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Chapter 5: From Nothing to Nothing

You must have seen a photograph of Rodin’s statue, The Thinker. In the East we laugh about the statue.so anxiety-ridden! Rodin’s Thinker.you can see his head even in the marble statue, you can feel his anxiety; that is Rodin’s art. You can think of how Aristotle would have been, or Bertrand Russell, or Friedrich Nietzsche - and there is no surprise if Nietzsche goes mad. The way it is, this statue of Rodin is bound to go mad one day: thinking, thinking, thinking..

In the East we have not bothered much about thinkers, we have loved the non-thinkers. Buddha is a non-thinker, so is Mahavira, so is Saraha; these are non-thinkers. Even if they do think they think only to move towards non-thinking. They use thinking as a jumping board for non-thinking.

The bridge from memory to non-memory is “awareness one”; it is awareness of the object. From non-memory to unorigination you will need a second awareness: that’s what Gurdjieff calls “self-remembering.” Krishnamurti’s work is totally based on “awareness one”; Gurdjieff’s work is totally based on “awareness two.” With awareness one you look at the object, at the thought. You become attentive to the object. With “awareness two” you become doubly attentive - to the object and the subject both. Your arrow of consciousness is doubleheaded. On the one side you have to become aware of the thought, and on the other side you have to become aware of the thinker: the object, subjectivity - both have to be in the light of awareness. Gurdjieff’s work goes deeper than Krishnamurti’s. He calls it “self-remembering.”

A thought is moving in your mind - for example a cloud of anger is moving. You can watch the cloud of anger without watching the watcher, then this is “awareness one.” If you watch the cloud and at the same time you continuously remember who is watching - “I am watching” - then this is “awareness two”: what Gurdjieff calls “self-remembering.”

From memory to non-memory awareness one will be helpful. But from non-memory you can very easily fall back again into memory, because mind only goes to sleep. With the first awareness you simply tranquilize the mind, you drug the mind; the mind goes into sleep. It is a great rest and a good beginning, but not the end; necessary, but not enough.

With the second awareness, the mind falls into unorigination, anutpanna: Now it will be very difficult to bring it back. You can bring it back, but it will not come on its own. It is not impossible to bring it back, but it is not easy.

With Gurdjieff the work goes still deeper. And Tantra says that there is a third awareness: “awareness three.” What is this “awareness three”? When you forget about the object and you forget about the subject and there is just pure awareness. You are not focused on anything - just a hovering pure awareness, not attentive about anything, just attentive, unfocused, unconcentrated. With the first you are concentrated on the object. With the second you are concentrated on the object and the subject too. With the third you drop all concentration, you are simply alert. This third leads you to the state of no-mind.

Now the sutras: