Let trust be YOUR approach towards Sufism. It is available only to those who trust. And remember again, only the courageous can trust. The cowardly always shrink back from the unknown.
Now the story… it is one of the most beautiful.
A STREAM, FROM ITS SOURCE IN FAR-OFF MOUNTAINS,
PASSING THROUGH EVERY KIND AND DES-CRIPTION OF COUNTRYSIDE,
AT LAST REACHED THE SANDS OF THE DESERT.
Each single word is potential, and you will have to get into the spirit of each single word.
Stream is a metaphor for life – for your life, for my life, for everybody’s life. You are not suddenly here, you are not accidentally here. You have been here for ever and ever. From eternity, your stream has been flowing and flowing, and flowing from far-off mountains which you have completely forgotten, from a source… you don’t have any idea anymore.
And you have been passing through every kind and description of countryside: you have been a rock and you have been a tree and you have been a bird and you have been an animal, and you have been all! All kinds of experiences have been available to you. You have passed through many, many landscapes. You have passed through all varieties, all possibilities – that’s how life goes on enriching you.
But you go on forgetting. It is too much, it cannot be contained. The day-to-day worry is too much; it takes too much of your consciousness so you cannot remember. You have to forget the major part of your experiences because you have a very, very small attention, and that attention can contain only so much. Every day you have to forget almost ninety-nine percent of what you come to experience; that one percent is kept. After a few days even that one percent is not totally kept, part of it disappears. After a few years the whole of it is gone, only the essential fragrance remains.
If your attention grows you will be able to contain more. Buddha has said that if your mind is unburdened of the day-to-day worries, you will be able to remember your past lives – that’s true. If your focus on the mundane is relaxed, then the light will start falling upon the past. Buddha has remembered and talked about all his past lives, thousands of lives – the life when he was an elephant and the life when he was a tree, and so on and so forth. And they are your lives too.
You are not suddenly here, you have a continuity. You are a continuum. Consciousness is a stream.
In the West, William James used these words for the first time: stream of consciousness. He must have heard it from some Sufi source, there is no other way – because Sufis have always been talking about stream of consciousness, stream of life. It is an on-going, a flowing phenomenon; it is movement, it is not static. Even while you are here you are not static. Every moment things are changing: the body is a flow, the mind is a flow, your being is a flow. You are not the same even for two consecutive moments. In the morning you were so happy, so trusting, by the afternoon you have become so doubting and untrusting, and by the evening everybody is a sceptic, cynical and sarcastic. Early in the morning everybody seems to be prayerful, innocent. As the day wears on, as you are cheated and pulled and pushed from this side and that, you start losing your innocence.
You are constantly changing… a movement. And if you try to remain the same you will create misery, because then you will be fighting against your very life. The message is flow, let go. The message is don’t swim upstream. The message is go with the stream; this is your life. And don’t be afraid, because this stream has been flowing down the ages, for centuries – there is no need to be afraid – and this stream will be flowing down the centuries in the future too. From one eternity to another eternity, it continues.
You are the fabric of the universe. You will not disappear. Even when you disappear many times, you remain; the essential remains. Only the non-essential goes on disappearing, but the non-essential is not you.
Osho, The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol 1, Ch 1 (excerpt)