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Chapter 17: Several Stop Techniques

There are many who are trying to be inactive. They sit in a Buddha posture and they try to be inactive. But how can you try to be inactive? The very effort is again an activity. So you can convert inactivity also into activity. You can force yourself to be quiet, still, but that forcing is an activity of the mind. That is why so many try to go into meditation but never reach anywhere - because their meditation is again an activity. They can change. If you were singing an ordinary song, you can now change to a bhajan, to a devotional song. You can sing slow now, but both are activities. You are running, you are walking, you are reading - these are activities. You can pray - that too is an activity. You move from one activity to another.

And with the last thing in the night, when you are falling into sleep, you are still active; the activity has not stopped. That is why dreams happen, because the activity goes on. You have fallen asleep, but the activity continues. In the subconscious you are still active - doing things, possessing things, losing things, moving. Dreaming means you have fallen asleep because of exertion, but the activity is still there continuously.

Only sometimes, for a few moments - and these have become more and more rare for the modern man - only for a few moments dreaming stops and you are totally asleep. But then that inactivity is unconscious. You are not conscious, you are fast asleep. The activity has ceased; now there is no circumference, now you are at the center - but totally exhausted, totally dead, unconscious.

That is why Hindus have always been saying that sushupti - dreamless sleep - and samadhi - the ultimate ecstasy - are similar, the same, with only one difference. But the difference is great: the difference is of awareness. In sushupti, in dreamless sleep, you are at the center of your being - but unaware. In samadhi, in the ultimate ecstasy, in the ultimate state of meditation, also you are at the center - but aware. That is the difference, but it is a great difference, because if you are unaware, even if you are at the center it is meaningless. It refreshes you, it makes you more alive again, it gives you vitality - in the morning you feel fresh and blissful - but if you are unaware, even if you are at the center your life remains the same.

In samadhi you enter yourself fully conscious, fully alert. And once you are at the center fully alert, you will never be the same again. Now you will know who you are. Now you will know that your possessions, your actions are just on the periphery; they are just the ripples, not your nature.

The mechanism of these techniques of stopping is to throw you suddenly into inactivity. The point must come suddenly, because if you try to be inactive you will turn it into activity. So do not try, and suddenly be inactive. That is the meaning of “Stop!” You are running and I say, “Stop!” Do not try, just stop! If you try, you will miss the point. For example, you are sitting here. If I say stop, then stop immediately then and there; not a single moment is to be missed. If you try and adjust, and you settle down and then say, “Okay, now I will stop,” you have missed the point. Suddenly is the base, so do not make any effort to stop - just stop!

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