You are It!

Birthday of Mathematician and philosopher P.D. Ouspensky

Born on 5th March 1878, Ouspensky was a Russian esoterisist known for his expositions of the early work of the Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Gurdjieff. He met Gurdjieff in Moscow in 1915, and was associated with the ideas and practices originating with Gurdjieff from then on. He taught ideas and methods based in the Gurdjieff system for 25 years in England and the United States, although he separated from Gurdjieff personally in 1924, for reasons that are explained in the last chapter of his book In Search of the Miraculous. Ouspensky studied the Gurdjieff system directly under Gurdjieff’s own supervision for a period of ten years, from 1915 to 1924. In Search of the Miraculous recounts what he learned from Gurdjieff during those years. While lecturing in London in 1924, he announced that he would continue independently the way he had begun in 1921.

After Ouspensky broke away from Gurdjieff, he taught the “Fourth Way”, as he understood it, to his independent groups. Gurdjieff proposed that there are three ways of self-development generally known in esoteric circles. These are the Way of the Fakir, dealing exclusively with the physical body, the Way of the Monk, dealing with the emotions, and the Way of the Yogi, dealing with the mind. What is common about the three ways is that they demand complete seclusion from the world. According to Gurdjieff, there is a Fourth Way which does not demand its followers to abandon the world. The work of self-development takes place right in the midst of ordinary life. Gurdjieff called his system a school of the Fourth Way where a person learns to work in harmony with his physical body, emotions and mind. Ouspensky picked up this idea and continued his own school along this line. Ouspensky made the term “Fourth Way” and its use central to his own teaching of the ideas of Gurdjieff. He greatly focused on Fourth Way schools and their existence throughout history.

Osho, when he talks about Ouspensky, says, “Ouspensky was a great logician, a world famous mathematician, a great writer. Gurdjieff was none of these things, he was purely a mystic. Gathering everything from the system of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky was in a position to write beautiful treatises, as if they were his own experience. Gurdjieff could not compete with him in writing, nor in speaking. Ouspensky was a very talented genius, well educated. Gurdjieff was uneducated, coming from a very undeveloped tribe in the Caucasus, in Soviet Russia. But he had the whole mine of diamonds — it is just that they were all uncut, unpolished. Only a man who had the eyes of a jeweler would be able to recognize them; otherwise they were just stones. Ouspensky had the eyes of a jeweler; he recognized that this man had a treasure, but had not the talent to spread it..”



Jesus! I have never said that my books of the past are not important! But you may have heard that. What I had said is that to me truth is not something unchanging. Anything unchanging is dead. Truth is alive, breathing, moving. So when I am saying something to you now, don’t be bothered about the past — what I said twenty years before. And I say to you, if I am still here tomorrow, the truth will have become more potent, deeper, higher. My books of the past are not unimportant. I am just like a tree. When it comes to blossom, do you think now the roots are unimportant, the trunk is no longer needed, the leaves are unnecessary, because the tree has blossomed, the flowers have come? No, you don’t say that. You know perfectly well that those flowers are intrinsically connected with the hidden roots in the earth. It is all one process. The flowers cannot exist without the leaves, without the branches, without the trunk, without the roots. But when flowers are there, don’t be bothered to compare them with the roots. Then you will find great contradictions, inconsistencies.

There are. What is consistent between the roots and the flower? What is consistent between the branches and the leaves and the flower? The leaves may be green and the flower is red — so contradictory, so inconsistent! The roots are ugly, the flower is so beautiful — what is consistent? But when the flowers are there, you know perfectly well that those roots underground are the base. The trunk, the branches are moving — a movement towards the flowers, the leaves. They all help the flower…Whatever I have said in these thirty years — and I have been speaking continuously, except for those few years when I was silent — every single word is important, because they are all interconnected. You may find contradictions, you may find inconsistencies. Don’t be afraid; life is full of contradictions, full of inconsistencies. And I don’t know any other god than life itself. I have never said that my books of the past are not important. But this goes on happening: I say one thing, you hear something else. I have said only that what I am saying now is the highest flower on the, that I have been growing for thirty years. So if you have to decide, decide on this moment’s statement, and don’t be bothered about inconsistencies, contradictions.

And I have also said, remember this for tomorrow also. Tomorrow this day will be old, gone. Newer flowers will be blossoming. Be always in the present, and you will be always right. And don’t be afraid when tomorrow you find an even better thing. Then don’t cling to the yesterday. It was beautiful, but it was beautiful yesterday. It makes a very important implication clear. Why do people worship dead saints, prophets, messiahs? They are very convenient; because they are dead you can rest assured that they are not going to change their statements. While they are alive you are always trembling — the man may say something else tomorrow. It is your incapacity to change, incapacity to remain a flow, that makes you worship Jesus Christ when I am here! But Jesus Christ is convenient — you can be certain about him. Not only that, you can read whatsoever you want to read in his statements; he is not going to say to you, “This is not what I said.”

All these theologians of different religions around the world, what are they doing? They are making you more and more comfortable with the religion you are addicted to. Yes, I use the word “addiction,” because all religions are nothing but drugs. The theologians go on polishing, making the statements more suitable to you. This you cannot expect here. I don’t say anything considering you, I say it because it is true! If it hurts you, I am helpless. If it does not suit you, disturbs you, it is your problem; I have nothing to do with it. My concern is to remain flowing with existence, life, truth. And whatever existence wants to speak through me, I will speak. I never hesitate to contradict myself, because who am I to interfere? It was a life force that said that, the same life force is saying this. There must be some inner connection which you cannot see. My books of the past are important, because they will be a test for you — whether you can grow with me or you have stopped long ago.

It happened… a beautiful man, George Gurdjieff, had a great disciple, P.D. Ouspensky. Nobody knew about Gurdjieff, but the whole world know about Ouspensky, because Ouspensky was one of the best mathematicians the world has ever known. Gurdjieff was a Caucasian… who cares about the Caucasus? He was uneducated, but a tremendous man, really terrific. Ouspensky was in search of truth. He roamed around the world, he was in India. He was searching for someone in whose eyes he could see that the man knows. He was not looking for beautiful words, theorems — all that he himself was capable of doing. And he searched all over India and Tibet and could not find a man who was a living truth. He found great scholars, he found famous religious leaders, but that was not his search.

Ouspensky was really an authentic seeker. He was searching for a man who was an embodiment of truth, who is not repeating words of some sages who died thousands of years ago, a man who could say, “This is so.” Whether religious scriptures agree with it or not does not matter. If they agree, good for them; if they don’t agree, they are wrong. And strangely enough, he found Gurdjieff in the same town, in the same cafe where he used to go every day after his university classes. He found him in Moscow. Life is very mysterious. Gurdjieff was just sitting there. And the moment Ouspensky entered and looked at the man — just like a flash, he knew, “This is the man I have been searching, here was that light, there was on that face something unknown, mysterious.” He fell in deep love with Gurdjieff. But Gurdjieff was just as strange a man as I am. He was not an ordinary scholar; he was not talking about what others have discovered, he was saying only that which he had come to know.

Ouspensky lived with Gurdjieff for many years. Then the first world war came, and Gurdjieff had to escape from Russia; Ouspensky also had to escape. Ouspensky was welcome anywhere, any university would be proud of having him. He had written a book which has become almost the most important book about not only mathematics, but about life and all its problems. He had written a book called TERTIUM ORGANUM — the third canon of knowledge. And in the beginning of the book he writes that the first organum was written by Aristotle. Aristotle has a book named ORGANUM — knowledge, wisdom. And the second book was written by Bacon, NOVUM ORGANUM — the new wisdom. Both are very significant persons in the history of thought. Aristotle is the father of all the logic that the West knows, and Bacon is the father of all the sciences that have developed in the West.

Ouspensky said, “I am writing TERTIUM ORGANUM, the third canon of wisdom, and I declare that the third canon existed even before the first.” And it was not out of any egoism — I have gone through all the three canons — it was a simple statement of fact. Ouspensky has transcended Aristotle and Bacon both. The book caused a great stir in the whole world. London University invited him, because Russia was no longer a safe place; the first world war and the communist revolution were going on together. Gurdjieff was hiding in a very faraway part of Russia, Tiflis. It was almost another planet from London. And he asked Ouspensky to drop everything and come back to Tiflis. Ouspensky loved the man so much, he dropped his job, he dropped his work. He had opened a school in which he was teaching Gurdjieff’s message. He closed the school and went into a dangerous country where life was not safe. He arrived in Tiflis, and the moment he entered Gurdjieff’s room, Gurdjieff said, “Good, you have arrived. Now go back and resume your work.”

This was too much. Even Ouspensky, a man of such integrity, could not stand it. But Gurdjieff’s methods, devices were such. This was a moment of test, a test of trust. Ouspensky failed in that moment. He thought Gurdjieff was simply insane: “I wasted everything that I had arranged, traveled in a country where any moment I could have been killed — and he does not even say, `Sit down, rest.’ He says, `Good that you have come. Now just go back and resume your work.'”

He went back. Gurdjieff had impressed him immensely, so what did he do? He dropped Gurdjieff, but he could not drop the Gurdjieff with whom he had lived for years, or his teachings. A strange phenomenon happened. For him Gurdjieff was divided into two parts. He continued to teach only that part of Gurdjieff that was in tune with his logical mind. Beyond that, Gurdjieff was his enemy.

Gurdjieff lived long, longer than Ouspensky. Ouspensky continued to teach Gurdjieff’s teachings, but those were the old teachings up to the point where Ouspensky dropped out of the fold of Gurdjieff. It is difficult to be with a living message, because the message goes on moving in tune with existence. It does not bother about you. You have to keep yourself running with the message, you have to forget all about what was said in the past. The new, the latest, is always the right. And it does not mean that what has preceded it was not important. Without it this new phenomenon would not have been there at all.

In my thirty years’ life of talking from my heart to people, thousands have come and gone. They still love me, but only up to the point when they departed. After that they say, “Something has gone wrong.” Just the other day I heard about Amitabh — one of my sannyasins, very much loved and respected by the commune. He just dropped sannyas a few months ago and he is telling people, “Bhagwan was right up to the moment I left. Now he has fallen from his enlightenment.” Great idea! Nobody has ever heard that anybody can fall from enlightenment. Amitabh has all the credit for finding something new. But it is absolutely idiotic — there is no way to fall from enlightenment. Once you have known, there is no way to become ignorant again. It is very difficult from ignorance to move towards wisdom. It is very difficult — but only difficult, not impossible. To come back down from wisdom to ignorance is impossible. It is just not the law of life.

People, thousands of people, have walked along with me, but they go only so far and stop. They were not coming along with me; they were really finding nourishment for their own rubbish, knowledge. The moment they found that I was saying something that went against their knowledge, their religion, their party line, their ideology, they stopped. They departed.

If you ask them, they will say, “Yes, there was a time when Bhagwan was right. He is no longer right.” But this is natural. Only a person who has immense capacity to change, to go on and on, can find the truth of life. And once you have found it there is no way to lose it, because you find it in the very innermost being of yourself. You are it! How can you drop it somewhere? How can you forget about it? But the disciple who stops at a certain point certainly has to console himself, that “Up to this point Bhagwan was right. After that, he has gone wrong.” He does not know that right is not a static thing, it is a growing phenomenon.

You are very comfortable with Jesus — and he was born a Jew, he lived as a Jew, he died as a Jew. He never heard the word “Christian.” He was unaware even of the word “Christ,” because the word “Christ” is Greek. He knew only one language, Aramaic; he was not even acquainted with Hebrew. Aramaic was a local language of ordinary people; Hebrew was the language of the priests, of the high-class people. Aramaic is just a common form of Hebrew. In Hebrew and Aramaic there is no word like “Christ,” the word is “messiah.” His own people, the Jews, could not accept Jesus as a messiah, because he was saying things that were disturbing them. His common way of talking was, “It has been told to you in the past, an eye for an eye. But I say unto you, if somebody slaps you on one cheek, give him the other cheek also.” He was contradicting the old prophets. This was not acceptable to his people.

Jesus alive was crucified. Dead, he has the biggest following in the world. This is a miracle. When he was living, nobody wanted to be associated with him. Dead, even those who are not Christians, like Mahatma Gandhi, Hazrat Mohammed — one is a Hindu, another is a Mohammedan — are ready to accept him as a prophet. It is easier now. He has stopped; you can manage to go up to the stoppage.

With me you will find it difficult — until I die. And don’t hope that I am going to die soon. I am going to disturb you as much as possible. If you can manage to live with a living message, and if you have the guts to go on changing with the living message, you are blessed. Many will come around me, but only a few will remain. Yes, after my death many more will come, and everybody will remain! Your mind is somehow very stubborn about changing, because change brings difficulties. Change brings new things, and you have to begin again and again and again. But be courageous. If you are not courageous you are already dead. Just to go on breathing is not enough to be alive. I define life as a constant change, and the capacity to go with it wherever it leads you. If you have that courage, truth is not far away. Only the courage is missing.

You are asking me, that I have said that my old books are not important…. You want to divide me in two parts — my old books, and my present message to you — so that you can choose. I will not allow you such a convenient way. My old books are immensely important. Unless you understand them, you will not be able to understand me. But remember, it is a constant flow and change, so don’t be bothered with inconsistencies, contradictions. If you go on, soon you will be able to find the truth. And once the truth is revealed, all contradictions and inconsistencies dissolve. Then you can see, crystal-clear, that it is a single message from the roots to the flower. It is a single organism.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: From the False to the Truth Chapter #11

Chapter title: That explosion of bliss

9 July 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir


Osho has spoken on spoken on notable Psychologists and philosophers like Adler, Jung, Sigmund Freud, Assaguoli, Aristotle, Berkeley, Confucius, Descartes, Feuerbach, Hegel, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Huxley, Jaspers, Kant, Kierkegaard, Laing, Marx, Moore, Nietzsche, Plato, Pythagoras, Russell, Sartre, Socrates, Wittgenstein and many others in many of His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. The Hidden Splendour
  2. The New Dawn
  3. This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
  4. Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
  5. Beyond Enlightenment
  6. Beyond Psychology
  7. Light on The Path
  8. The Dhammapada
  9. From Bondage to Freedom
  10. From Darkness to Light
  11. From Ignorance to Innocence
  12. The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1
  13. From Personality to Individuality
  14. I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
  15. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1
  16. From Unconciousness to Consciousness
  17. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 4
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