Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Power of Now



Can you describe to us your own experience of spiritual awakening (and of course, can you define spiritual awakening as well)?


Was there a singular event that occurred or has it been a gradual process?



Eckhart Tolle: Since ancient times the term awakening has been used as a kind of metaphor that points to the transformation of human consciousness.

There are parables in the New Testament that speak of the importance of being awake, of not falling back to sleep.

The word Buddha comes from the Sanskrit word Budh, meaning, "to be awake." So Buddha is not a name and ultimately not a person, but a state of consciousness. All this implies that humans are potentially capable of living in a state of consciousness compared to which normal wakefulness is like sleeping or dreaming.

This is why some spiritual teachings use terms like "shared hallucination" or "universal hypnotism" to describe normal human existence. Pick up any history book, and I suggest you begin with studying the 20th century, and you will find that a large part of the history of our species has all the characteristics we would normally associate with a nightmare or an insane hallucination.

The nature of spiritual awakening is frequently misunderstood. The adoption of spiritual beliefs, seeing visions of God or celestial beings, the ability to channel, to heal, to foretell the future, or other paranormal powers all such phenomena are of value and are not to be dismissed, but none of them is in itself indicative of spiritual awakening in a person who experiences them. They may occur in a person who has not awakened spiritually and they may or may not accompany the awakened state.

Every morning we awaken from sleep and from our dreams and enter the state we call wakefulness. A continuous stream of thoughts, most of them repetitive, characterizes the normal wakeful state. So what is it that we awaken from when spiritual awakening occurs? We awaken from identification with our thoughts. Everybody who is not awake spiritually is totally identified with and run by their thinking mind, the incessant voice in the head. Thinking is compulsive: you can’t stop, or so it seems.

It is also addictive: you don’t even want to stop, at least not until the suffering generated by the continuous mental noise becomes unbearable. In the unawakened state you don’t use thought, but thought uses you. You are, one could almost say, possessed by thought, which is the collective conditioning of the human mind that goes back many thousands of years. You don’t see anything as it is, but distorted and reduced by mental labels, concepts, judgments, opinions and reactive patterns. Your sense of identity, of self, is reduced to a story you keep telling yourself in your head. "Me and my story": this what your life is reduced to in the unawakened state. And when your life is thus reduced, you can never be happy for long, because you are not yourself.

Does that mean you don’t think anymore when you awaken spiritually? No, of course not. In fact, you can use thought much more effectively than before, but you realize there is a depth to your Being, a vibrantly alive stillness that is much vaster than thought. It is consciousness itself, of which the thinking mind is only a tiny aspect.

For many people, the first indication of a spiritual awakening is that they suddenly become aware of their thoughts. They become a witness to their thoughts, so to speak. They are not completely identified with their mind anymore and so they begin to sense that there is a depth to them that they had never known before.

For most people, spiritual awakening is a gradual process. Rarely does it happen all at once. When it does, though, it is usually brought about by intense suffering. That was certainly true in my case.

For years my life alternated between depression and acute anxiety. One night I woke up in a state of dread and intense fear, more intense than I had ever experienced before. Life seemed meaningless, barren, hostile. It became so unbearable that suddenly the thought came into my mind, "I cannot live with myself any longer." The thought kept repeating itself several times. Suddenly, I stepped back from the thought, and looked at it, as it were, and I became aware of the strangeness of that thought: "If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me - the I and the self that I cannot live with."

And the question arose, "Who is the ‘I’ and who is the self that I cannot live with?" There was no answer to that question, and all thinking stopped. For a moment, there was complete inner silence. Suddenly I felt myself drawn into a whirlpool or a vortex of energy. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake.

I heard the words, "Resist nothing," as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. Suddenly, all fear disappeared, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that.

The next morning I awoke as if I had just been born into this world. Everything seemed fresh and pristine and intensely alive. A vibrant stillness filled my entire being. As I walked around the city that day, the world looked as if it had just come into existence, completely devoid of the past. I was in a state of amazement at the peace I felt within and the beauty I saw without, even in the midst of the traffic.

I was no longer labeling and interpreting my sense perceptions, an almost complete absence of mental commentary. To this day, I perceive and interact with the world in this way: through stillness, not through mental noise. The peace that I felt that day, more than 20 years ago, has never left me, although it has varying degrees of intensity.

At the time, I had no conceptual framework to help me understand what had happened to me. Years later, I realized that the acute suffering I felt that night must have forced my consciousness to withdraw from identification with the unhappy self, the suffering "little me," which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that the suffering self collapsed as if the plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left was my true nature as the ever present "I AM": consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. You may also call it pure awareness or presence.

In your own life story there seems to have been a relationship between intense personal suffering and a breakthrough spiritual experience. Do you believe that for all people there is some connection between personal suffering and the intensity that is needed for a spiritual breakthrough?

Eckhart Tolle: Yes, that seems to be true in most cases. When you are trapped in a nightmare, your motivation to awaken will be so much greater than that of someone caught up in a relatively pleasant dream. On all levels, evolution occurs in response to a crisis situation, not infrequently a life-threatening one, when the old structures, inner or outer, are breaking down or are not working anymore.

On a personal level, this often means the experience of loss of one kind or another: the death of a loved one, the end of a close relationship, loss of possessions, your home, status, or a breakdown of the external structures of your life that provided a sense of security. For many people, illness, loss of health represents the crisis situation that triggers an awakening. With serious illness comes awareness of your own mortality, the greatest loss of all.

For many people alive at this time, loss is experienced as loss of meaning. In other words, life seems to lack purpose and doesn’t make sense anymore. Loss of meaning is often part of the suffering that comes with physical loss, but it can also happen to people who have gained everything the world has to offer, who have "made it" in the eyes of the world and suddenly find that their success or possessions are empty and unfulfilling.

What the world and the surrounding culture tells them is important and of value turns out to be empty and this leaves a kind of painful inner void, often accompanied by great mental confusion.

Now the question arises: What exactly is the connection between suffering and spiritual awakening? How does one lead to the other? When you look closely at the nature of human suffering you will find that an essential ingredient in most kinds of suffering is a diminishment of one’s sense of self.

Take illness, for example. Illness makes you feel smaller, no longer in control, helpless. You seem to loose your autonomy, perhaps become dependent on others. You become reduced in size, figuratively speaking. Any major loss has a similar effect: some form that was an important part of your sense of who you are - a person, a possession, a social role, dissolves or leaves you and you suffer because you had become identified with it and it seems you are losing yourself or a part of yourself.

In reality, of course, what feels like a diminishment or loss of your sense of self is the crumbling of an image of who you are held in the mind. What dissolves is identification with thought forms that had given you your sense of self. But that sense of self is ultimately false, is ultimately a mental fiction. It is the egoic mind or the "little me" as I sometimes call it.

To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening. When you no longer resist the diminishment of self that comes with suffering, all role-playing, which is normal in the unawakened state, comes to an end. You become humble, simple, real.

And, paradoxically, when you say ‘yes’ to that death, because that’s what it is, you realize that the mind-made sense of self had obscured the truth of who you are - not as defined by your past, but timelessly. And when who you think you are dissolves, you connect with a vast power which is the essence of your very being. Jesus called it: "eternal life." In Buddhism, it is sometimes called the "deathless realm."

Now, does this mean that if you haven’t experienced intense suffering in your life, there is no possibility of awakening? Firstly, the fact that you are drawn to a spiritual teaching or teacher means you must have had your share of suffering already, and the awakening process has probably already begun.

A teacher or teaching is not even essential for spiritual awakening, but they save time. Secondly, humanity as a whole has already gone through unimaginable suffering, mostly self-inflicted, the culmination of which was the 20th century with its unspeakable horrors. This collective suffering has brought upon a readiness in many human beings for the evolutionary leap that is spiritual awakening.

For many individuals alive now, this means: they have suffered enough. No further suffering is necessary. The end of suffering: that is also the essence of every true spiritual teaching. Be grateful that your suffering has taken you to this realization: I don’t need to suffer anymore.

Your teaching about "the power of now" seems so simple. Is that really our primary spiritual task to fully engage the present moment?

Eckhart Tolle:Identification with thoughts and the emotions that go with those thoughts creates a false mind-made sense of self, conditioned by the past: the "little me" and its story. This false self is never happy or fulfilled for long. Its normal state is one of unease, fear, insufficiency, and nonfulfillment. It says it looks for happiness, and yet it continuously creates conflict and unhappiness.

In fact, it needs conflict and "enemies" to sustain the sense of separateness that ensures its continued survival. Look at all the conflict between tribes, nations, and religions. They need their enemies, because they provide the sense of separateness on which their collective egoic identity depends.

The false self lives mainly through memory and anticipation. Past and future are its main preoccupation. The present moment, at best, is a means to an end, a stepping stone to the future, because the future promises fulfillment, the future promises salvation in one form or another.

The only problem is the future never comes. Life is always now. Whatever happens, whatever you experience, feel, think, do – it’s always now. It’s all there is. And if you continuously miss the now - resist it, dislike it, try to get away from it, reduce it to a means to an end, then you miss the essence of your life, and you are stuck in a dream world of images, concepts, labels, interpretations, judgments the conditioned content of your mind that you take to be "yourself."

And so you are disconnected from the fullness of life that is the ‘suchness’ of this moment. When you are out of alignment with what is, you are out of alignment with life.

You are struggling to reach a point in the future where there is greater security, aliveness, abundance, love, joy ... unaware that those things make up the essence of who you are already. All that is required of you to have access to that essence is to make the present moment into your friend. And you may realize that most of your life you made the present moment into an enemy. You didn’t say yes to it, didn’t embrace it. You were out of alignment with the now, and so life became a struggle.

It seemed so normal, because everyone around you lived in the same way. The amazing thing is: Life, the great intelligence that pervades the entire cosmos, becomes supportive when you say yes to it. Where is life? Here. Now. The isness of this moment. The now seems so small at first, a little segment between past and future, and yet all of life’s power is concealed within it.

When there is spiritual awakening, you awaken into the fullness, the aliveness, and also the sacredness of now.

You were absent, asleep, and now you are present, awake. The secret of awakening is to unconditionally accept this moment as it is. Some people do it because they can no longer stand the suffering that comes with nonacceptance of the isness of this moment. They are almost forced into awakening.

Others have suffered enough and are ready to voluntarily embrace the now. When you become present in this way, the judgments, labels, and concepts of your mind are no longer all that important, as a greater intelligence is now operating in and through you. And yet the mind can then be used very effectively and creatively when needed.

Now the question may arise: Would there be anything left to strive for when you are so present in the now? Wouldn’t you become passive in that state? Many meaningless activities may fall away, but the state of presence is the only state in which creative energy is available to you.

When your fulfillment and sense of self are no longer dependent on the future outcome, joy flows into whatever you do. You do what you do because the action itself is fulfilling. Whatever you do or create in that state is of high quality. This is because it is not a means to and end, and so a loving care flows into your doing.

Being "in the present" sounds so obvious, and yet is quite hard to sustain. Do you have any practical tips for people for maintaining awareness of the present moment?

Eckhart Tolle:Although the old consciousness or rather unconsciousness still has considerable momentum and to a large extent still runs this world, the new awakened consciousness presence has already began to emerge in many human beings. In my book The Power of Now, I mention ways in which you can maintain present moment awareness, but the main thing is to allow this new state of consciousness to emerge rather then believe that you have to try hard to make it happen.

How do you allow it to emerge? Simply by allowing this moment to be as it is. This means to relinquish inner resistance to what is - the suchness of now. This allows life to unfold beautifully. There is no greater spiritual practice than this.

On your video The Flowering of Human Consciousness, you talk about a "new" consciousness that is emerging in our time. What do you mean? Hasn’t the present moment always been available to genuine seekers? What’s new about our current time in history? Are you pointing to a certain evolutionary process - an acceleration in human spiritual development?

Eckhart Tolle:Yes, the present moment has always been available to spiritual seekers, but as long as you are seeking you are not available to the present moment. "Seeking" implies that you are looking to the future for some answer, or for some achievement, spiritual or otherwise. Everybody is in the seeking mode, seeking to add something to who they are, whether it be money, relationships, possessions, knowledge, status or spiritual attainment.

"Seeking" means you need more time, more future, more of this or that. And there is nothing wrong with it. All that has its place in this world. To make money, to gather knowledge, to learn a new skill, to explore new territory, even to get from A to B for all these things you need time.

For almost everything you need time, except for one thing: to embrace the present moment. You need no time to open yourself to the power of now and so awaken to who you are beyond name and form and realize that in the depth of your being, you are already complete, whole, one with the timeless essence of all life.

For that you not only need no time, but time is the obstacle to that realization, seeking is the obstacle, needing to add something to who you are is the obstacle. The story of your life, how it all unfolds, whether you succeed or fail in this world...Yes, it matters, yes, it’ important relatively, not absolutely.

Only one thing is of absolute importance and this is it. If you miss it, you miss the deeper purpose of your life, which I call the flowering of human consciousness. And ultimately nothing else will satisfy you.

Some of the first human beings in whom the new consciousness emerged fully became the great teachers of humanity, such as Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Jesus, although their teachings were greatly misunderstood, especially when they turned into organized religion.

They were the first manifestations of the flowering of human consciousness. Later others appeared, some of whom became famous and respected teachers, whereas others probably remained relatively unknown or perhaps even completely unrecognized.

On the periphery of the established religions, from time to time certain movements appeared through which the new consciousness manifested. This enabled a number of individuals within those movements to awaken spiritually. Such movements, in Christianity, were Gnosticism and medieval mysticism; in Buddhism, Zen; in Islam, the Sufi movement; in Hinduism, the teachings called Advaita Vedanta.

But those men and women who awakened fully were always few and far between rare flowerings of consciousness. Until fairly recently, there was not yet a need for large numbers of human beings to awaken. For the first time in human history, a large-scale transformation of consciousness has now become a necessity if humanity is to survive.

Science and technology have amplified the effects of the dysfunction of the human mind in its unawakened state to such a degree that humanity, and probably the planet, would not survive for another hundred years if human consciousness remains unchanged. As I said earlier, evolution usually occurs in response to a crisis situation, and we now are faced with such a crisis situation. This is why there is indeed an enormous acceleration in the awakening process of our species.

This new large-scale spiritual awakening is occurring primarily not within the confines of the established religions, but outside of those structures. Some of it, however, is also happening within the existing churches and religious institutions wherever the members of those congregations do not identify with rigid and exclusive belief systems whose unconscious purpose is to foster a sense of separation on which the egoic mind structures depend for their survival.

How much time and effort is required to realize "the power of now?" Can this really occur in an instant or is this the work of a lifetime?

Eckhart Tolle:The power of now can only be realized now. It requires no time and effort. Effort means you’re trying hard to get somewhere, and so you are not present, welcoming this moment as it is.

Whereas it requires no time to awaken - you can only awaken now, it does take time before you can stay awake in all situations. Often you may find yourself being pulled back into old conditioned reactive patterns, particularly when faced with the challenges of daily living and of relationships. You lose the witnessing presence and become identified again with the "voice in the head," the continuous stream of thoughts, with its labels, judgments and opinions.

You no longer know that they are only labels, judgments, and mental positions (opinions) but completely believe in them. And so you create conflict. And then you suffer. And that suffering wakes you up again. Until presence becomes your predominant state, you may find yourself moving back and forth for a while between the old consciousness and the new, between mind identification and presence. "How long is it going to take?" is not a good question to ask. It makes you lose the now.

How would you recommend that people listen and watch "The Power of Now" teaching series in order to get the most out of the teachings? In your opinion, why are audio and video teaching tapes such a powerful way for people to learn?

Eckhart Tolle:If at all possible, you should not be engaged in other activity while you are listening or watching so that you can give your complete attention not only to the words but also to the silent spaces between the words. You will most likely learn many helpful facts about the emerging state of presence as well as the obstacles you are most likely to encounter. But this is only the secondary function of these tapes.

Their primary purpose is not to convey information, but to help you access the state of presence as you listen. As in all true spiritual teachings, the significance of the words that are being spoken goes far beyond their informational content. Words that arise spontaneously out of the state of presence are charged with spiritual power: the power to awaken. All that is required of you is to be in a state of attentive listening. Don’t just listen with the head. Listen with your entire body, so to speak. Feel the aliveness, the animating presence, throughout the body as you listen.

I recommend that you listen and/or watch these tapes over and over. Each time you listen, it will feel as if you were listening for the first time. Each time you listen, you will grow in presence. But do not listen compulsively. Allow a gap of at least two or three days, and ideally more, before you listen to the same tape again. Each time after you finish listening, just sit in silence for a few minutes.

Enjoy the greatest adventure a human being can be engaged in: to be part of the emergence of a new consciousness.

Interview with Eckhart Tolle
Source: Sounds True Publishing Company

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Anna Karenina


Anna Karenina is one of my most loved books.
How many times I have read it I can't remember.
--Osho

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Everything was in confusion in the Oblonskys' house. The wife had discovered that the husband was carrying on an intrigue with a French girl, who had been a governess in their family, and she had announced to her husband that she could not go on living in the same house with him.

This position of affairs had now lasted three days, and not only the husband and wife themselves, but all the members of their family and household, were painfully conscious of it. Every person in the house felt that there was no sense in their living together, and that the stray people brought together by chance in any inn had more in common with one another than they, the members of the family and household of the Oblonskys.

The wife did not leave her own room, the husband had not been at home for three days. The children ran wild all over the house; the English governess quarreled with the housekeeper, and wrote to a friend asking her to look out for a new situation for her; the man-cook had walked off the day before just at dinner time; the kitchen-maid, and the coachman had given warning.

Three days after the quarrel, Prince Stepan Arkadyevitch Oblonsky--Stiva, as he was called in the fashionable world-- woke up at his usual hour, that is, at eight o'clock in the morning, not in his wife's bedroom, but on the leather-covered sofa in his study.

He turned over his stout, well-cared-for person on the springy sofa, as though he would sink into a long sleep again; he vigorously embraced the pillow on the other side and buried his face in it; but all at once he jumped up, sat up on the sofa, and opened his eyes.

"Yes, yes, how was it now?" he thought, going over his dream. "Now, how was it? To be sure! Alabin was giving a dinner at Darmstadt; no, not Darmstadt, but something American. Yes, but then, Darmstadt was in America. Yes, Alabin was giving a dinner on glass tables, and the tables sang, Il mio tesoro--not Il mio tesoro though, but something better, and there were some sort of little decanters on the table, and they were women, too," he remembered.

Chapter I, Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy, 1865

Is that what we mean by love?

The demand to be safe in relationship inevitably breeds sorrow and fear. This seeking for security is inviting insecurity. Have you ever found security in any of your relationships? Have you?

Most of us want the security of loving and being loved, but is there love when each one of us is seeking his own security, his own particular path? We are not loved because we don’t know how to love.

What is love? The word is so loaded and corrupted that I hardly like to use it. Everybody talks of love - every magazine and newspaper and every missionary talks everlastingly of love. I love my country, I love my king, I love some book, I love that mountain, I love pleasure, I love my wife, I love God.

Is love an idea? If it is, it can be cultivated, nourished, cherished, pushed around, twisted in any way you like. When you say you love God what does it mean? It means that you love a projection of your own imagination, a projection of yourself clothed in certain forms of respectability according to what you think is noble and holy; so to say, `I love God’, is absolute nonsense. When you worship God you are worshipping yourself - and that is not love.

Because we cannot solve this human thing called love we run away into abstractions. Love may be the ultimate solution to all man’s difficulties, problems and travails, so how are we going to find out what love is? By merely defining it?

The church has defined it one way, society another, and there are all sorts of deviations and perversions. Adoring someone, sleeping with someone, the emotional exchange, the companionship - is that what we mean by love?

That has been the norm, the pattern, and it has become so tremendously personal, sensuous, and limited that religions have declared that love is something much more than this. In what they call human love they see there is pleasure, competition, jealousy, the desire to possess, to hold, to control and to interfere with another’s thinking, and knowing the complexity of all this they say there must be another kind of love, divine, beautiful, untouched, uncorrupted.

Throughout the world, so-called holy men have maintained that to look at a woman is something totally wrong: they say you cannot come near to God if you indulge in sex, therefore they push it aside although they are eaten up with it. But by denying sexuality they put out their eyes and cut out their tongues for they deny the whole beauty of the earth.

They have starved their hearts and minds; they are dehydrated human beings; they have banished beauty because beauty is associated with woman.

Can love be divided into the sacred and the profane, the human and the divine, or is there only love? Is love of the one and not of the many?

If I say,`I love you’, does that exclude the love of the other? Is love personal or impersonal? Moral or immoral? Family or non-family? If you love mankind can you love the particular? Is love sentiment? Is love emotion? Is love pleasure and desire?

All these questions indicate, don’t they, that we have ideas about love, ideas about what it should or should not be, a pattern or a code developed by the culture in which we live.

So to go into the question of what love is we must first ideals and ideologies of what it should or should not be. To divide anything into what should be and what is, is the most deceptive way of dealing with life.

Now how am I going to find out what this flame is which we call love - not how to express it to another but what it means in itself? I will first reject what the church, what society, what my parents and friends, what every person and every book has said about it because I want to find out for myself what it is.

Here is an enormous problem that involves the whole of mankind, there have been a thousand ways of defining it and I myself am caught in some pattern or other according to what I like or enjoy at the moment - so shouldn’t I, in order to understand it, first free myself from my own inclinations and prejudices? I am confused, torn by my own desires, so I say to myself, `First clear up your own confusion. Perhaps you may be able to discover what love is through what it is not.’
The government says, `Go and kill for the love of your country’. Is that love? Religion says, `Give up sex for the love of God’. Is that love? Is love desire? Don’t say no. For most of us it is - desire with pleasure, the pleasure that is derived through the senses, through sexual attachment and fulfilment.

I am not against sex, but see what is involved in it. What sex gives you momentarily is the total abandonment of yourself, then you are back again with your turmoil, so you want a repetition over and over again of that state in which there is no worry, no problem, no self. You say you love your wife.

In that love is involved sexual pleasure, the pleasure of having someone in the house to look after your children, to cook. You depend on her; she has given you her body, her emotions, her encouragement, a certain feeling of security and well-being.

Then she turns away from you; she gets bored or goes off with someone else, and your whole emotional balance is destroyed, and this disturbance, which you don’t like, is called jealousy. There is pain in it, anxiety, hate and violence.

So what you are really saying is, `As long as you belong to me I love you but the moment you don’t I begin to hate you. As long as I can rely on you to satisfy my demands, sexual and otherwise, I love you, but the moment you cease to supply what I want I don’t like you.’ So there is antagonism between you, there is separation, and when you feel separate from another there is no love.

But if you can live with your wife without thought creating all these contradictory states, these endless quarrels in yourself, then perhaps - perhaps - you will know what love is. Then you are completely free and so is she, whereas if you depend on her for all your pleasure you are a slave to her. So when one loves there must be freedom, not only from the other person but from oneself.

This belonging to another, being psychologically nourished by another, depending on another - in all this there must always be anxiety, fear, jealousy, guilt, and so long as there is fear there is no love; a mind ridden with sorrow will never know what love is; sentimentality and emotionalism have nothing whatsoever to do with love.

And so love is not to do with pleasure and desire.

Love is not the product of thought which is the past. Thought cannot possibly cultivate love. Love is not hedged about and caught in jealousy, for jealousy is of the past. Love is always active present. It is not `I will love’ or `I have loved’. If you know love you will not follow anybody. Love does not obey. When you love there is neither respect nor disrespect.

Don’t you know what it means really to love somebody - to love without hate, without jealousy, without anger, without wanting to interfere with what he is doing or thinking, without condemning, without comparing - don’t you know what it means?

Where there is love is there comparison? When you love someone with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your body, with your entire being, is there comparison? When you totally abandon yourself to that love there is not the other.

Does love have responsibility and duty, and will it use those words? When you do something out of duty is there any love in it? In duty there is no love. The structure of duty in which the human being is caught is destroying him. So long as you are compelled to do something because it is your duty you don’t love what you are doing. When there is love there is no duty and no responsibility.

Most parents unfortunately think they are responsible for their children and their sense of responsibility takes the form of telling them what they should do and what they should not do, what they should become and what they should not become. The parents want their children to have a secure position in society.

What they call responsibility is part of that respectability they worship; and it seems to me that where there is respectability there is no order; they are concerned only with becoming a perfect bourgeois. When they prepare their children to fit into society they are perpetuating war, conflict and brutality. Do you call that care and love?

Really to care is to care as you would for a tree or a plant, watering it, studying its needs, the best soil for it, looking after it with gentleness and tenderness - but when you prepare your children to fit into society you are preparing them to be killed. If you loved your children you would have no war.

When you lose someone you love you shed tears - are your tears for yourself or for the one who is dead? Are you crying for yourself or for another? Have you ever cried for another? Have you ever cried for your son who is killed on the battlefield?

You have cried, but do those tears come out of self-pity or have you cried because a human being has been killed? If you cry out of self-pity your tears have no meaning because you are concerned about yourself.

If you are crying because you are bereft of one in whom you have invested a great deal of affection, it was not really affection. When you cry for your brother who dies cry for him. It is very easy to cry for yourself because he is gone. Apparently you are crying because your heart is touched, but it is not touched for him, it is only touched by self-pity and self-pity makes you hard, encloses you, makes you dull and stupid.

When you cry for yourself, is it love - crying because you are lonely, because you have been left, because you are no longer powerful - complaining of your lot, your environment - always you in tears?

If you understand this, which means to come in contact with it as directly as you would touch a tree or a pillar or a hand, then you will see that sorrow is self-created, sorrow is created by thought, sorrow is the outcome of time. I had my brother three years ago, now he is dead, now I am lonely, aching, there is no one to whom I can look for comfort or companionship, and it brings tears to my eyes.

You can see all this happening inside yourself if you watch it. You can see it fully, completely, in one glance, not take analytical time over it. You can see in a moment the whole structure and nature of this shoddy little thing called `me’, my tears, my family, my nation, my belief, my religion - all that ugliness, it is all inside you.

When you see it with your heart, not with your mind, when you see it from the very bottom of your heart, then you have the key that will end sorrow. Sorrow and love cannot go together, but in the Christian world they have idealized suffering, put it on a cross and worshipped it, implying that you can never escape from suffering except through that one particular door, and this is the whole structure of an exploiting religious society.

So when you ask what love is, you may be too frightened to see the answer. It may mean complete upheaval; it may break up the family; you may discover that you do not love your wife or husband or children - do you? - you may have to shatter the house you have built, you may never go back to the temple.

But if you still want to find out, you will see that fear is not love, dependence is not love, jealousy is not love, possessiveness and domination are not love, responsibility and duty are not love, self-pity is not love, the agony of not being loved is not love, love is not the opposite of hate any more than humility is the opposite of vanity.

So if you can eliminate all these, not by forcing them but by washing them away as the rain washes the dust of many days from a leaf, then perhaps you will come upon this strange flower which man always hungers after.

If you have not got love - not just in little drops but in abundance - if you are not filled with it - the world will go to disaster. You know intellectually that the unity of mankind is essential and that love is the only way, but who is going to teach you how to love?

Will any authority, any method, any system, tell you how to love? If anyone tells you, it is not love. Can you say, `I will practise love. I will sit down day after day and think about it. I will practise being kind and gentle and force myself to pay attention to others?’ Do you mean to say that you can discipline yourself to love, exercise the will to love?

When you exercise discipline and will to love, love goes out of the window. By practising some method or system of loving you may become extraordinarily clever or more kindly or get into a state of non-violence, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.

In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning. And you cannot have love if there is no beauty. Beauty is not something you see - not a beautiful tree, a beautiful picture, a beautiful building or a beautiful woman.

There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is. Without love and that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your own heart and mind.

But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order. If you know how to love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems.

So we reach the point: can the mind come upon love without discipline, without thought, without enforcement, without any book, any teacher or leader - come upon it as one comes upon a lovely sunset?

It seems to me that one thing is absolutely necessary and that is passion without motive - passion that is not the result of some commitment or attachment, passion that is not lust. A man who does not know what passion is will never know love because love can come into being only when there is total self-abandonment.

A mind that is seeking is not a passionate mind and to come upon love without seeking it is the only way to find it - to come upon it unknowingly and not as the result of any effort or experience.

Such a love, you will find, is not of time; such a love is both personal and impersonal, is both the one and the many.

Like a flower that has perfume you can smell it or pass it by. That flower is for everybody and for the one who takes trouble to breathe it deeply and look at it with delight. Whether one is very near in the garden, or very far away, it is the same to the flower because it is full of that perfume and therefore it is sharing with everybody.

Love is something that is new, fresh, alive. It has no yesterday and no tomorrow. It is beyond the turmoil of thought. It is only the innocent mind which knows what love is, and the innocent mind can live in the world which is not innocent.

To find this extraordinary thing which man has sought endlessly through sacrifice, through worship, through relationship, through sex, through every form of pleasure and pain, is only possible when thought comes to understand itself and comes naturally to an end. Then love has no opposite, then love has no conflict.

You may ask, `If I find such a love, what happens to my wife, my children, my family? They must have security.’ When you put such a question you have never been outside the field of thought, the field of consciousness.

When once you have been outside that field you will never ask such a question because then you will know what love is in which there is no thought and therefore no time. You may read this mesmerized and enchanted, but actually to go beyond thought and time - which means going beyond sorrow - is to be aware that there is a different dimension called love.

But you don’t know how to come to this extraordinary fount - so what do you do? If you don’t know what to do, you do nothing, don’t you? Absolutely nothing. Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing; there is no centre at all. Then there is love.
- J Krishnamurti

The Key

For many years I lived in a state of great fear and continuous fluctuation between states of depression and high anxiety.

This was to the point of becoming almost unbearable.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night, as I had many times before, in a state of even more intense dread and fear.

The mind had lots of reasons why I was feeling fearful, and yet that state was continuous no matter what my external situation was. It became so unbearable that suddenly the thought occurred to me, "I cannot live with myself any longer." That thought was the trigger for a transformation.

The thought kept repeating itself many times in my head and then suddenly there was a stepping back from the thought and a looking at the thought. I asked, "Who is the 'I' and who is the self that I cannot live with?"

In Zen they have koans and it's almost as if a koan spontaneously appeared in my mind. A koan's purpose is to destroy conceptual thinking because it has no answer on a conceptual level. So, I asked, "Who is the self that I cannot live with? Are there one or two? If I cannot live with my self, who is that self?"

And then, beyond thought, there was a recognition of the "unhappy me," as I later called it, as being something completely non-substantial and fictional. Then consciousness withdrew completely from identification with that "unhappy me." At that moment the whole structure of the "unhappy me" and its pain collapsed because the withdrawal of identification was so complete.

What was left was simply beingness or presence. There was still a moment of fear. It felt like being drawn into a hole within myself, a vast whirlpool, and a realization arose in my chest, "Resist nothing." That was the key. Then resistance was relinquished and I don't know what happened after that.

All I do know is that the next morning I woke up and even before opening my eyes I heard the sounds of birds and it was so precious; everything was so precious. Then I opened my eyes and everything was alive and new and fresh as if I had never seen it before. And I walked around and picked up things and looked at them.

I was amazed at everything. There was no understanding of it. I was not even trying to understand anything. It was just so beautiful. Then I walked around the city in the same state, even in the midst of traffic. I was in a state of amazement and it was all so beautiful.

-Eckhart Tolle

Thursday, March 26, 2009

That's it

My dear Theo,

Many thanks for your letter. My warm good wishes for a very happy New Year.

I know you are doing well at The Hague, because Mr. Tersteeg told me so. I can see from your letter that you are taking a keen interest in art, and that's a good thing, old fellow.

I'm glad you like Millet, Jacque, Schreyer, Lambinet, Frans Hals, etc., for as Mauve says, “That's it.”

That painting by Millet, L'angélus du soir, “that's it,” indeed - that's magnificent, that's poetry. How I wish I could have another talk with you about art; but we'll just have to keep writing to each other about it. Admire as much as you can; most people don't admire enough.

Here are the names of a few the painters I particularly like. Scheffer, Delaroche, Hébert, Hamon, Leys, Tissot, Lagye, Boughton, Millais, Thijs [Matthijs] Mans, De Groux, De Braekeleer, Jr., Millet, Jules Breton, Feyen-Perrin, Eugène Feyen, Brion, Jundt, George Saal, Israëls, Anker, Knaus, Vautier, Jourdan, Jalabert, Antigna, Compte-Calix, Rochussen, Meissonier, Zamacois, Madrazo, Ziem, Boudin, Gérôme, Fromentin, de Tournemine, Pasini, Decamps, Bonington, Diaz, Th. Rousseau, Troyon, Dupré, Paul Huet, Corot, Jacque, Otto Weber, Daubigny, Wahlberg, Bernier, Émile Breton, Chenu, César de Cock, Mile. Collart, Bodmer, Koekkoek, Schelfhout, Weissenbruch, and last [but] not least, Maris and Mauve.

But I could carry on like that for I don't know how long, and then there are still all the old masters, and I am sure I have forgotten some of the best of the modern ones.

Do go on doing a lot of walking and keep up your love of nature, for that is the right way to understand art better and better. Painters understand nature and love her and teach us to see.

And then there are painters who never do anything that is no good, who cannot do anything bad, just as there are ordinary people who can do nothing but good.

and then I've got nature and art and poetry, and if that isn't enough, what is? But I haven't forgotten Holland and especially not The Hague and Brabant.

We are busy at the office doing stocktaking, but it will all be over in 5 days, we got off more lightly than you did in The Hague.

I hope that, like me, you had a happy Christmas.

And so, my boy, best wishes and write to me soon, Je t'écris un peu au hasard ce qui me vient dans ma plume [I have written to you in this manner just as it came into my pen], I hope you'll be able to make something of it.

Goodbye, regards to everybody at work and to anybody else who asks after me, especially everybody at Aunt Fie's and at the Haanebeeks'.

Vincent

I am enclosing a few lines for Mr. Roos.

Letter from Vincent Van Gogh to Theo van Gogh

London, January 1874

This "Don't do it" comes often

What the soul sees and has experienced, that it knows; the rest is appearance, prejudice and opinion.

This amounts to saying that all knowledge which is not the result of the soul's vision or experience is without true value.

But the question immediately arises—it was, in fact, put to me—"How do we know what the soul sees?"

Obviously there is only one solution: to become conscious of one's soul. And this completes the aphorism: unless one is conscious of one's soul one does not have true knowledge. Therefore the first effort must be to find the soul within, to unite with it and allow it to govern one's life.

Some people ask, "How do we know whether this is the soul?" I have already answered this question several times. Those who ask this question, by the very fact of asking it, prove that they are not conscious of their souls, because as soon as you are conscious of your soul and identified with it, you have a positive knowledge of it and you no longer ask how you are to know.

And that experience can neither be counterfeited nor imagined; you cannot pretend to be in contact with your soul—it is something which cannot be contrived or counterfeited. When the soul governs your life, you know it with absolute certainty and no longer ask any questions.

But the usefulness of the aphorism we have just read is to make you understand that everything you think you know, everything you have learnt, anything that has come to you in your life through personal observation, deduction, comparison—all that is a very relative knowledge on which you cannot found a durable and truly effective way of life.

How many times have we repeated this: all that comes from the mind is wholly relative. The more the mind is educated and has applied itself to various disciplines, the more it becomes capable of proving that what it puts forward or what it says is true. One can prove the truth of anything by reasoning, but that does not make it true.

It remains an opinion, a prejudice, a knowledge based on appearances which are themselves more than dubious. So there seems to be only one way out and that is to go in search of one's soul and to find it. It is there, it does not make a point of hiding itself, it does not play with you just to make things difficult; on the contrary, it makes great efforts to help you find it and to make itself heard.

Only, between your soul and your active consciousness there are two characters who are in the habit of making a lot of noise, the mind and the vital. And because they make a lot of noise, while the soul does not, or, rather, makes as little as possible, their noise prevents you from hearing the voice of the soul.

When you want to know what your soul knows, you have to make an inner effort, to be very attentive; and indeed, if you are attentive, behind the outer noise of the mind and the vital, you can discern something very subtle, very quiet, very peaceful, which knows and says what it knows.

But the insistence of the others is so imperious, while that is so quiet, that you are very easily misled into listening to the one that makes the most noise; most often you become aware only afterwards that the other one was right. It does not impose itself, it does not compel you to listen, for it is without violence.

When you hesitate, when you wonder what to do in this or that circumstance, there come the desire, the preference both mental and vital, that press, insist, affirm and impose themselves, and, with the best reasons in the world, build up a whole case for themselves.

And if you are not on the alert, if you don't have a firm discipline, if you don't have the habit of control, they finally convince you that they are right. And as I was saying a little while ago, they make so much noise that you do not even hear the tiny voice or the tiny, very quiet indication of the soul which says, "Don't do it."

This "Don't do it" comes often, but you discard it as something which has no power and follow your impulsive destiny. But if you are truly sincere in your will to find and live the truth, then you learn to listen better and better, you learn to discriminate more and more, and even if it costs you an effort, even if it causes you pain, you learn to obey.

And even if you have obeyed only once, it is a powerful help, a considerable progress on the path towards the discrimination between what is and what is not the soul. With this discrimination and the necessary sincerity you are sure to reach the goal.

But you must not be in a hurry, you must not be impatient, you must be very persevering. You do the wrong thing ten times for every time that you do the right thing. But when you do the wrong thing you must not give up everything in despair, but tell yourself that the Grace will never abandon you and that next time it will be better.

So, in conclusion, we shall say that in order to know things as they are you must first unite with your soul and to unite with your soul you must want it with persistence and perseverance.

Only the degree of concentration on the goal can shorten the way.

The Mother
14 November 1958

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And you think that is not important!

"The flowers have been growing thorns for millions of years. For millions of years the sheep have been eating them just the same.

And is it not a matter of consequence to try to understand why
the flowers go to so much trouble to grow thorns which are never of any use to them?

Is
the warfare between the sheep and the flowers not important? Is this not of more consequence than a fat red-faced gentleman's sums?

And if I know-- I, myself-- one flower which is unique in
the world, which grows nowhere but on my planet, but which one little sheep can destroy in a single bite some morning, without even noticing what he is doing-- Oh! You think that is not important!"

His face turned from white to red as he continued:

"If some one loves a flower, of which just one single blossom grows in all
the millions and millions of stars, it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars. He can say to himself, 'Somewhere, my flower is there...' But if the sheep eats the flower, in one moment all his stars will be darkened... And you think that is not important!"

He could not say anything more. His words were choked by sobbing.

Chapter VII, The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I wanted something for myself.


P.D. Ouspensky: Gurdjieff gave me many new ideas I did not know before, and he gave a system I did not know before. About schools I did know, for I had been travelling and looking for schools for 10 years.

He had an extraordinary system, and quite new. Some separate fragments of it could be found elsewhere, but not connected and put together like they are in this system.

And certain things, particularly belonging to the psychological side, were quite a revelation. And also on many other lines.

This was sufficient proof for me that this system was not a thing one can meet with every day. And I had already met with a sufficient number of schools to able to judge.

Question: Did you never ask Gurdjieff about the origin of the system?

Ouspensky: We all asked about 10 times a day and every time the answer was different.

Question: Did you ask Gurdjieff why he always gave different answers?

Ouspensky: Yes.

Question: What did he say?

Ouspensky: He said he never gave different answers.

Question: Has it ever crossed your mind to regret having ever met Gurdjieff?

Ouspensky: Never. Why? I got very much from him. I am always very grateful to myself that after the first evening I asked him when I could see him next time. If I had not, we would not be sitting here now.

Question: But you wrote two very brilliant books.

Ouspensky: They were only books. I wanted more. I wanted something for myself.

P. D. Ouspensky: A Biographical Outline
Compiled by Merrily E. Taylor

"Suddenly he (Ouspensky) appeared at the table, showing an emotion that was very unusual for him, and without pausing for a formal 'Good morning' or even stopping to sit down he said, 'I think this time we've really found what we need! I must tell you all about it. I have found the Miracle!'

With Gurdjieff in St. Petersburg and Paris
Anna Butkovsky-Hewitt

Monday, March 23, 2009

There will come a time..

Is it any use reading books for those who long for release?

Ramana: All the texts say that in order to gain release one should render the mind quiescent; therefore their conclusive teaching is that the mind should be rendered quiescent; once this has been understood there is no need for endless reading.

In order to quieten the mind one has only to inquire within oneself what one's Self is; how could this search be done in books?

One should know one's Self with one's own eye of wisdom. The Self is within the five sheaths; but books are outside them.

Since the Self has to be inquired into by discarding the five sheaths, it is futile to search for it in books. There will come a time when one will have to forget all that one has learned.

Is it necessary for one who longs for release to inquire into the nature of categories?

Just as one who wants to throw away garbage has no need to analyse it and see what it is, so one who wants to know the Self has no need to count the number of categories or inquire into their characteristics; what he has to do is to reject altogether the categories that hide the Self. The world should be considered like a dream.

Is there no difference between waking and dream?

Waking is long and a dream short; other than this there is no difference. Just as waking happenings seem real while awake. so do those in a dream while dreaming. In dream the mind takes on another body. In both waking and dream states thoughts. names and forms occur simultaneously.

What is the path of inquiry for understanding the nature of the mind?

That which rises as 'I' in this body is the mind. If one inquires as to where in the body the thought 'I' rises first, one would discover that it rises in the heart. That is the place of the mind's origin. Even if one thinks constantly 'I' 'I', one will be led to that place.

Of all the thoughts that arise in the mind, the 'I' thought is the first. It is only after the rise of this that the other thoughts arise. It is after the appearance of the first personal pronoun that the second and third personal pronouns appear; without the first personal pronoun there will not be the second and third.

How will the mind become quiescent?


By the inquiry 'Who am I?'. The thought 'who am I?' will destroy all other thoughts, and like the stick used for stirring the burning pyre, it will itself in the end get destroyed. Then, there will arise Self-realization.

What is the means for constantly holding on to the thought 'Who am I?'

When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: 'To whom do they arise?' It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?". The answer that would emerge would be "To me".

Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?", the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent.

With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. When the mind that is subtle goes out through the brain and the sense-organs, the gross names and forms appear; when it stays in the heart, the names and forms disappear.

Not letting the mind go out, but retaining it in the Heart is what is called "inwardness".

Letting the mind go out of the Heart is known as "externalisation". Thus, when the mind stays in the Heart, the 'I' which is the source of all thoughts will go, and the Self which ever exists will shine. Whatever one does, one should do without the egoity "I". If one acts in that way, all will appear as of the nature of Consciousness.

Who Am I?
Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharishi



For the real to come into being..

The self must cease through awareness of its own limitations, the falseness of its own existence. However deep, wide and extensive it may become, the self is always limited, and until it is abandoned, the mind can never be free.

The mere perception of that fact is the ending of the self, and only then is it possible for that which is real to come into being.


- J Krishnamurti
Bombay, 3rd public talk, February 23,1955

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It is not light, not darkness

Q: What is this awareness and how can one obtain and cultivate it?

Ramana Maharishi: You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you.
Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is of the not-Self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains, and that is the Self.

Q: If the Self is itself aware, why am I not aware of it even now?

Ramana Maharishi: There is no duality. Your present knowledge is due to the ego and is only relative. Relative knowledge requires a subject and an object, whereas the awareness of the Self is absolute and requires no object.

Remembrance also is similarly relative, requiring an object to be remembered and a subject to remember. When there is no duality, who is to remember whom?

The Self is ever-present. Each one wants to know the Self. What kind of help does one require to know oneself ? People want to see the Self as something new. But it is eternal and remains the same all along. They desire to see it as a blazing light etc. How can it be so? It is not light, not darkness. It is only as it is. It cannot be defined.

The best definition is `I am that I am'. The srutis [scriptures] speak of the Self as being the size of one's thumb, the tip of the hair, an electric spark, vast, subtler than the subtlest, etc. They have no foundation in fact. It is only being, but different from the real and the unreal; it is knowledge, but different from knowledge and ignorance. How can it be defined at all? It is simply being.

Q: When a man realizes the Self, what will he see?

Ramana Maharishi: There is no seeing. Seeing is only being. The state of Self-realization, as we call it, is not attaining something new or reaching some goal which is far away, but simply being that which you always are and which you always have been. All that is needed is that you give up your realization of the not-true as true.

All of us are regarding as real that which is not real. We have only to give up this practice on our part. Then we shall realize the Self as the Self; in other words, `Be the Self'. At one stage you will laugh at yourself for trying to discover the Self which is so self-evident. So, what can we say to this question?

That stage transcends the seer and the seen. There is no seer there to see anything. The seer who is seeing all this now ceases to exist and the Self alone remains.

Sri Ramana Maharishi - Be As You Are


Saturday, March 21, 2009

You are You

Animals are not neurotic because they don't have any ideals, trees are not neurotic because they don't have any ideals. They are not trying to become somebody else.


They are simply enjoying whatever they are.

You are you. But somewhere deep down you want to become a Buddha or a Jesus and then you go around in a circle that will be unending. Just see the point of it - you are you. And the whole, or existence, wants you to be you.

That s why existence has created you, otherwise it would have created a different model. It wanted you to be here at this moment. It did not want Jesus to be here in place of you. And existence knows better. The whole always knows better than the part.

So just accept yourself, If you can accept yourself, you have learned the greatest secret of life, and then everything comes on its own. Just be yourself.

There is no need to pull yourself up; there is no need to be a different height fromm what you are already. There is no need to have another face. Simply be as you are. and in deep acceptance of it, and a flowering will happen and you will go on becoming more and more yourself.

Once you drop the idea of becoming somebody, there is no tension. Suddenly all tension disappears. You are here, luminous in this moment. And there is nothing else to do but to celebrate and enjoy.

- Osho
"For the sunset. We must wait until it is time."
The Little Prince
By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This Life of Ours




To what shall I compare this life of ours?
Even before I can say
It's like a lightning flash
or a dewdrop
It's no more.

Friday, March 20, 2009


"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day"
- Vincent Van Gogh

On Fear

Fear is a negativity, an absence. This has to be understood very, very deeply. If you miss there you will never be able to understand the nature of fear. It is like darkness. Darkness does not exist, it only appears to be. In fact it is just an absence of light. Light exists; remove the light - there is darkness.

Darkness does not exist, you cannot remove darkness. Do whatsoever you want to do, you cannot remove darkness. You cannot bring it, you cannot throw it. If you have to do something with darkness, you will have to do something with light, because only something which has an existence can be related to. Put the light off, darkness is there; put the light on, darkness is not there - but you do something with LIGHT. You cannot do anything with darkness.

Fear is darkness. It is absence of love. You cannot do anything about it, and the more you do, the more you will become fearful because then the more you will find it impossible.

The problem will become more and more complicated. If you fight with darkness you will be defeated. You can bring a sword and try to kill the darkness: you will only be exhausted. And, finally, the mind will think: Darkness is so powerful, that's why I am defeated.

This is where logic goes wrong. It is absolutely logical that if you have been struggling with darkness and you could not defeat it, could not destroy it; it is absolutely logical to come then to the conclusion that darkness is very, very powerful. I am impotent before it. But the reality is just the opposite. You are not impotent, darkness is impotent. In fact darkness is not there - that's why you could not defeat it. How can you defeat something which is not?

Don't fight with the fear otherwise you will become more and more afraid: and a new fear will enter into your being, that is: fear of fear, which is very dangerous. In the first place fear is absence and in the second place the fear of fear is the fear of the absence of absence. Then you go into a madness. You have taken a wrong step.

Fear is nothing but absence of love. Do something with love, forget about fear. If you love well, fear disappears. If you love deeply, fear is not found. Whenever you have been in love with someone, ever for a single moment, was there any fear? It has never been found in any relationship - if even for a single moment two persons are in deep love and a meeting happens, they are tuned to each other, in that moment fear has never been found. Just as if the light is on and darkness has not been found There is the secret key: Love more.

If you feel there is fear in your being - love more. Be courageous in love, take courage. Be adventurous in love, love more, and love unconditionally, because the more you love the less will be the fear. And when I say love I mean all the four layers of love: from sex to samadhi. Love deeply.
- Osho

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Love and Death

I wonder if you have ever known what love is?

Because I think death and love walk together. Death, love, and life are one and the same. But we have divided life, as we have divided the earth. We talk of love as being either carnal or spiritual and have set a battle going between the sacred and the profane.

We have divided what love is from what love should be, so we never know what love is. Love, surely, is a total feeling that is not senti- mental and in which there is no sense of separation.

It is complete purity of feeling without the separative, fragmenting quality of the intellect. Love has no sense of continuity. Where there is a sense of continuity, love is already dead, and it smells of yesterday, with all its ugly memories, quarrels, brutalities. To love, one must die.

-J Krishnamurti

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Accept Life, Thank Life

Junnaid, a Sufi mystic thanked existence everyday for its compassion, its love, its care.

Once, Junnaid was traveling. For three days, he and his disciples went from village to village, but people everywhere were every antagonistic and turning against Junnaid. They thought his teachings were not exactly the teaching of Mohammed. His teachings seemed to be his own. They said, “He is corrupting the people.” So from three villages, they got no food, not even water.

On the third day, they were in really bad shape. His disciples thought, “Now let us see what happens in the prayer. How can he now say to existence, ‘You are compassionate to us. You love us. You care about us. We are grateful to you’?” But when prayer time came, Junnaid prayer a usual. After the prayer, his followers said, “This is too much. For three days, we have suffered hunger and thirst. We are tried, we have not slept and still you are thanking existence and telling it that it takes so much care of us that we are grateful to it!”

Junnaid said, “My prayer does not depend on any condition. Those things are ordinary. Whether I get food, I don’t want to bother existence about it. Such a small thing in such a big universe. If I don’t get water, even if I die, it does not matter. My prayer will remain the same. Because to this vast universe, it makesno difference whether Junnaid is alive or dead.”

This is what I mean when I say, don’t take anything seriously, not even yourself. And then you will see that anger simply has not happened. There is no possibility of anger. Anger is certainly one of the great leakages of your spiritual energy. If you can manage to be playful about your desires, and still be the same whether you succeed or you fail, you will be happy.

Start thinking about yourself at ease – nothing special, not that you are meant to be victorious, not that you have to succeed always in every situation. This is a big world and we are small people. Once this settles into your being, then everything is acceptable. Anger disappears, and the disappearance brings a new surprise, because when anger disappears it leaves behind tremendous energy of compassion, love and friendship.

Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence


Every creative soul -- it does not matter what he creates -- should be respected and honored, so that creativity is honored. But even politicians get Nobel Prizes -- who are nothing but clever criminals.

It does not matter whether you paint, sculpt, or make shoes; whether you are a gardener, a farmer, a fisherman, a carpenter -- it does not matter. What matters is, are you putting your very soul into what you are creating? Then your creative products have something of the quality of divine.
Except creativity, there is nothing divine.

If you want to create, you have to get rid of all conditioning otherwise your creativity will be nothing but copying, it will be just a carbon copy. You can be creative only if you are an individual, you cannot create as a part of the mob psychology. The mob psychology is uncreative; it lives a life of drag, it knows no dance, no song, no joy; it is mechanical.

Of course, there are a few things you will get from the society only if you are mechanical: respectability you will get, honors you will get. Universities will confer D.Litts on you, countries will give you gold medals, you may finally become a Nobel laureate, but this whole thing is ugly.

A real man of genius will discard all this nonsense, because this is bribery. Giving the Nobel prize to a person simply means that your services to the establishment are respected, that you are honored because you have been a good slave, obedient, that you have not gone astray, that you have followed the well-trodden path.

The creator cannot follow the well-trodden path, he has to search out his own way, he has to inquire in the jungles of life, he has to go alone, he has to be a dropout from the mob mind, from the collective psychology. The collective mind is the lowest mind in the world; even the so-called idiots are a little more superior than the collective idiocy.


But the collectivity has its own bribes: it respects people, honors people, if they go on insisting that the way of the collective mind is the only right way. It was out of sheer necessity that in the past, creators of all kinds -- the painters, the dancers, the musicians, the poets, the sculptors -- had to renounce respectability. They had to live a kind of bohemian life, the life of a vagabond; that was the only possibility for them to be creative. This need not be so in the future. If you understand me, if you feel what I am saying has truth in it, then in the future everybody should live individually and there will be no need for a bohemian life. The bohemian life is the by-product of a fixed, orthodox, conventional, respectable life.

My effort is to destroy the collective mind and to make each individual free to be himself or herself.

Then there is no problem; then you can live as you want to live.

In fact, humanity will really only be born the day the individual is respected in his rebellion. Humanity has still not been born; it is still in the womb. What you see as humanity is only a very hocus-pocus phenomenon. Unless we give individual freedom to each person, absolute freedom to each person to be himself, to exist in his own way.... And, of course, he has not to interfere with anybody -- that is part of freedom. Nobody should interfere with anybody.

But in the past everybody has been poking his nose into everybody else's affairs -- even into things which are absolutely private, which have nothing to do with the society.

For example, you fall in love with a woman -- what has that got to do with the society? It is purely a personal phenomenon, it is not of the marketplace. If two persons are agreeing to commune in love, the society should not come into it, but the society comes into it with all its paraphernalia, in direct ways, in indirect ways.

The policeman will stand between the lovers; the magistrate will stand between the lovers; and if that is not enough then the societies have created a super-policeman, God, who will take care of you.
The idea of God is that of a peeping Tom who does not even allow you privacy in your bathroom, who goes on looking through the keyhole, watching what you are doing. This is ugly. All the religions of the world say God continuously watches you -- this is ugly. What kind of God is this? Has he got no other business but to watch everybody, follow everybody? Seems to be the supreme-most detective!

Humanity needs a new soil -- the soil of freedom. Bohemianism was a reaction, a necessary reaction, but if my vision succeeds then there will be no bohemianism because there will be no so-called collective mind trying to dominate people. Then everybody will be at ease with himself. Of course, you have not to interfere with anybody, but as far as your life is concerned you have to live it on your own terms. Then only is there creativity. Creativity is the fragrance of individual freedom.

Osho, Creativity: Unleashing the Forces Within

Silence is all that is needed

Silence is all that is needed.
All things bloom in their own time.
Fighting to make things happen, denying true sensations, whether good or bad,
we are drawn away from our true selves.
How to be authentic when one knows how it may effect others?
friends, lovers, family, community...
all are effected.
so, do i simply move forward without worrying about how they are affected,
or do i only move in a way in which all are blessed?
are these things even compatible?
what to do, what to do....



silence

go inward

Silence

Relax, flow, breathe.

it will all come about as it should.

all it takes is nurturing the inner, the seed.

The seed is internal, buried in the mud, the organic ooze which births life.
When it is in its natural surroundings, it's "zone of evolution", it does not need any intended nurturing.
Rain naturally falls, the sun naturally shines and warms the soil, then the foliage, and life comes into being, and there can be a blooming.

Too many seeds, too many beings have been removed or relocated from their origin of being.
These need to be nurtured, to maybe have some extra water showered on them,
to be carefully placed in the right spot in the garden so that the variation in light comes at least close to mimicking its natural environment.
only then do these transplanted, "internationalized" seeds germinate and grow, only with much nurturing does the growth become noticeable on the outside. Otherwise, the growth is easily retarded. it becomes easy for little carelessness to lead to withering away.
So we must take care & nurture ourselves & all around us in this increasingly virtual world.
Only then will a new flowering occur.
Only then are people drawn to the fragrance, which only comes with the opening of the flower.
How to relate to all of those noses getting so close?

With love & compassion, and the hope that they understand that the flower is not just for them, but to be shared by all.

- Osho