The passage below is extracted from the book by osho titled “awareness” the key to living in balance, insights for a new way of living. I should be thankful to Rajneesh for his beautiful thoughts which I would like to share with the world and especially with my friends on the net.
This poem by Heraclitus says it all about being awake and he says:
Men are as forgetful and heedless
in their waking
of what is going on around them
as they are during their sleep.
Fools, although they hear,
are like the deaf;
to them the adage
that whenever they are present
they are absent.
not act or speak
as if he were asleep.
The waking have one world in
sleepers have each a private world of his own.
Whatever we see
when awake is death,
when asleep, dreams.
Heraclitus touches the deepest problem of man, that he is fast asleep even while awake. You sleep when you sleep, but you also sleep while you are awake.
Even right now you are dreaming within. A thousand and one thoughts continue and you are not conscious of what is happening, you are not aware of what you are doing, you are not aware of who you are. You move as people move in sleep.
Awareness means that whatsoever is happening in the moment is happening with complete consciousness; you are present there. If you are present when anger is happening, anger cannot happen. It can happen only when you are fast asleep. When you are present, immediate transformation starts in your being, because when you are present, aware, many things are simply not possible. All that is called sin is not possible, if you are aware. So, in fact, there is only one sin, and that is unawareness.
You need not change anything, and even if you try to change, you cannot. You have been trying to change many things in you. Have you succeeded? How many times have you decided not to be angry again?
What happened to your decision? When the moment comes, you are again in the same trap: you become angry, and after the anger has gone, again you repent. It has become a vicious circle: you commit anger and then you repent, then you are ready again to commit it.
Remember, even while you are repenting, you are not there; that repentance is also part of sin. That’s why nothing happens. You go on trying and trying, and you make many decisions and you take many vows, but nothing happens – you remain the same. You are exactly the same as when you were born, not even a slight change has happened in you. Not that you have not tried, not that you have not tried enough; you have tried and tried and tried. And you fail because it is not a question of effort. More effort won’t help. It is a question of being alert, not of effort.
If you alert, many things simply drop; you need not drop them. In awareness, certain things are not possible.
You cannot fall in love if you are aware; then falling in love is a sin. You can love, but it will not be like a fall, it will be like a rise. Why do we use the term falling in love? It is a falling; you are falling, you are not rising. When you are aware, falling is not possible – not even in love. It is not possible; it is simply not possible. With awareness, it is impossible; you rise in love. And rising in love is a totally different phenomenon from falling in love. Falling in love is a dream state. That’s why people who are in love, you can see it from their eyes; as if they are more asleep than others, intoxicated, dreaming. You can see from their eyes because their eyes have sleepiness. People who rise in love are totally different. You can see they are no longer in a dream, they are facing the reality and they are growing through it.
Falling in love you remain a child; rising in love you mature. And by and by love becomes not a relationship; it becomes a state of your being. Then it is not that you love this and you don’t love that, no – you simply love. Whosoever comes near you, you share with them. Whatsoever is happening, you give your love to it. You touch a rock and you as if you are touching your beloved’s body. You look at a tree and you look as if you are looking at your beloved’s face. It becomes a state of being. Not that you are in love – now you are love. This is rising, this is not falling.
Love is beautiful when rise through it, and love becomes dirty and ugly when you fall through it. And sooner or later you will find that it proves poisonous, it becomes bondage. You have been caught in it, your freedom has been crushed. Your wings have been cut; now you are free no more. Falling in love you become a possession: you possess and you allow somebody to possess you. You become a thing, and you try to convert the other person you have fallen in love with into a thing.
Look at a husband and a wife: they both have become like things, they are persons no more. Both are trying to possess each other. Only things can be possessed, persons never. How can you possess a person? How can you dominate a person? How can you convert a person into possession? Impossible! But the husband is trying to possess the wife; the wife is trying the same. Then there is a clash, and then they both become basically enemies. Then they are destructive to each other.
Possession … everybody goes on trying to possess the beloved, the lover. This is no longer love. In fact, when you possess a person, you hate, you destroy, you kill; you are a murderer. Love should give freedom; love is freedom. Love will make the beloved more and more free, love will give wings, and love will open the vast sky. It cannot become a prison, an enclosure. But that love you don’t know, because that happens only when you are aware; that quality of love comes only when there is awareness. You know a love that is sin, because it comes out of sleep.
Try understanding exactly what this sleep is, because if you can feel what it is, you have already started to become alert – already you are on the way out of it. What is this sleep? How does it happen? What is the mechanism? What is its modus operandi?
The mind is always either in the past or in the future. It cannot be in the present, it is absolutely impossible for the mind to be in the present. When you are in the present, the mind is there no more – because mind minds thinking. How can you think in the present? You can think about the past, it has already become a part of the memory; the mind can work it out. You can think about the future; it is not yet there, the mind can dream about it. Mind can do two things. Either it can move into the past – there is space enough to move, the vast space of the past; you can go on and on and on – or the mind can move into the future; again vast space, no end to it, you can imagine and dream. But how can mind function in the present? It has no space for the mind to make any movement.
The present is the dividing line, that’s all. It has no space. It divides the past and the future – just a dividing line. You can be in the present but you cannot think; for thinking, space is needed. Thoughts need space, they are just like things, very subtle, and every material things need space.
You cannot be thinking in the present. The moment you start thinking, it is already the past. You see the sun is rising; you see it and you say, “What a beautiful sunrise!” – it is already the past. When the sun is rising, there is not even space enough to say “How beautiful!” because when you utter these two words – “How beautiful!” – the experience has already become past; the mind already knows it in the memory. But exactly when the sun is rising, exactly when the sun is on the rise, how can you think? What can you think? You can be with the rising sun, but you cannot think. For you there is enough space – but not for thoughts.
A beautiful flower in the garden and you say, “A beautiful rose” – now you are not with this rose, this moment; it is already a memory. When the flower is there and you are there, both present to each other, how can you think? What can you think? How is thinking possible? There is no space for it. The space is so narrow – in fact there is no space at all – that you and the flower cannot even exist as two because there is not enough space for two, only one can exist.
That’s why in a deep presence you are the flower and the flower has become you. When there is no thinking, who is the flower and who is the one who is observing? The observer becomes the observed. Suddenly boundaries are lost. Suddenly you have penetrated, penetrated into the flower and flower has penetrated into you. Suddenly you are not two – one exists.
When you are in the present without thinking, you are for the first time spiritual. A new dimension opens – that dimension is awareness. Because you have not known that dimension, Heraclitus will say you are asleep, you are not awake. Awareness means to be in the moment so totally that there is no movement towards the past, no movement towards the future – all movement stops. A new movement starts a movement in depth.
The whole world moves, existence moves, into eternity. Mind moves in time. Existence is moving into the depth and the height, and mind moves backwards and forward. Mind moves horizontally – that is sleep. If you can move vertically, that is awareness.
Be in the moment. Bring your total being into the moment. Don’t allow the past to interfere and don’t allow the future to come in. The past is no more, it is dead. The past is no more, why are you worried about it? Why do you go on chewing it again and again? Are you mad? It is no more; it is just in your mind, it is just a memory. The future is not yet – what are you doing thinking about it? What can you plan about it? Whatsoever you do about it is not going to happen, and then you will be frustrated, because the whole has its own plan. Why do you try to have your own plans against it?
The existence has its own plans, it is wiser than you – the whole has to be wiser than the part. Why are you pretending to be that whole? The whole has its own destiny, its own fulfillment; why do you bother about it? And whatsoever you do will be a sin because you will be missing the moment – this moment.
Yesterday you were thinking about today because then it was tomorrow; now it is today and you are thinking about tomorrow, and when tomorrow comes, it will become today – because anything that exists, exists here and now, it cannot exist otherwise. And if you have a fixed mode of functioning such that your mind always looks at tomorrow, then when will you live? Tomorrow never comes. Then you will go on missing – and this is sin.
The moment the future enters, time enters. You have sinned against existence, you have missed. And this has become a fixed pattern: robot like, you go on missing.
So remember one thing: whenever you realize that you have gone to the past or into the future, don’t create a problem out of it. Simply come to the present, not creating any problem. It’s okay! Simply bring back your awareness.
Whenever you feel you have missed, come back, that’s all. Don’t feel guilty. Because when awareness becomes perfect, this world – this world that you have created out of your mind – simply disappears; another world becomes revealed to you. Maya disappears, the illusion disappears – the illusion is there because of your sleep, your unconsciousness.
It is just like a dream. In the night you move in a dream, and when the dream is there, it is so true. Have you ever thought in a dream, “This is not possible”? The impossible happens in a dream, but you cannot doubt it. In a dream you have such faith; in a dream nobody is skeptical, not even a Bertrand Russell. No, in a dream everybody is like a child, trusting whatsoever happens. You see your wife coming in a dream – suddenly she becomes a horse. Not for a single moment do you say, “How can this be possible?”
Dream is trust, it is faith. You can not doubt in a dream. Once you start doubting in a dream the rules are broken. Once you doubt, the dream starts disappearing. If even once you can remember that this is a dream, suddenly this will become a shock and the dream will shatter and you will be fully awake.
This world that you see around you is not the real world. Not that it doesn’t exist – it exists – but you are seeing it through a screen of sleep.
You are taking the whole existence as a screen, and then you project your own mind on it. You see things that are not there, and you don’t see things that are there. And the mind has explanations for everything. If you raise a doubt, the mind explains. It creates theories, philosophies, and systems, just to feel comfortable that nothing is wrong. All philosophies exist to make life convenient, so that everything looks okay, nothing is wrong – but everything is wrong while you sleep.
Once you have known awareness, nothing is worth it – you have known the greatest bliss of life