The perfect drug

«People who live in the valleys need drugs; people who live in the peaks don’t need them.»

– Osho

In his early days as Acharya Rajneesh, a correspondent once asked Osho for his “Ten Commandments”. In reply, Osho noted that it was a difficult matter because he was against any kind of commandment but, “just for fun”, set out the following:

  1. Never obey anyone’s command unless it is coming from within you also.
  2. There is no God other than life itself.
  3. Truth is within you, do not search for it elsewhere.
  4. Love is prayer.
  5. To become a nothingness is the door to truth. Nothingness itself is the means, the goal and attainment.
  6. Life is now and here.
  7. Live wakefully.
  8. Do not swim – float.
  9. Die each moment so that you can be new each moment.
  10. Do not search. That which is, is. Stop and see.

Osho about his talks:

“How to give people a taste of meditation was my basic reason to speak, so I can go on speaking eternally — it does not matter what I am saying. All that matters is that I give you a few chances to be silent, which you find difficult on your own in the beginning.”
“These discourses are the foundations of your meditation.”
“I am making you aware of silences without any effort on your part. My speaking is for the first time being used as a strategy to create silence in you.”
“These discourses are the foundations of your meditation. Sitting with me in these discourses is nothing but creating more and more meditativeness in you. I don’t speak to teach something; I speak to create something. These are not lectures; these are simply a device for you to become silent, because if you are told to become silent without making any effort you will find great difficulty.”
“I don’t have any doctrine; my talking is really a process of dehypnosis. Just listening to me, slowly, slowly you will be free of all the programs that the society has forced you to believe in.”
“These questions and answers are really just a game to help you to get rid of words, thoughts.”
“These are not ordinary discourses or talks. I am not interested in any philosophy or any political ideology. I am interested directly in transforming you.”
“I have been a teacher of philosophy for nine years, and finding that there was nothing except words, I entered into the world of mysticism. There I have found what was missing in all the philosophies, in all the logical treatises. But now it is impossible to say it. Still I speak. I have been speaking for thirty years continuously – round and round, hoping that somebody may get caught into the net of words and may be pulled out of the misery in which he is drowning. The words can do that much. They can pull you out of your logical world, your linguistic world, your world of philosophies. That too is great. Half the work is done, the remaining can be done by meditation.”
“I am not a master orator. I have never learned oratory. I just know how to communicate simply, straightforwardly, with human beings. I am simply talking to you. I am not an orator. Orators are politicians; orators are missionaries. I am not a missionary; I am not trying to convince anything; I am not trying to attract voters to me. I am simply talking to you. And I know that if you can talk heart to heart, it reaches to the deepest core of human beings. But I am not an orator.
The real question is not the understanding, but to become silent. Hearing is not the point, becoming silent is the point. So many times what happens is that what you have understood becomes a barrier, and it is good to listen to something that you do not understand at all; then thinking cannot interfere. When something is not understood there is no way for thoughts to move; they simply stop.”
“So when I say “listen” I am not saying “be attentive” – because in attention there is tension. The very word is out of “tension” – “attention” means “at tension.” Your mind is narrowed. When I say “listen,” I mean be relaxed, open; become a sponge. Soak it up. Let it sink into you. Listen to me as you listen to the birds singing in the trees or to the sound of running water. There is no meaning in it. Or, listen to me as you listen to music. Music has no intellectual meaning. You listen to it – you simply drink it, you let it in, you allow it into your very innermost core. And you enjoy it. If somebody later on asks if you remember what music you have heard, you will not be able to say anything. You will say, “I enjoyed it, it was beautiful, it was something that thrilled me to the very core. I was refreshed through it. I became more alive through it, I felt a sudden joy bursting in my heart.” But these are the impacts that happen to you: there is nothing to say about the music. Listen to me as you do to music.
So don’t be worried. If you forget, good. I am not saying these things to be remembered. I am not here to make you knowledgeable, professional pundits, no. I am not here to give you a memory training. But an upsurge of understanding can happen. You can respond. To whatsoever I am saying you can respond, you can vibrate with it. And that will be real hearing. That is the first step.”
The art of listening is based on silence in the mind, so that the mind does not interfere, it simply allows whatever is coming to you. I am not saying you have to agree with it. Listening does not mean that you have to agree with it, neither does it mean that you have to disagree with it. The art of listening is just pure listening, factual, undistorted. And once you have listened then comes the point whether you agree or not, but the first thing is to listen.”

One has to learn very earnestly the art of listening. It is a difficult art, and the greatest difficulty is that everybody thinks he knows it. Just because you can hear, you think you can also listen. And these are two differing things, so different that unless you start listening you will never know the difference.”

“I am speaking to you and I am fully aware from where these words are coming they are coming from my nothingness. I don’t find any other place from where they are coming. Nothingness is not nothing. Nothingness is all. And to recognize nothingness as all, as an experience, is the only way to find your unity with the universe.”
“I have to start with your language, and slowly slowly, you will start learning my language. I am bilingual and I will make you also bilingual. There are two languages: the language of words and the language of silence. Right now I have to use the language of words to translate the poetry of silence, the music of silence. Later on, when you have developed a little meditativeness, you will be able to understand the poetry of silence.”
“I am a drunkard. You may believe it or not, but I am a drunkard. (…)Religion is a sort of intoxication. This has to be understood because without a deep intoxication, your life will never have any meaning. It will remain superficial prose and will never become a poem. You will walk but you will never be able to dance, and unless you dance you have missed. Unless you dance with such abundance, with such forgetfulness that you disappear in it, that the dancer is lost and only the dance remains… only then. And only then will you be able to know what life is.
I remember:
Once Alexander the Great asked Diogenes, “You are so learned, you know so much. Can’t you tell me something about God, what God is?”
Diogenes waited for a moment and then said, “Give me one day’s time.”
Alexander came the next day but again Diogenes said, “Give me two days’ time.” And it happened again, and he said, “Give me three days’ time,” and then four days and then five days, and then six days and the whole week was gone.
Alexander was annoyed and said, “What do you mean? If you don’t know the answer you should have told me before. If you know, then what is the explanation for the delay?”
Diogenes said, “That moment you asked me, I thought that I knew. But the more I tried to catch hold of it, the more it became elusive. The more I thought about it, the farther away it was. Right now, I don’t know anything, and the only thing I can say to you,” said Diogenes, “is that those who think they know God, they know not.”

Religion is a complicated joke. If you don’t laugh at all you have missed the point; if you only laugh you have missed the point again. It is a very complicated joke. And the whole of life is a great cosmic joke. It is not a serious phenomenon — take it seriously and you will go on missing it. It is understood only through laughter.

Have you not observed that man is the only animal who laughs? Aristotle says man is the rational animal. That may not be true – because ants are very rational and bees are very rational. In fact, compared to ants, man looks almost irrational. And a computer is very rational – compared to a computer, man is very irrational.

My definition of man is that man is the laughing animal. No computer laughs, no ant laughs, no bee laughs. If you come across a dog laughing you will be so scared! Or a buffalo suddenly laughs: you may have a heart attack. It is only man who can laugh, it is the highest peak of growth.

And it is through laughter that you will reach to God – because it is only through the highest that is in you that you can reach the ultimate. Laughter has to become the bridge. Laugh your way to God. I don’t say pray your way to God, I say laugh your way to God. If you can laugh you will be able to love. If you can laugh you will be able to relax. Laughter relaxes like nothing else. So all jokes to me are prayers – that’s why I tell them.”

«I’m against all fictions»


Osho é, para mim, uma espécie de Frei Tomás: “Faz o que ele diz, não faças o que ele faz”. Os seus pensamentos e palavras são zen, mas as acções mantiveram-se teológicas.

As normas de conduta, a detecção de metais, o “snif test”, a condução do satsang a partir de um palco, a disciplina dietética e higiénica, a redoma de ar condicionado, o imobilismo auto-imposto, os caprichos luxuosos (que, mais não seja, pecam por serem simbólicos), as técnicas e os ambientes artificiais de meditação e de iniciação (tudo isso tresanda a “fake”) – são directivas de um pequeno ditador vaidoso consigo próprio.

Em suma, Osho não combateu o bastante a primeira das ficções, a primeira das teologias, aquela que dá origem a todas as outras: a mitomania, o culto pessoal. Um anarquista espiritual como Chuang Tsé faz Osho parecer ortodoxo e conservador.

Não obstante, Osho foi um pensador inteligente e um sintetizador de múltiplas referências que merece ser lido.


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