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The Root Problem of All Problems
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OSHO : Tantra The Supreme Understanding, Chapter 2

The song continues:

If one sees naught when staring into space; if with the mind one then observes the mind, one destroys distinctions and reaches buddhahood.
The clouds that wander through the sky have no roots, no home; nor do the distinctive thoughts floating through the mind. Once the self-mind is seen, discrimination stops.
In space shapes and colors form, but neither by black nor white is space tinged. From the self-mind all things emerge, the mind by virtues and by vices is not stained.

The root problem of all problems is mind itself. The first thing to be understood is what this mind is, of what stuff it is made; whether it is an entity or just a process; whether it is substantial, or just dreamlike. And unless you know the nature of the mind, you will not be able to solve any problems of your life.

You may try hard, but if you try to solve single, individual problems, you are bound to be a failure -- that is absolutely certain -- because in fact no individual problem exists: mind is the problem. If you solve this problem or that, it won't help because the root remains untouched.

It is just like cutting branches of a tree, pruning the leaves, and not uprooting it. New leaves will come, new branches will sprout -- even more than before; pruning helps a tree to become thicker. Unless you know how to uproot it, your fight is baseless, it is foolish. You will destroy yourself, not the tree.

In fighting you will waste your energy, time, life, and the tree will go on becoming more and more strong, far thicker and dense. And you will be surprised what is happening: you are doing so much hard work, trying to solve this problem and that, and they go on growing, increasing. Even if one problem is solved, suddenly ten problems take its place.

Don't try to solve individual, single problems -- there are none: mind itself is the problem. But mind is hidden underground; that's why I call it the root, it is not apparent. Whenever you come across a problem the problem is above ground, you can see it -- that's why you are deceived by it.

Always remember, the visible is never the root; the root always remains invisible, the root is always hidden. Never fight with the visible; otherwise you will fight with shadows. You may waste yourself, but there cannot be any transformation in your life, the same problems will crop up again and again and again. You can observe your own life and you will see what I mean. I am not talking about any theory about the mind, just the "facticity" of it. This is the fact: mind has to be solved.

People come to me and they ask: "How to attain a peaceful mind?" I say to them: "There exists nothing like that: a peaceful mind. Never heard of it."

Mind is never peaceful -- no-mind is peace. Mind itself can never be peaceful, silent. The very nature of the mind is to be tense, to be in confusion. Mind can never be clear, it cannot have clarity, because mind is by nature confusion, cloudiness. Clarity is possible without mind, peace is possible without mind, silence is possible without mind -- so never try to attain a silent mind. If you do, from the very beginning you are moving in an impossible dimension.

So the first thing is to understand the nature of the mind, only then can something be done.

If you watch, you will never come across any entity like mind. It is not a thing, it is just a process; it is not a thing, it is like a crowd. Individual thoughts exist, but they move so fast that you cannot see the gaps in between. The intervals cannot be seen because you are not very aware and alert, you need a deeper insight. When your eyes can look deep, you will suddenly see one thought, another thought, another thought -- but no mind.

Thoughts together, millions of thoughts, give you the illusion as if mind exists. It is just like a crowd, millions of people standing in a crowd: is there anything like a crowd? Can you find the crowd other than the individuals standing there? But they are standing together, their togetherness gives you the feeling as if something like a crowd exists -- only individuals exist.

This is the first insight into the mind. Watch, and you will find thoughts; you will never come across the mind. And if it becomes your own experience -- not because I say it, not because Tilopa sings about it, no, that won't be of much help -- if it becomes your experience, if it becomes a fact of your own knowing, then suddenly many things start changing. Because you have understood such a deep thing about mind, then many things can follow.

Watch the mind and see where it is, what it is. You will feel thoughts floating and there will be intervals. And if you watch long, you will see that intervals are more than the thoughts, because each thought has to be separate from another thought; in fact, each word has to be separate from another word. The deeper you go, you will find more and more gaps, bigger and bigger gaps. A thought floats, then comes a gap where no thought exists; then another thought comes, another gap follows.

If you are unconscious you cannot see the gaps; you jump from one thought to another, you never see the gap. If you become aware you will see more and more gaps.

If you become perfectly aware, then miles of gaps will be revealed to you.

And in those gaps, satoris happen. In those gaps the truth knocks at your door. In those gaps, the guest comes. In those gaps God is realized, or whatsoever way you like to express it. And when awareness is absolute, then there is only a vast gap of nothingness.

It is just like clouds: clouds move. They can be so thick that you cannot see the sky hidden behind them. The vast blueness of the sky is lost, you are covered with clouds. Then you go on watching: one cloud moves and another has not come into the vision yet -- and suddenly a peek into the blueness of the vast sky.

The same happens inside: you are the vast blueness of the sky, and thoughts are just like clouds hovering around you, filling you. But the gaps exist, the sky exists. To have a glimpse of the sky is satori, and to become the sky is samadhi. From satori to samadhi, the whole process is a deep insight into the mind, nothing else.

Mind doesn't exist as an entity -- the is the first thing. Only thoughts exist.

The second thing: the thoughts exist separate from you, they are not one with your nature, they come and go -- you remain, you persist. You are like the sky: it never comes, it never goes, it is always there. Clouds come and go, they are momentary phenomena, they are not eternal. Even if you try to cling to a thought, you cannot retain it for long; it has to go, it has its own birth and death. Thoughts are not yours, they don't belong to you. They come as visitors, guests, but they are not the host.

Watch deeply, then you will become the host and thoughts will be the guests. And as guests they are beautiful, but if you forget completely that you are the host and they become the hosts, then you are in a mess. This is what hell is. You are the master of the house, the house belongs to you, and guests have become the masters. Receive them, take care of them, but don't get identified with them; otherwise, they will become the masters.

The mind becomes the problem because you have taken thoughts so deeply inside you that you have forgotten completely the distance; that they are visitors, they come and go. Always remember that which abides: that is your nature, your tao. Always be attentive to that which never comes and never goes, just like the sky. Change the gestalt: don't be focused on the visitors, remain rooted in the host; the visitors will come and go.

Of course, there are bad visitors and good visitors, but you need not be worried about them. A good host treats all the guests in the same way, without making any distinctions. A good host is just a good host: a bad thought comes and he treats the bad thought also in the same way as he treats a good thought. It is not his concern that the thought is good or bad.

Because once you make the distinction that this thought is good and that thought is bad, what are you doing? You are bringing the good thought nearer to yourself and pushing the bad thought further away. Sooner or later, with the good thought you will get identified; the good thought will become the host. And any thought when it becomes the host creates misery -- because this is not the truth. The thought is a pretender and you get identified with it. Identification is the disease.

Gurdjieff used to say that only one thing is needed: not to be identified with that which comes and goes. The morning comes, the noon comes, the evening comes, and they go; the night comes and again the morning. You abide: not as you, because that too is a thought -- as pure consciousness; not your name, because that too is a thought; not your form, because that too is a thought; not your body, because one day you will realize that too is a thought. Just pure consciousness, with no name, no form; just the purity, just the formlessness and namelessness, just the very phenomenon of being aware -- only that abides.

If you get identified, you become the mind. If you get identified, you become the body. If you get identified, you become the name and the form -- what Hindus call nama, rupa, name and form -- then the host is lost. Then you forget the eternal and the momentary becomes significant. The momentary is the world; the eternal is divine.

This is the second insight to be attained, that you are the host and thoughts are guests.

The third thing, if you go on watching, will be realized soon. The third thing is that thoughts are foreign, intruders, outsiders. No thought is yours. They always come from without, you are just a passage. A bird comes into the house from one door, and flies out from another: just like that a thought comes into you and goes out of you.

You go on thinking that thoughts are yours. Not only that, you fight for your thoughts, you say: "This is my thought, this is true." You discuss, you debate, you argue about it, you try to prove that: "This is my thought." No thought is yours, no thought is original -- all thoughts are borrowed. And not secondhand, because millions of people have claimed those same thoughts before you. Thought is just as outside as a thing.

Somewhere, the great physicist, Eddington, has said that the deeper science goes into matter, the more it becomes a realization that things are thoughts. That may be so, I am not a physicist, but from the other end I would like to tell you that Eddington may be true that things look more and more like thoughts if you go deeper; if you go deeper into yourself, thoughts will look more and more like things.

In fact, these are two aspects of the same phenomenon: a thing is a thought, a thought is a thing.

When I say a thought is a thing, what do I mean? I mean that you can throw your thought just like a thing. You can hit somebody's head with a thought just like a thing. You can kill a person through a thought just as you can throw a dagger. You can give your thought as a gift, or as an infection. Thoughts are things, they are forces, but they don't belong to you. They come to you; they abide for a while in you and then they leave you. The whole universe is filled with thoughts and things. Things are just the physical part of thoughts, and thoughts are the mental part of things.

Because of this fact, many miracles happen -- because thoughts are things. If a person continuously thinks about you and your welfare, it will happen -- because he is throwing a continuous force at you. That's why blessings are useful, helpful. If you can be blessed by someone who has attained no-mind, the blessing is going to be true -- because a man who never uses thought accumulates thought energy, so whatsoever he says is going to be true.

In all the Eastern traditions, before a person starts learning no-mind, there are techniques and much emphasis that he should stop being negative, because if you once attain to no-mind and your trend remains negative, you can become a dangerous force. Before the no-mind is attained, one should become absolutely positive. That is the whole difference between white and black magic.

Black magic is nothing more than when a man has accumulated thought energy without throwing out his negativity beforehand. And white magic is nothing more than when a man has attained too much thought energy, and has based his total being on a positive attitude. The same energy with negativity becomes black; the same energy with positivity becomes white. A thought is a great force, it is a thing.

This will be the third insight. It has to be understood and watched within yourself.

Sometimes it happens that you see your thought functioning as a thing, but just because of too much conditioning of materialism you think this may be just a coincidence. You neglect the fact, you simply don't give any attention to it; you remain indifferent, you forget about it. But many times you know that sometimes you were thinking about the death of a certain person -- and he is dead. You think it is just a coincidence. Sometime you were thinking about a friend and a desire arose in you that it would be good if he comes -- and he is on the door, knocking. You think it is a coincidence. It is not coincidence. In fact, there is nothing like coincidence, everything has its causality.

Your thoughts go on creating a world around you.

Your thoughts are things, so be careful about them. Handle them carefully! If you are not very conscious, you can create misery for yourself and for others -- and you have done that. And remember, when you create misery for somebody, unconsciously, at the same time, you are creating misery for yourself -- because a thought is a two-edged sword. It cuts you also simultaneously when it cuts somebody else.

Just two or three years ago, one Israeli, Uri Geller, who has been working on thought energy, displayed his experiment on BBC television in England. He can bend anything just by thinking: somebody else keeps a spoon in his hand ten feet away from Uri Geller, and he just thinks about it -- and the spoon bends immediately. You cannot bend it by your hand, and he bends it by his thought. But a very rare phenomenon happened on the BBC television; even Uri Geller was not aware that this is possible.

Thousands of people in their homes were seeing the experiment. And when he did his experiment, bent things, in many people's houses many things fell and became distorted -- thousands of things all over England. The energy was as if broadcast. And he was doing the experiment at a ten-foot distance, then from the television screen in people's homes, around the area of ten feet, many things happened: things got bent, fell down, became distorted. It was weird!

Thoughts are things, and very very forceful things. There was one woman in Soviet Russia, Mikhailovana. She can do many things to things from far away, she can pull anything towards herself -- just by thought. Soviet Russia was not a believer in occult things -- a communist country, atheistic -- so they had been working on Mikhailovana, on what is happening, in a scientific way. But when she does it, she loses almost two pounds of weight; in a half-hour experiment she loses two pounds. What does it mean?

It means that through thoughts you are throwing energy -- and you are continuously doing it. Your mind is a chatterbox. You are broadcasting things unnecessarily. You are destroying people around you, you are destroying yourself.

You are a dangerous thing -- and continuously broadcasting.

And many things are happening because of you. And it is a great network. The whole world goes on becoming every day more and more miserable because more and more people are on the earth and they are broadcasting more and more thoughts.

The further back you go, you find the earth the more and more peaceful -- less and less broadcasters. In the days of Buddha, or in the days of Lao Tzu, the world was very very peaceful, natural; it was a heaven. Why? The population was very very small, for one thing. People were not thinkers too much, they were more and more prone to feeling rather than thinking. And people were praying. In the morning, they would do the first thing and that would be a prayer. In the night they would do the last thing -- the prayer. And throughout the whole day also, whenever they would find a moment, they would be praying inside.

What is a prayer? Prayer is sending blessings to all. Prayer is sending your compassion to all. Prayer is creating an antidote of negative thoughts -- it is a positivity.

This will be the third insight about thoughts, that they are things, forces, and you have to handle them very carefully.

Ordinarily, not aware, you go on thinking anything. It is difficult to find a person who has not committed many murders in thought; difficult to find a person who has not been doing all sorts of sins and crimes inside the mind -- and then these things happen. And remember, you may not murder, but your continuous thinking of murdering somebody may create the situation in which the person is murdered. Somebody may take your thought, because there are weaker persons all around and thoughts flow like water: downwards. If you think something continuously, someone who is a weakling may take your thought and go and kill a person.

That's why those who have known the inner reality of man say that whatsoever happens on the earth, everybody is responsible. Everybody. Whatsoever happens in Vietnam, not only are the Nixons responsible, everybody who thinks is also responsible. Only one person can not be held responsible, and that is the person who has no mind; otherwise everybody is responsible for everything that goes on. If the earth is a hell, you are a creator, you participate.

Don't go on throwing responsibility on others -- you are also responsible, it is a collective phenomenon. The disease may bubble up anywhere, the explosion may happen millions, thousands of miles away from you -- that doesn't make any difference, because thought is a non-spatial phenomenon, it needs no space.

That's why it travels fastest. Even light cannot travel so fast, because even for light space is needed. Thought travels fastest. In fact it takes no time in traveling, space doesn't exist for it. You may be here, thinking of something, and it happens in America. How can you be held responsible? No court can punish you, but in the ultimate court of existence you will be punished -- you are already punished. That's why you are so miserable.

People come to me and they say: "We never do anything wrong to anybody, and still we are so miserable." You may not be doing, you may be thinking -- and thinking is more subtle than doing.

A person can protect himself from doing, but he cannot protect himself from thinking. For thinking everybody is vulnerable.

No-thinking is a must if you want to be completely freed from sin, freed from crime, freed from all that goes around you -- and that is the meaning of a Buddha.

A Buddha is a person who lives without the mind; then he is not responsible. That's why in the East we say that he never accumulates karma; he never accumulates any entanglements for the future. He lives, he walks, he moves, he eats, he talks, he is doing many things, so he must accumulate karma, because karma means activity. But in the East it is said even if a Buddha kills, he will not accumulate karma. Why? And you, even if you don't kill, you will accumulate karma. Why?

It is simple: whatsoever Buddha is doing, he is doing without any mind in it. He is spontaneous, it is not activity. He is not thinking about it, it happens. He is not the doer. He moves like an emptiness. He has no mind for it, he was not thinking to do it. But if the existence allows it to happen, he allows it to happen. He has no more the ego to resist; no more the ego to do.

That is the meaning of being empty and a no-self: just being a non-being, anatta, no-selfness. Then you accumulate nothing; then you are not responsible for anything that goes on around you; then you transcend.

Each single thought is creating something for you and for others. Be alert!

But when I say be alert, I don't mean that think good thoughts, no, because whenever you think good thoughts, by the side you are also thinking of bad thoughts. How can good exist without bad? If you think of love, just by the side, behind it, is hidden hate. How can you think about love without thinking about hate? You may not think consciously, love may be in the conscious layer of the mind, but hate is hidden in the unconscious -- they move together.

Whenever you think of compassion, you think of cruelty. Can you think of compassion without thinking of cruelty? Can you think of non-violence without thinking of violence? In the very word "non-violence," violence enters; it is there in the very concept. Can you think of brahmacharya, celibacy, without thinking of sex? It is impossible, because what will celibacy mean if there is no thought of sex? And if brahmacharya is based on the thought of sex, what type of brahmacharya is this?

No, there is a totally different quality of being which comes by not thinking: not good, not bad, simply a state of no-thinking. You simply watch, you simply remain conscious, but you don't think. And if some thought enters...it will enter, because thoughts are not yours; they are just floating in the air. All around there is a noosphere, a thoughtsphere, all around. Just as there is air, there is thought all around you, and it goes on entering on its own accord. It stops only when you become more and more aware. There is something in it: if you become more aware, a thought simply disappears, it melts, because awareness is a greater energy than thought.

Awareness is like fire to thought.

It is just like you burn a lamp in the house and the darkness cannot enter; you put the light off -- from everywhere darkness has entered; without taking a single minute, a single moment, it is there. When the light burns in the house, the darkness cannot enter. Thoughts are like darkness: they enter only if there is no light within. Awareness is fire: you become more aware, less and less thoughts enter.

If you become really integrated in your awareness, thoughts don't enter you; you have become an impenetrable citadel, nothing can penetrate you. Not that you are closed, remember -- you are absolutely open; but just the very energy of awareness becomes your citadel. And when no thoughts can enter you, they will come and they will bypass you. You will see them coming, and simply, by the time they reach near you they turn. Then you can move anywhere, then you go to the very hell -- nothing can affect you. This is what we mean by enlightenment.

Now try to understand Tilopa's sutra:

If one sees naught when staring into space; if with the mind one then observes the mind, one destroys distinctions and reaches buddhahood.

If one sees naught when staring into space.... This is a method, a tantra method: to look into space, into the sky, without seeing; to look with an empty eye. Looking, yet not looking for something: just an empty look.

Sometimes you see in a madman's eyes an empty look -- and madmen and sages are alike in certain things. A madman looks at your face, but you can see he is not looking at you. He just looks through you as if you are a glass thing, transparent; you are just in the way, he is not looking at you. And you are transparent for him: he looks beyond you, through you. He looks without looking at you; the "at" is not present, he simply looks.

Look in the sky without looking for something, because if you look for something a cloud is bound to come: "something" means a cloud, "nothing" means the vast expanse of the blue sky. Don't look for any object. If you look for an object, the very look creates the object: a cloud comes, and then you are looking at a cloud. Don't look at the clouds. Even if there are clouds, you don't lookat them -- simply look, let them float, they are there. Suddenly a moment comes when you are attuned to this look of not-looking -- clouds disappear for you, only the vast sky remains. It is difficult because eyes are focused and your eyes are tuned to look at things.

Look at a small child the first day born. He has the same eyes as a sage -- or like a madman: his eyes are loose and floating. He can bring both his eyes to meet at the center; he can allow them to float to the far corners -- they are not yet fixed. His system is liquid, his nervous system is not yet a structure, everything is floating. So a child looks without looking at things; it is a mad look. Watch a child: the same look is needed from you, because again you have to attain a second childhood.

Watch a madman, because the madman has fallen out of the society. Society means the fixed world of roles, games. A madman is mad because he has no fixed role now, he has fallen out: he is the perfect drop-out. A sage is also a perfect drop-out in a different dimension. He is not mad; in fact he is the only sanest possibility. But the whole world is mad, fixed -- that's why a sage also looks mad. Watch a madman: that is the look which is needed.

In old schools of Tibet they always had a madman, just for the seekers to watch his eyes.

A madman was very much valued. He was searched after because a monastery could not exist without a madman. He becomes an object to observe. The seekers will observe the madman, his eyes, and then they will try to look at the world like the madman. Those days were beautiful.

In the East, madmen have never suffered like they are suffering in the West. In the East they were valued, a madman was something special. The society took care of him, he was respected, because he has certain elements of the sage, certain elements of the child. He is different from the so-called society, culture, civilization; he has fallen out of it. Of course, he has fallen down; a sage falls up, a madman falls down -- that's the difference -- but both have fallen out. And they have similarities. Watch a madman, and then try to let your eyes become unfocused.

In Harvard, they were doing one experiment a few months ago, and they were surprised, they couldn't believe it. They were trying to find out whether the world, as we see it, is so or not -- because many things have surfaced within the few last years.

We see the world not as it is, we see it as we expect it to be seen, we project something onto it.

It happened that a great ship reached a small island in the Pacific for the first time. The people of the island didn't see it, nobody! And the ship was so vast -- but the people were attuned, their eyes were attuned to small boats. They had never known such a big ship, they had never seen such a thing. Simply their eyes would not catch the glimpse, their eyes simply refused.

In Harvard they tried it on a young man: they gave him spectacles with distorting glasses, and he had to wear them for seven days. For the first three days he was in a miserable state, because everything was distorted, the whole world around him was distorted.... It gave him such a severe headache, he couldn't sleep. Even with closed eyes those distorted figures would be there...the faces distorted, the trees distorted, the roads distorted. He couldn't even walk because he couldn't believe: "What is true and what is given by the projection of distorting glasses?"

But a miracle happened! After the third day he became attuned to it; the distortion disappeared. The glasses remained the same, distorting, but he started looking at the world in the same old way. Within a week everything was okay: there was no headache, no problem, and the scientists were simply surprised; they couldn't believe it was happening. The eyes had completely dropped, as if the glasses were no longer there. The glasses were there, and they were distorting -- but the eyes had come to see the world for which they were trained.

Nobody knows whether what you are seeing is there or not. It may not be there, it may be there in a totally different way. The colors you see, the forms you see, everything is projected by the eyes. And whenever you look fixedly, focused with your old patterns, you see things according to your own conditioning. That's why a madman has a liquid look, an absent look, looking and not looking together.

This look is beautiful. It is one of the greatest tantra techniques:

If one sees naught when staring into space...

Don't see, just look. For the beginning few days, again and again you will see something, just because of the old habit. We hear things because of old habit. We see things because of old habit. We understand things because of old habit.

One of the greatest disciples of Gurdjieff, P.D. Ouspensky, used to insist on a certain thing with his disciples -- and everybody resented it, and many people left simply because of that insistence. If somebody said: "Yesterday you told..." he immediately would stop him and say: "Don't say it like that. Say: 'I understood that you said this thing yesterday.' 'I understood....' Don't say what I said; you cannot know that. Talk about what you heard." And he would insist so much because we are habitual.

Again you might say: "In the Bible it is said..." and he would say: "Don't say that! Simply say that you understand that this is said in the Bible." With each sentence he insisted: "Always remember that this is your understanding."

We go on forgetting. His disciples went on forgetting again and again, and every day, and he was stubborn about it. He would not allow you to go on. He would say: "Go back. Say first that: 'I understand you said this, this is my understanding'...because you hear according to yourself, you see according to yourself -- because you have a fixed pattern of seeing and hearing."

This has to be dropped. To know existence, all fixed attitudes have to be dropped. Your eyes should be just windows, not projectors. Your ears should be just doors, not projectors.

It happened: One psychoanalyst who was studying with Gurdjieff tried to do this experiment. In a wedding ceremony he tried a very simple but beautiful experiment. He stood by the side, people passing, and he watched them and he felt that nobody at the receiving end was hearing what they were saying -- so many people, some rich man's wedding ceremony. So he also joined in and he said very quietly to the first person in the receiving line: "My grandmother died today." The man said: "So good of you, so beautiful." Then to another he said it and the man said: "How nice of you." And to the groom, when he said this, he said: "Old man, it is time you also followed."

Nobody is listening to anybody. You hear whatsoever you expect. Expectation is your specs -- that is the glasses. Your eyes should be windows -- this is the technique.

Nothing should go out of the eyes, because if something goes a cloud is created. Then you see things which are not there, then a subtle hallucination.... Let pure clarity be in the eyes, in the ears; all your senses should be clear, perception pure -- only then the existence can be revealed to you. And when you know existence, then you know that you are a Buddha, a God, because in existence everything is divine.

If one sees naught when staring into space; if with the mind one then observes the mind...

First stare into the sky; lie down on the ground and just stare at the sky. Only one thing has to be tried: don't look at anything. In the beginning you will fall again and again, you will forget again and again. You will not be able to remember continuously. Don't be frustrated, it is natural because of so long a habit. Whenever you remember again, unfocus your eyes, make them loose, just look at the sky -- not doing anything, just looking. Soon a time comes when you can see into the sky without trying to see anything there.

Then try it with your inner sky:

...if with the mind one then observes the mind...

Then close your eyes and look inside, not looking for anything, just the same absent look. Thoughts floating but you are not looking for them, or at them -- you are simply looking. If they come it is good, if they don't come it is good also. Then you will be able to see the gaps: one thought passes, another comes -- and the gap. And then, by and by, you will be able to see that the thought becomes transparent, even when the thought is passing you continue to see the gap, you continue to see the hidden sky behind the cloud.

And the more you get attuned to this vision, thoughts will drop by and by, they will come less and less, less and less. The gaps will become wider. For minutes together no thought coming, everything is so quiet and silent inside -- you are for the first time together. Everything feels absolutely blissful, no disturbance. And if this look becomes natural to you -- it becomes, it is one of the most natural things; one just has to unfocus, decondition:

...one destroys distinctions...

Then there is nothing good, nothing bad; nothing ugly, nothing beautiful.

...and reaches buddhahood.

Buddhahood means the highest awakening. When there are no distinctions, all divisions are lost, unity is attained, only one remains. You cannot even call it "one," because that too is part of duality. One remains, but you cannot call it "one," because how can you call it "one" without deep down saying "two." No, you don't say that "one" remains, simply that "two" has disappeared, the many has disappeared. Now it is a vast oneness, there are no boundaries to anything.

One tree merging into another tree, earth merging into the trees, trees merging into the sky, the sky merging into the beyond...you merging in me, I merging in you...everything merging...distinctions lost, melting and merging like waves into other waves...a vast oneness vibrating, alive, without boundaries, without definitions, without distinctions...the sage merging into the sinner, the sinner merging into the sage...good becoming bad, bad becoming good...night turning into the day, the day turning into the night...life melting into death, death molding again into life -- then everything has become one.

Only at this moment is buddhahood attained: when there is nothing good, nothing bad, no sin, no virtue, no darkness, no night -- nothing, no distinctions. Distinctions are there because of your trained eyes. Distinction is a learned thing. Distinction is not there in existence. Distinction is projected by you. Distinction is given by you to the world -- it is not there. It is your eyes' trick, your eyes playing a trick on you.

The clouds that wander through the sky have no roots, no home; nor do the distinctive thoughts floating through the mind. Once the self-mind is seen, discrimination stops.

The clouds that wander through the sky have no roots, no home... And the same is true for your thoughts, and the same is true for your inner sky. Your thoughts have no roots, they have no home; they wander just like clouds. So you need not fight them, you need not be against them, you need not even try to stop thought.

This should become a deep understanding in you, because whenever a person becomes interested in meditation he starts trying to stop thinking. And if you try to stop thoughts they will never be stopped, because the very effort to stop is a thought, the very effort to meditate is a thought, the very effort to attain buddhahood is a thought. And how can you stop a thought by another thought? How can you stop mind by creating another mind? Then you will be clinging to the other. And this will go on and on, ad nauseam; then there is no end to it.

Don't fight -- because who will fight? Who are you? Just a thought, so don't make yourself a battle ground of one thought fighting another. Rather, be a witness, you just watch thoughts floating. They stop, but not by your stopping. They stop by your becoming more aware, not by any effort on your part to stop them. No, they never stop, they resist. Try and you will find: try to stop a thought and the thought will persist. Thoughts are very stubborn, adamant; they are hatha yogis, they persist. You throw them away and they will come back a million and one times. You will get tired, but they will not get tired.

It happened that one man came to Tilopa. The man wanted to attain buddhahood and he had heard that this Tilopa has attained. And Tilopa was staying in a temple somewhere in Tibet. The man came; Tilopa was sitting, and the man said: "I would like to stop my thoughts."

Tilopa said: "It is very easy. I will give you a device, a technique. You follow this: just sit down and don't think of monkeys. This will do."

The man said: "So easy? Just not thinking of monkeys? But I have never been thinking about them."

Tilopa said: "Now you do it, and tomorrow morning you report."

You can understand what happened to that poor man...monkeys and monkeys all around. In the night he couldn't get any sleep, not a wink. He would open his eyes and they were sitting there, or he would close his eyes and they were sitting there, and they were making faces.... He was simply surprised. "Why has this man given me this technique, because if monkeys are the problem, then I have never been bothered by them. This is happening for the first time!" And he tried, in the morning again he tried. He took a bath, sat, but nothing doing: the monkeys wouldn't leave him.

He came back by the evening almost mad -- because the monkeys were following him and he was talking to them. He came and he said: "Save me somehow. I don't want this, I was okay, I don't want any meditation. And I don't want your enlightenment -- but save me from these monkeys!"

If you think of monkeys, it may be that they may not come to you. But if you want not to...if you want them not to come to you, then they will follow you. They have their egos and they cannot leave you so easily. And what do you think of yourself: trying not to think of monkeys? The monkeys get irritated, this cannot be allowed.

This happens to people. Tilopa was joking, he was saying that if you try to stop a thought, you cannot. On the contrary, the very effort to stop it gives it energy, the very effort to avoid it becomes attention. So, whenever you want to avoid something you are paying too much attention to it. If you want not to think a thought, you are already thinking about it.

Remember this, otherwise you will be in the same plight. The poor man who was obsessed became obsessed with monkeys because he wanted to stop them. There is no need to stop the mind. Thoughts are rootless, homeless vagabonds, you need not be worried about them. You simply watch, watch without looking at them, simply look.

If they come, good, don't feel bad -- because even a slight feeling that it is not good and you have started fighting. It's okay, it is natural: as leaves come in the trees, thoughts come to the mind. It's okay, it is perfectly as it should be. If they don't come, it is beautiful. You simply remain an impartial watcher, neither for nor against, neither appreciating nor condemning -- without any valuation. You simply sit inside yourself and look, looking without looking at.

And this happens, that the more you look, the less you find; the deeper you look, the thoughts disappear, disperse. Once you know this then the key is in your hand. And this key unlocks the most secret phenomenon: the phenomenon of buddhahood.

The clouds that wander through the sky have no roots, no home; nor do the distinctive thoughts floating through the mind. Once the self-mind is seen, discrimination stops.

And once you can see that thoughts are floating -- you are not the thoughts but the space in which thoughts are floating -- you have attained to your self-mind, you have understood the phenomenon of your consciousness. Then discrimination stops: then nothing is good, nothing is bad; then all desire simply disappears, because if there is nothing good, nothing bad, there is nothing to be desired, nothing to be avoided.

You accept, you become loose and natural. You simply start floating with existence, not going anywhere, because there is no goal; not moving to any target, because there is no target. Then you start enjoying every moment, whatsoever it brings -- whatsoever, remember. And you can enjoy it, because now you have no desires and no expectations. And you don't ask for anything, so whatsoever is given you feel grateful. Just sitting and breathing is so beautiful, just being here is so wonderful that every moment of life becomes a magical thing, a miracle in itself.

In space shapes and colors form, but neither by black nor white is space tinged. From the self-mind all things emerge, the mind by virtues and by vices is not stained.

And then, then you know that in space shapes and colors form. Clouds take many types of shapes: you can see elephants and lions, and whatsoever you like. In space forms, colors, come and go...but neither by black nor white is space tinged...but whatsoever happens, the sky remains untouched, untinged. In the morning it is like a fire, a red fire coming from the sun, the whole sky becomes red; but in the night where has that redness gone? The whole sky is dark, black. In the morning, where has that blackness gone? The sky remains untinged, untouched.

And this is the way of a sannyasin: to remain like a sky, untinged by whatsoever comes and happens. A good thought comes -- a sannyasin doesn't brag about it. He doesn't say: "I am filled with good thoughts, virtuous thoughts, blessings for the world." No, he doesn't brag, because if he brags he is tinged. He does not claim that he is good. A bad thought comes -- he is not depressed by it, otherwise he is tinged. Good or bad, day or night, everything that comes and goes he simply watches. Seasons change and he watches; youth becomes old age and he watches -- he remains untinged. And that is the deepest core of being a sannyasin, to be like a sky, space.

And this is in fact the case. When you think you are tinged, it is just thinking. When you think that you have become good or bad, sinner or sage, it is just thinking, because your inner sky never becomes anything -- it is a being, it never becomes anything. All becoming is just getting identified with some form and name, some color, some form arising in the space -- all becoming. You are a being, you are already that -- no need to become anything.

Look at the sky: spring comes and the whole atmosphere is filled with birds singing, and then flowers and the fragrance. And then comes the fall, and then comes summer. Then comes the rain -- and everything goes on changing, changing, changing. And it all happens in the sky, but nothing tinges it. It remains deeply distant; everywhere present, and distant; nearest to everything and farthest away.

A sannyasin is just like the sky: he lives in the world -- hunger comes, and satiety; summer comes, and winter; good days, bad days; good moods, very elated, ecstatic, euphoric; bad moods, depressed, in the valley, dark, burdened -- everything comes and goes and he remains a watcher. He simply looks, and he knows everything will go, many things will come and go. He is no more identified with anything.

Non-identification is sannyas, and sannyas is the greatest flowering, the greatest blooming that is possible.

In space shapes and colors form, but neither by black nor white is space tinged. From the self-mind all things emerge, the mind by virtues and by vices is not stained.

When Buddha attained to the ultimate, the utterly ultimate enlightenment, he was asked: "What have you attained?" And he laughed and said: "Nothing -- because whatsoever I have attained was already there inside me. It is not something new that I have achieved. It has always been there from eternity, it is my very nature. But I was not mindful about it, I was not aware of it. The treasure was always there, but I had forgotten about it."

You have forgotten, that's all -- that is your ignorance. Between a Buddha and you there is no distinction as far as your nature is concerned, but only one distinction, and that distinction is that you don't remember who you are -- and he remembers. You are the same, but he remembers and you don't remember. He is awake, you are fast asleep, but your nature is the same.

Try to live it out in this way -- Tilopa is talking about techniques -- live in the world as if you are the sky, make it your very style of being. Somebody is angry at you, insulting -- watch. If anger arises in you, watch; be a watcher on the hills, go on looking and looking and looking. And just by looking, without looking at anything, without getting obsessed by anything, when your perception becomes clear, suddenly, in a moment, in fact no time happens, suddenly, without time, you are fully awake; you are a Buddha, you become the enlightened, the awakened one.

What does a Buddha gain out of it? He gains nothing. Rather, on the contrary, he loses many things: the misery, the pain, the anguish, the anxiety, the ambition, the jealousy, the hatred, the possessiveness, the violence -- he loses all. As far as what he attains, nothing. He attains that which was already there, he remembers.

OSHO : Tantra The Supreme Understanding, Chapter 2

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