Loose Change

The Immediate is the Ultimate – Osho

Posted in Osho, Spirituality by Raj on 05/22/2010

This is the first of a series of posts I plan to republish from my old posts that have gradually gotten relegated to obscurity over time. This post was originally published by me on Nov 3, 2008. It is an excerpt from the book The Wild Geese and the Water. In it, Osho addresses a question by one of the sannyasins who is not feeling very alive or excited about his life (something we can all identify with at one point or another). As always, Osho’s answer is simple and yet penetrating. Also, as always, Osho’s suggestions are harder to apply in practice than it seems (not because they are hard by nature but because our conditioning makes us resist them).


Are you a Jew or something? The question is very Jewish.
What do you want? How much interest?

Little Moishe asked his father,”Father, how do you say ’one hundred percent profit’ in Yiddish?”
”It is Yiddish, my boy,” the father replies.
Hundred percent profit – it is Yiddish!

Moishe fell overboard and was eaten by a shark. In an endeavor to beat the shark off while Moishe was rescued, the passengers had pelted it with oranges, boxes and anything they could lay hands on. The cook in the galley waited until the shark was near, and hurled a kitchen table at it. The shark was stunned and was eventually killed.
When it was drawn aboard, there was an instant clamor for souvenirs, so the shark was cut open. Inside, Moishe was discovered – he had set up shop on the kitchen table and was selling oranges at cut prices!

Has it to be meaningful? Why you are expecting it to be meaningful? That very expectation is creating trouble. There is no meaning. In fact, because there is no meaning, joy is possible. Because there is no meaning, playfulness is possible. Because there is no meaning, dance is possible. Listen to the birds – do you think there is any meaning? There is no meaning! But why there should be? See to the trees, the flowers, the stars – is there any meaning? But why there should be?

Once Picasso was doing his painting.  A friend came to see him. He watched for a while and then
said, ”But I don’t see any meaning in the painting.” Picasso took him into the garden, showed him a rosebush with beautiful flowers, and said, ”Do you see any meaning in these roses? If the roses have no obligation to be meaningful, why should my paintings be meaningful? I am enjoying painting them. If somebody can enjoy seeing them, good; if nobody enjoys, that is their business. But I have enjoyed just doing my painting – splashing color – I have enjoyed!”

A distant call of the cuckoo and do you see the beauty of it? But you never ask about the meaning, what she is saying. She’s not saying anything. It is just glossolalia; she’s just enjoying, an outburst of joy.

Children running hither and thither, so excited, do you think there is any meaning? Do you think they have found a treasure? Do you think they have found diamonds? Nothing much, maybe just colored stones or a dead butterfly, or maybe they have collected few old leaves, seashells on the sea beach… but they are so immensely blissful.

Blissfulness need not be rooted in meaningfulness. In fact, the very idea of meaning destroys bliss.
Once you start looking for meaning you become a calculator, you become a mind. You lose your being. Then you will be in tremendous trouble, because everything will only make you ask again. For example, ”Why God created the world? What is the meaning?” Even if some fool can supply you the answer… And there have been very foolish theologians who have been supplying all kinds of answers, because whenever there is a demand there is going to be supply. When fools ask, foolosophers answer.

But any meaning that can be given – that God created the world because of this… Hindus say he created the world because he was feeling lonely. Seems to be meaningful. You can understand it: when you are feeling lonely you start doing something – reading the same newspaper which you have read thrice before, or fixing the radio which is perfectly right. You have to do something, otherwise you start feeling meaningless.
So, God was feeling meaningless, lonely, he started creating the world. But the question is: why only at a certain moment he started creating the world? What he has been doing before? Christians say he created the world exactly four thousand four years before Jesus Christ. Of course it must have been a Monday he started; the week starts on Monday. But the question is, four thousand four years before Jesus Christ – that makes only six thousand years… and what he had been doing for the whole eternity? Just vegetating? And if he could manage for the whole eternity, he should have managed for six thousand years more, because six thousand years are not much compared to eternity. Not even six moments…
And if he had to create a world, he had to create this world? Maybe he was feeling lonely, but why so many people have to suffer for that? Let him feel lonely; he can commit suicide. But why so many people should suffer? And how he is feeling now? Very great? Because since then he has not been seen at all. They say since he created the woman, he escaped, he renounced the world. Must have become afraid. That was his last creation. First he created man, then he created the woman, and since then nothing has been known about him. Maybe doing some austerities because he has committed such a sin…!

Subhuti has informed me that the Polack pope in the Philippines has met Cardinal Sin – that is the archpriest of Philippines – Cardinal Sin. Such a great meeting!
He must be doing penance, fasting, standing on his head, yoga postures, somehow to get rid of the karma that he has done when he created the world. But can’t he uncreate it? Can’t he say,”Lo and behold! This is the end!” Just as he said in the beginning,”Let there be light!” – and there was light.
Can’t he say,”Let there be darkness!” – and there is darkness.
Has he gone dumb? He must have been dumb from the very beginning, otherwise why he should create this world? – Such misery, such suffering that everybody is trying to get rid of misery.

Even Devagyan feels there is no juice, no zest. What kind of world he has created? – No juice, no zest. He should have learned something from Zorba the Greek – a little zest, a little juice. He should have learned a little laughter before he created the world. He created with such seriousness. That is the only thing wrong with God – he is too serious.

Neither have I got. But I don’t see that there is any problem; I am enjoying it! In fact, since I lost all interest in everything, I have been in immense joy. Now each moment is just a joke. Then the whole thing is so ridiculous, I can even joke about God without any fear, because there is no problem.
One thing is certain: if ever I meet God I am going to hit him hard on the head, that “You son-of-a-bitch, why you created the world? And particularly why you created Devagyan? No zest, no juice… nothing excites him.”

Nothing excites me either. Nothing provokes him. Nothing provokes me either. Nothing challenges him.  You are almost close to enlightenment, Devagyan. That’s how one becomes enlightened. When there is nothing to do, what else? Then one thinks,”Let me be enlightened now. No zest, no juice, no excitement, no provocation, no challenge… why not be enlightened now?”
That’s how it happened to me, one day when I saw that there is nothing else left. So I said,”It is good now. Everything is finished; all is done, so I can be enlightened, at ease.” And since then I have remained enlightened, because nothing has happened to change my idea.

Life is meaningless, but that’s why it can be enjoyed. If you start asking for meaning you are asking for trouble. Then kissing your woman, first you will brood,”What is the meaning of kissing?” There is no meaning.
There are many aboriginal tribes which have never kissed – they rub their noses. It looks foolish to you – kissing looks foolish to them. And my feeling is they are more hygienic, rubbing noses is more hygienic. Kissing each other’s lips is really dangerous. And avoid French kisses absolutely! Exploring each other’s mouth through your tongue – absolutely meaningless. You won’t find anything, believe me! Unnecessary trouble… You may get few diseases it is simply an exchange of many germs, millions of germs. I think they say one million germs in a single kiss are exchanged.
If people have lived for centuries without kissing, why can’t you? If there was any meaning they would have discovered it. If you have lived without rubbing noses… if there was any meaning you would have discovered it. In fact, there is no meaning. Meaning is only a mind desire.

What is the meaning of anything? If you start asking that, naturally you will lose all juice, all zest. In the morning when you wake up ask the question,”Why should I get up? What is the meaning of it all? And I have been getting up every day for thirty, forty, sixty years – what is the point of it all?”
Every day you get up and nothing happens. And again you have to go to bed. When you have to go to bed again, why not remain in it? You will lose all zest, all juice. Ask everything that you do: Why should I do it? What is the meaning of it?
For twenty-four hours, Devagyan, you do this. And, naturally, the only thing that will be left for you to do will be to commit suicide. But remember, you have to ask the same question again: Why? Why should I commit suicide? What is the meaning of it? – that will save you.

If you ask stupid questions you will destroy your own life. What I am trying to point is that the whole question of meaning is stupid. Enjoy, love, sing, dance! There is no meaning, so why not enjoy? If there was meaning, that means there would have been some kind of mechanical life.
Machines have meaning. The car has a meaning – it transports you from one place to another. The food has meaning, the house has meaning – it protects you from sun and rain – the clothes have meaning; but life has no meaning. That’s why life is freedom. Meaning will become a bondage, an imprisonment. Only machines have meaning, man cannot have meaning.
But that freedom… Once you drop that nonsensical idea of meaning, you will feel immense freedom.
And in that freedom there will be juice and zest.

So enough! You have done enough, now try my way. You have tried your way, try my way. Forget all about meaning, start living meaninglessly. Do all kinds of meaningless things, and see what happens. You will become immediately alive, immensely alive, because life has no meaning. So the moment you drop meaning, mind disappears and life possesses you.

It is not that nothing fulfills you: it is because of your ”why” that creates trouble, that has created trouble for millions of people. In fact, all the so-called religions have been doing this stupidity that you are doing. Why? – they go on asking.

There is a beautiful story by Turgenev:
In a village there was a poor man who was thought to be an idiot. The whole village laughed at him.
Even if he will say something very serious they will laugh, they will find something idiotic in it. It was
a determined thing that that idiot cannot say anything meaningful.
The idiot was getting tired of it.
A mystic was passing by. The idiot went to the mystic, fell into his feet and said,”Save me! The whole village thinks I am an idiot! How should I get rid of this idea that surrounds me? And everybody goes on and on hammering the same idea on me.”
The mystic said, ”It is very simple. You do one thing: for seven days don’t make any statement on your own part, so nobody will say that, ’This is idiotic.’ Instead you start asking ’Why?’ to others – whatsoever they say. Somebody says, ’Look, the rose flower is so beautiful.’ Ask ’Why? Prove!
How can you prove that this rose flower is beautiful? What grounds you have got?’ And that will make him feel foolish, because nobody can prove. Somebody says, ’Tonight is beautiful, the full moon…’ Immediately ask – don’t miss any opportunity – ’Why? What grounds you have got?’ Seven days don’t make any statement so anybody can ask you why. You simply wait for others to make a statement. And ask. Somebody says, ’Shakespeare is a great poet.’ Ask ’Why? What grounds you have got? It is all nonsense that he has written, all meaningless, gibberish. I don’t see any beauty, any poetry in it.’”
Seven days the idiot did the same thing. The whole village was very much puzzled. He made everybody feel idiotic. Naturally, they all started thinking he has become wise. After seven days he came to the mystic, immensely happy. He said, ”It was a great trick. I was not thinking that much is going to happen out of it, but now the whole village worships me.”
The mystic said, ”You continue it. They will worship you, because there are things… In fact, anything
that is really significant is meaningless.”
In dictionaries ”significance” and ”meaning” are synonymous, but in existence they are not synonymous, they are antonyms. Meaning is of the mind, and significance is a natural phenomenon.
It cannot be proved, it can only be felt – it is a heart thing. When you feel that the rose is beautiful, it is not a head thing, so you cannot prove it. When you say, ”This woman is beautiful,” you cannot prove it; ”This man is beautiful,” you cannot prove it.
Because you cannot prove it, it is not of the mind, it is a feeling – your heart starts throbbing faster.
One very famous actress, Sarah Bernhardt, became old. And she started living on a fourth floor. In those days there were no lifts, so people had to go to see her, meet her, through a long staircase – four floors they had to… By the time they will reach they were huffing and puffing.
A friend came to see her and asked, ”What is the point? Why you live on the fourth floor? Can’t you live on the ground floor? So many people come to see you and this is unnecessary torture. And on the ground floor there is an apartment available – I can manage for you immediately.”
She said, ”No, that I cannot do, for two reasons: one, on the fourth floor…” fourth floor was the last – in those days fourth floor used to be the highest… She said,”There are two reasons. One is: living on the fourth floor only God is above me, nobody above me. Secondly, now I am no more young and I love people huffing and puffing. When I was young they used to huff and puff just seeing me; now these four staircases do the work. I don’t want to see anybody unaffected. When they come perspiring and their hearts beating faster, I still feel the old thrill.”
When your heart feels thrilled, it is a totally different dimension, it is the dimension of significance.
Devagyan, if you can drop your search for meaning, you will, be immensely showered by thousand and one significant experiences. But if you look for meaning, you will lose all significance and you will never find meaning.
Mind is the most impotent thing in the world. It can make machines, it can create technology, it can do much scientific work, but it cannot create poetry, it cannot create love, it cannot give you significance. That is not the work of the mind. For that a totally different center exists in you – the heart and the opening of the heart. When the heart lotus opens the whole life is significant, but I will not say it is meaningful. Remember the difference.
I don’t teach you meaning, I teach you significance.

That is the best way to kill joy forever. Trying to be joyful?

These are the surest poisons to kill all feeling.

In the very effort you have accepted that you are dead, that you are not interested, that you are not excited, that you are not feeling, that you are only pretending. Trying to be joyful simply means you know perfectly well that you are sad. Now you may be able to deceive others – how can you deceive yourself? You are trying to be joyful. You know perfectly well that you are sad. And each time you try, you are emphasizing your sadness. Each time you try to feel, you are going farther away from feeling. Each time you try to be excited, it is bogus. And you are becoming hypnotized by your repetition of being interested and alive.
This is a very suicidal course that you have chosen. If you are sad, be sad. Nothing is wrong in being sad. Be really sad, enjoy it! Sadness has its own beauty, sadness has its own silence, sadness has its own depth. And if you can really be sad, sooner or later you will have to come out of it. But that will not be a pretension, you will simply come out of it.
In my childhood I used to love swimming, and my village river becomes very dangerous in rainy season, it becomes flooded. It is a hilly river; so much water comes to it, it becomes almost oceanic. And it has few dangerous spots where many people have died. Those few dangerous spots are whirlpools, and if you are caught in a whirlpool it sucks you. It goes on sucking you deeper and deeper. And, of course, you try to get out of it, and the whirlpool is powerful. You fight, but your energy is not enough. And by fighting you become very much exhausted, and the whirlpool kills you.
I found a small strategy, and that strategy was that – everybody was surprised – that I will jump in the whirlpool and come out of it without any trouble. The strategy was not to fight with the whirlpool, go with it. In fact, go faster than it sucks you so you are not tired, you are simply diving in it. And you are going so fast that there is no struggle between you and the whirlpool.
And the whirlpool is bigger on the surface, then it becomes smaller and smaller and smaller. It is difficult to get unless it is very small. At the very end, rock bottom, it is so small you are simply out of it. You need not try to get out of it, you are simply out of it. I learned my art of let-go through those whirlpools. I am indebted to my river.
And then I tried that let-go in every situation of my life. If there was sadness I simply dived in it, and
I was surprised to know that it works. If you dive deep into it, soon you are out of it and refreshed, not tired, because you were not fighting with it, because you were not pretending, so there was no question of fighting. You accepted it totally, full-heartedly. And when you totally accept something, in that very acceptance you have transformed its character.

Nobody accepts sadness, hence sadness remains sadness. Accept it and see. In that very acceptance you have transformed its quality. You have brought a new element into it, that of acceptance, which is extraordinary. And in accepting it you start seeing its beauties. It has few beautiful aspects. No laughter can have depth, as much depth as sadness. No joy can be so silent as sadness.

So why not enjoy those aspects of sadness which sadness makes available to you, rather than fighting with it, rather than pretending the opposite. And remember one fundamental law – AIS DHAMMO SANANTANO, Buddha says, this is the law of life – that nothing remains the same for long. You just enjoy while there is sadness, and nothing remains the same for long.
Heraclitus says, ”You cannot step in the same river twice, the river is so fast-moving.  Life is moving like a river. So why be worried? – if sadness is there. enjoy it while it is there. And soon it will be gone. And if you enjoy it to the very core of it, it will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated, and then there will be joy.
And that joy will be natural and spontaneous.

You say: I AM TIRED.
You are bound to be tired because you have been fighting. Relax, let go and all tiredness will be gone. You are using a wrong language. You are fighting with existence. Rather being part of it rather than welcoming its gifts – whatsoever those gifts are… Sometimes it is sadness, sometimes it is joy, sometimes it is dark, sometimes it is light, sometimes it is winter and sometimes it is summer. Enjoy all the seasons! All those seasons are needed; the sun is needed, the rain is needed. The wind is needed, the darkness is needed, the light is needed. In fact, everything that exists has its place in life. Use it, and you will not feel tired, you will feel overfull of energy. You will feel a dance of energy within you.
But you will have to change your whole approach towards life. What I have told to you is exactly my definition of sannyas.

~ From The Wild Geese and the Water


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