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Chapter 16: This Moment: The Golden Key

The president of India said in a speech recently, “There is so much evil around here, and Osho went to America. Why?” I find it disappointing that the president of India should miss your presence in that country now, but would not listen to your advice when you were sharing your vision for thirty years before coming to America. And even now it is not too late. Please comment.

Man is a strange animal.

It worships the dead. It misses the past.

It feels absence, it does not feel presence, because it does not live in the present. “Now” is only a word for man, it is not an experience. Past has experience, future exists - but the present man goes on passing through it almost asleep.

The past has been, the future will be; both are no more. One is dead, another is not born yet. And this is the strange quality of human beings: that that which is, they don’t take any note of. The present, which is the only existential moment, is nonexistent for the human mind.

You have to see. Mind is divided in two parts: one is the past, which is no more, and the other is the future, which is not yet. This is your whole mind. Mind knows nothing of the present. And the strangeness becomes more mysterious because existence only knows the present. That which is gone is gone forever, without any trace. And that which has not come yet, for existence means nothing.

All our philosophers have been dividing time into three tenses: past, present, future. That division is wrong. Past and future are divisions of the mind, and present is the only time there is.

Time is always present. Mind is never present. That’s why the basic necessity for anybody to be transformed is to shift himself from mind to time. As the past disappears, as the future is no longer important, what is left? This moment.

But in all the languages of the world, throughout history, these three tenses have been thought to be part of time. This is a great confusion. Two belong to mind - both are nonexistential - and one belongs to reality. But about the real there are difficulties which have to be understood.

First, the real, the existential, is a very atomic, small moment. Unless you are alert, very alert, you are going to miss it. You have to be absolutely herenow, focusing yourself; then only will you be able to see the atomic present. Once you have become aware of the present, then you have the golden key which opens the doors of eternity.

Because we miss the present, that’s why we miss our contemporaries.

The dead are worshipped, the living are crucified.

The living are never accepted as saints. The first qualification to be a saint is to be dead. Once you are dead you are no longer a problem to people, a trouble to people. You are no longer a competitor. And that’s why all over the world, nobody says anything bad about the dead. Not that they were all saints, but to speak badly of the dead seems simply meaningless.

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