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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 12
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Chapter 8: Born Enlightened

The first question:

Osho,
What is innocence and what is the way to become innocent?

Innocence is your very nature. You do not have to become it, you are already it. You are born innocent. Then layers and layers of conditioning are imposed upon your innocence. Your innocence is like a mirror and conditioning is like layers of dust. The mirror has not to be achieved, the mirror is already there - or rather, here. The mirror is not lost, it is only hidden behind the layers of dust.

You don’t have to follow a way to reach your nature because you cannot leave your nature, you cannot go anywhere else. Even if you wanted to, it is impossible. That’s exactly the definition of nature: nature means that which cannot be left behind, that which cannot be renounced. But you can forget about it. You cannot lose it but it can be forgotten.

And that’s exactly what has happened. The mirror is not lost but forgotten - forgotten because it is not functioning anymore as a mirror. Not that any defect has arisen in it, just layers of dust are covering it. All that is needed is to clean it, to remove those layers of dust.

The process of becoming innocent is not really a process of becoming, it is a process of discovering your being. It is a discovery, not an achievement. You don’t attain to something new, you simply attain to that which you have always been. It is a forgotten language.

It happens many times: you see a person on the road, you recognize him, his face seems familiar. Suddenly you remember also that you know his name. You say, “It is just on the tip of my tongue,” but still it is not coming to you. What is happening? If it is just on the tip of your tongue, then why can’t you say it? You know that you know it, but still you are not able to remember it. And the more you try, the more difficult it becomes, because making an effort makes you more tense, and when you are tense you are farther away from your nature, you are farther away from that which is already there. When you are relaxed you are closer; when you are utterly relaxed, it will surface of its own accord.

So you try hard, but it doesn’t come, so you forget all about it. Then lying down in your bath, or just swimming in the pool, and you are not even trying to remember that man’s name when suddenly it bubbles up. What has happened? You were not trying to remember, and you were relaxed. When you are relaxed you are wide, when you are tense you become narrow - the more tense, the more narrow. The passage between you and that which is inside you becomes so narrow that nothing can pass through it, not even a single name.

All the great scientific discoveries have been made in this very mysterious way - in this very unscientific way, so to speak.

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