Osho on Christian Mystic Jacob Boehme
Born in 1575, in Alt Seidenberg (now Poland), Jacob Boehme was a German philosopher, Christian mystic, and Lutheran Protestant theologian. Boehme had a profound influence on later philosophical movements such as German idealism and German Romanticism. Hegel described Boehme as “the first German philosopher”. He had a number of mystical experiences throughout his youth, culminating in a vision in 1600 as one day he focused his attention onto the exquisite beauty of a beam of sunlight reflected in a pewter dish. He believed this vision revealed to him the spiritual structure of the world, as well as the relationship between God and man, and good and evil. At the time he chose not to speak of this experience openly, preferring instead to continue his work and raise a family. In 1610 Boehme experienced another inner vision in which he further understood the unity of the cosmos and that he had received a special vocation from God.
Some of his significant works include – Aurora: Die Morgenroee im Aufgang (unfinished) (1612), De Tribus Principiis (The Three Principles of the Divine Essence, 1618–1619), The Threefold Life of Man (1620), Answers to Forty Questions Concerning the Soul (1620) and The Treatise of the Incarnations: (1620).
Osho says “Jakob Boehme has said that the whole world is filled with centers, every atom is a center, and there is no circumference — centers everywhere and circumference nowhere. These two are the possibilities. Both mean the same; only the wording is different and contradictory. But first become a center. It is like this: you are in a dream; if the dream comes to a peak, it will be broken. Always it happens — whenever a dream comes to a climax, it is broken. And what is the climax of a dream? The climax of a dream is the feeling that this is real. You feel this is real, not a dream, and you go on and on and on and on to a higher peak and the dream becomes ALMOST real. It can never become real; it becomes almost real. It comes so close to reality that now you cannot go further, because one step more and the dream will become real — and it cannot become real because it is a dream! When it comes so close to reality, sleep is broken, the dream is shattered, you are fully awake. The same happens with all types of fallacies. Ego is the greatest dream. It has its beauty, its agony. It has its ecstasy, its agony. It has its heavens and hells, both are there. Dreams sometimes are beautiful and sometimes nightmares, but both are dreams. So I don’t tell you to come out of your dream before the time has come. No, never do anything before the time. Allow things to grow, allow things to have their time, so that everything happens naturally. Ego will drop. It can drop of its own accord also. If you simply allow it to grow and help it to grow, there will be NO need to drop it.”
OSHO, WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS AND INDICATIONS THAT SHOW WHETHER ONE HAS REACHED THE AUTHENTIC AND REAL COSMIC SOUND AUM?
It is a difficult question — difficult because the happening is always inside, in a way private. And you cannot know of it or about it from the outside. You can never decide from the outside whether someone has achieved the cosmic sound AUM. The deeper you go, the more private is the happening. The public world from where you can decide is just outside. So how to decide whether one has achieved the cosmic sound, whether one has gone to the deepest ground, has known? You cannot decide it from the outside; that is one thing. Of course, many things which can be known from the outside will begin to happen through the person who has reached. But still the feeling that he has reached the cosmic ground will just be an inference — an inference from his behavior. And behavior can be false; behavior can be imitated.
Buddha walks a certain way; Buddha sleeps a certain way; Buddha talks a certain way. You can imitate it without being a Buddha. And sometimes it happens that you can imitate better than Buddha — mm? — because Buddha is just unaware. Whatsoever is happening is just happening. So you can imitate it in a better way; you can practise it; you can become an expert. And Buddha may not even be able to compete with you because he may not ever have repeated anything. So from outside, imitation is possible — very easily possible. To achieve the authentic is arduous; to imitate is easy — very easy, because inside you remain the same; just outside you can create. So it is difficult. It is difficult to say from outside what has happened inside. One thing: you cannot decide from outside. But from inside if you ask, “How can I know whether I have achieved the cosmic sound AUM or not?” — if you ask this, then I will say that when you achieve it you know it. If someone asks, “How can I know whether I am alive or dead? How can I know?” what will we say to him? We will say that even if you can think this much — whether you are alive or dead — you are alive.
When you come to the cosmic sound, to the very ground of being; when you hear the AUM — not uttered by you, not uttered by anyone, but just as a cosmic sound all around — you know. The phenomenon is so real that, really, the question never arises whether this AUM, this sound, is real. The question arises whether I am real now or not. You fade, you become just unreal. You become just a phantom, a ghost. Now your reality is not like it has ever been. All around, the real is.
But it may even be a dream. You also feel in a dream that everything is real, so how to decide whether this sound that you are hearing is a dream or a reality? The decision comes from a certain source.
You will never be the same again — the before and after. This hearing of the sound will be a discontinuity in your existence. You will never be the same again. You will not even be able to connect yourself with your past; it will just drop. You will only remember it as if it belonged to someone else. Your memory will not be yours now. After this experience you will be reborn, and your rebirth will be the evidence.
You will never be the same again. The old has dropped; you cannot find the old man again. It is nowhere now. It was there, it is now not there. For you this will be the evidence that you have heard.
But I think there is a third implication also. One can go on repeating AUM, so how will one find out whether the AUM one is repeating and the AUM one has come upon are different or just the same? You will feel it, because you are the center of the AUM that you utter, and then it vibrates outside. Mm? — this is the dimension. You create it just as you throw a stone into a silent lake. The stone becomes the center, and then there are waves which go outward towards the banks. When you say AUM, you create a center in yourself: you drop a stone, and then the sound goes out and out and out, far off from you. This is the dimension, the direction. When you hear the sound AUM, the cosmic sound, it is different. It comes; it never goes. It is not a going away from you: it is a coming to you. And the center is nowhere to be found. It just goes on coming and coming and coming and coming. You are overflowed with it. You see the difference? You are not the center. Rather, you are the bank, and from some unknown center the sound waves come to you. They go on coming, they never stop. So this direction — the sound center you, and the waves going outward — is AUM uttered by you. You not as the center, and sound waves coming and coming and coming from somewhere — the center is never known and will never be known….
Someone asked Jacob Boehme, “Where is the center of God? Where is the center of the universe?” He said, “Either everywhere or nowhere.” Both mean the same. So when you begin to feel that the AUM is coming to you… let me say it in a different way. Ordinarily, seekers go towards the Divine, but until the Divine comes to you, remember, you may just be in a fantasy, just in a dream. If you go to the Divine, to God, to find the center, you will go on searching, but you will never find it. How can you find the center? The center can only come to you.
So it is always a false relationship — the seeker going towards God. The real relationship is completely different — God coming to the seeker. When you are ready, He comes.
When you are open, He becomes the guest. When your invitation is valid, total, He is there. It is always a coming, never a going. So, really,
there is not a phenomenon of man in search of God, but, rather, it is God in search of man.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1
Chapter title: Dissolution into the Cosmic
16 February 1972 pm in Bombay, India
Osho has spoken on many Western Mystics like Jesus, Gurdjieff, Magdalen, Rumi, Socrates, Theresa, Zarathustra, St. Francis, Dionysius, Boehme, Eckhart, Baal Shem and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Sermons in Stones
- Come Come Yet Again Come
- Come Follow To You
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- The New Dawn
- The Sword and The Lotus
- Beyond Psychology
- The Empty Boat
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
- The Perfect Master
- Sufis: The People of the Path
- The Diamond Sutra