembered till now and will be, in future too. He also had a charismatic appearance, also his music always encouraged his charm. The Flying Dutchman, The Wedding, The Ban on Love, Rienzi , Twilight of the Gods, the Faust Overture, The Love Feast of the Apostles, Art and Revolution, The Artwork of the Future, Music of the Future, Opera and Drama, these are some of his interesting works.
Osho says Wagner is one of the great musicians, a great master as far as music is concerned; and he was tremendously charismatic. He was not only a maestro of music but his playing had some touch of magic too. That’s what makes a difference. The same music may be played by many people — it may be the same instrument, the same music, the same notes, but somebody simply gives wings to it and it goes on soaring higher and higher. It takes you beyond yourself into unknown spaces. With somebody else it is just ordinary music. It takes you nowhere; at the most, it is a kind of entertainment. You have nothing to do so you listen to the music. At least it keeps you occupied in the same way that smoking keeps somebody occupied or gossiping keeps somebody else occupied. But when a man like Wagner plays music he gives a new dimension to your being, he opens up new doors. You start moving into dimensions you have not even dreamed of.
SOMETIMES I WONDER WHAT I AM DOING HERE, SITTING BEFORE YOU. AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU ARE TOO MUCH FOR ME, TOO MUCH LIGHT AND LOVE. YET I WANT TO LEAVE YOU. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS TO ME?
Yes. The question is bound to happen to everybody some day or other. What are you doing here? The question arises because my emphasis is not on doing; I am teaching you non-doing. The question is relevant. If I was teaching you something to do, the question wouldn’t arise because you would be occupied. If you go to somebody else — there are a thousand and one ashrams in the world where they will teach you something to do. They will not leave you unoccupied at all because they think that an unoccupied mind is the devil’s workshop.
My understanding is totally, diametrically, opposite. When you are absolutely empty, God fills you. When you are unoccupied, only then you are. While you are doing something, it is just on the periphery. All acts are on the periphery: good and bad, all. Be a sinner — you are on the periphery; be a saint — you are on the periphery. To do bad you have to come out of yourself; to do good you also have to come out of yourself. Doing is outside, non-doing is inside. Non-doing is your private self, doing is your public self.
I am not teaching you to become saints, otherwise it would have been very easy: don’t do this, do that; just change the periphery, change your acts.
I am trying a totally different thing, a mutation — not a change from one part of the periphery to another part of the periphery, but a transmutation from the periphery to the center. The center is empty, it is absolutely void. There, you ARE. There is being, not doing. It is bound to happen to you sometimes: sitting before me you will wonder what you are doing here. Nothing — you are not doing anything here. You are learning how to just be, not to do — how not to do anything: no action, no movement… as if everything stops, time stops. And in that non-moving moment you are in tune with the present, you are in tune with God. Actions become part of the past. Actions can be in the future, they can be in the past, but God is always in the present. God has no past and no future. And God has not done a thing: when you think that He has created the world, you are creating His image according to yourself. You cannot remain without doing anything — you become too restless, it makes you too uneasy — so you have conceived of God also as a creator.
Not only as a creator — Christians say that for six days He created and on the seventh day, Sunday, He rested: a holiday. The Bible says God created man in His own image. Just the reverse seems to be the case: man has created God in his own image. Because you cannot remain unoccupied, you think: what will God do if He is not creating the world? And because you get tired by doing, you think God must also have gotten tired after six days — so on the seventh day He rested. This is just anthropomorphic. You are thinking about God just as you would think about yourself.
No, God has not created the world; the world comes out of His non-activity, the world comes out of His non-doing. The world is a flowering of God, just like a tree.
Do you think a tree is creating the flowers — making much effort, doing exercises, planning, asking the experts? The tree is not doing anything at all. The tree is just there, absolutely unoccupied. In that unoccupied state, the flower flowers by itself. And remember, if some day trees become foolish — as foolish as man is — and they start trying to bring the flowers, then flowers will stop coming. They will not come because they always come effortlessly.
Just watch a flower: can you see anything of effort in it? The very being of a flower is so effortless, it simply opens. But we cannot conceive of it. The birds singing in the morning: do you think they go to Ravi Shankar to learn? Do you think they are doing something in the morning when they start singing? No, nothing of that sort. The sun arises, and out of their emptiness the song arises.
The greatest miracle in the world is that God has created without doing a thing. It is out of nothingness.
I was reading about the life of Wagner, a German composer and great musician. Somebody asked Wagner, “Can you say anything about the secret of why you have created such beautiful music — and how?”
Wagner said, “Because I was unhappy.” He said, “If I had been happy, I would not have written down a single note.” He said, “People who are unhappy have to fill their lives with imagination because their reality is lacking something.” And he is right in many ways. People who have never loved write poetry about love. It is a substitute. If love has really happened in life, who bothers to write poetry about it? One would be a poem himself; there would be no need to write it.
Wagner said, “Poets write about love because they have missed love.” And then he made a statement which is tremendously meaningful. He said, “And I think God created the world because He was unhappy.” A great insight — but the insight is relevant to man, not to God.
If you ask me, God created the world — in the first place, He is not a creator but a creativity; but to use the old expression — God created the world not because He was unhappy, but because He was so happy that He overflowed; He had so much. The tree is flowering there in the garden not because it is unhappy. The flower comes only when the tree has too much to share and does not know what to do with it. The flower is an overflowing. When the tree is not well-fed, not well-watered, has not received the right quota of sunlight and care and love, it doesn’t flower because flowering is a luxury. It happens only when you have too much, more than you need. Whenever you have too much, what will you do? It will become a heaviness, it will be a burden; it has to be released. The tree bursts and blooms, it has come to its luxurious moment.
The world is the luxury of God: a flowering. He has so much — what to do with it? He shares, He throws it out, He starts expanding, He starts creating.
But remember always, He is not a creator like a painter who paints.
The painter is separate from the painting. If the painter dies, the painting will still live. God is a creator like a dancer: the dance and the dancer are one. If the dancer stops, the dance stops. You cannot separate the dance from the dancer
you cannot say to the dancer, “Give your dance to me, I will take it home. I am ready to purchase it.” The dance cannot be purchased. It is one of the most spiritual things in the world because it cannot be purchased. You cannot carry it away, you cannot make a commodity out of it. When the dancer is dancing, it is there; when the dancer has stopped, it has disappeared as if it never existed.
God IS creativity. It is not that He created somewhere in the past and then stopped and rested. And since then what has He been doing? No, He is continuously creating. God is not an event, He is a process. It is not that once He created and then stopped. Then the world would be dead. He is continuously creating, just like birds are singing and trees are flowering and the clouds are moving in the sky. He is creating — and He need not take any rest because creativity is not an act; you cannot be tired. It is out of His nothingness.
This is the meaning when we have said in the East that God is emptiness. Only nothingness can be infinite; somethingness is bound to be finite. Only out of nothingness is an infinite expanse of life, existence, possible — not out of somethingness. God is not somebody: He is nobody or, more correctly, nobodiness. God is not something: He is nothing or, even more correctly, no-thingness. He is a creative void — what Buddha has called SUNYA. He is a creative void.
What am I teaching to you? I am teaching you the same: to become creative voids, non-doers, delighters in just being. That is why the question is bound to come to everybody’s mind sometime or other. You ask: “Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here.” You wonder rightly — you are doing nothing here. Your mind may supply answers, but don’t listen to them. Listen to my answer. You are not doing anything here; I am not teaching you to do something. Your mind may say that you are learning meditation: you are doing meditation, yoga, this, that or you are trying to achieve enlightenment, satori, SAMADHI — all nonsense. This is your mind supplying because the mind is an achiever, the mind cannot remain without activity. The mind goes on creating some activity or other. Earn money; if you are finished with that, then earn meditation — but earn. Achieve something, do something. You become afraid when you are not doing anything, because then suddenly you are face to face with the creative void. That is the face of God. You are in a chaos, you are falling in an infinite abyss and you cannot see the bottom. There is none.
Sitting before me, what are you doing? Just sitting. That is the meaning of ZAZEN. In Zen they call meditation ‘zazen’. Zazen means just sitting, doing nothing. If you can just sit near me that is enough, more than enough; nothing else is needed. If you can just sit without doing anything — not even doing thinking or dreaming — if you can just sit near me, that will do everything.
“Suddenly you are too much for me,” you say. Yes, if you just sit I will be too much — because if you just sit, suddenly I will be flowing within you. If you just sit, you will immediately become aware of light and love, and then you will say, “I want to leave you,” because you are afraid of love and light. You have become a denizen of darkness. You have lived in darkness so long that your eyes are afraid. No matter what you say — that you would like to live in the light — your deep-rooted habits shrink and say, “Where are you going?” You have a great investment in darkness. All your knowledge is related to darkness. In light you will be absolutely ignorant. All your wisdom and experience is out of darkness; in light you will be naked, nude. All that you know belongs to darkness; in the light you will find yourself just like an innocent babe, a small child, not knowing anything.
You have lived in bondage and now you are afraid to be free. You go on talking about freedom and MOKSHA — absolute freedom — but if you watch yourself you will know that whenever freedom comes your way, you escape. You become afraid. Maybe you talk about freedom just to deceive yourself; maybe it is a substitute, the substitute Wagner is talking about. You are in bondage; you have never known freedom. You talk about freedom, you sing songs of freedom and through those songs you have a vicarious satisfaction — as if you have become free. It is an as-if freedom. But with me it is not going to be as-if, it is going to be a reality. You become afraid of the reality.
You go on asking for love, but when it comes you escape because love is dangerous. One of the greatest dangers in life is love. The mind can become settled with marriage, but not with love. The mind always wants law, not love. The mind always loves order, not the chaos that love is. The mind wants to remain in security, and love is the greatest insecurity you can come across. Whenever love comes you become afraid to the very roots, you shake and tremble, because that love, if allowed to enter in you, will destroy your mind. The mind says: “Escape! Escape immediately! ” The mind is trying to save itself.
You have lived too deeply in contact with the mind and you have become too attached. You think that whatever the mind says is right; you are confident that whatever is security for mind is security for you. There is the whole misunderstanding. The death of the mind will be life for you, and the life of the mind is nothing but death for you.
The identity has to be broken. You have to become aware that you are not the mind. Only then can you be near me, only then will the effort to leave and escape dissolve. Otherwise you can find reasons to leave, but those reasons will all be phoney. The real reason will be this: that you were not able to let light come in, you were not able to let love come in and destroy your mind and destroy your ego and give you a rebirth.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: Come Follow To You, Vol 1
Chapter title: The luxury of God
26 October 1975 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken extensively on ‘art, music, painting, poetry, dance,’ and creative geniuses like Picasso, Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali, Bach, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Wagner, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Taansen, Byron, Bhavabhuti, Coleridge, Dinkar, D.H. Lawrence, Ghalib, John Ruskin, Kalidas, Kahlil Gibran, Keats, Milton, Nijinsky, Omar Khayyam, Shelley, Tagore, Yeats and many more in the course of His talks. More on this subject can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:
- Ah This
- Be Still and Know
- Beyond Psychology
- Come Follow to You Vol.1-4
- The Guest
- Going All the Way
- This Is It
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Path of the Mystic
- A Sudden Clash of Thunder
- The Last Testament, Vol 2
- From Personality to Individuality
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 10
- From Bondage to Freedom