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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   I Am the Gate
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Chapter 1: I Am Consciousness, I Am Freedom

Osho,
I wish your forgiveness for the presumptuous nature of some of these very personal questions. I am only asking because I feel these are questions that burn in the hearts of many people.
Who are you? Why have you come into the world? What is your work here, and how will your work be accomplished?

It makes no difference whether the questions are personal or not because to me the person does not exist. You cannot ask a personal question because there is no one to be related to as a person. In fact, whenever a personal question is asked.. It is not a presumption to ask a personal question, but to presume that a person is present. The person is non-existent, is a non-entity. In fact, there is no person, or there is only one person. Only the whole can be said to have a personality, because only the whole can have a center. We have no center at all.

This center is non-existent, but we assume a center. The center is hypothetical, illusory. But we feel that without a center a life will not be possible. This assumed center is the ego.

You may think that the question is personal. But nothing can be asked which is personal, or which can be personal. As far as the question is arrowed toward me, it is arrowed toward a non-entity. As far as I am concerned, I do not feel to be a person at all. The deeper one goes the less one is. And once someone reaches to the ultimate core of himself, there is no self at all.

Secondly, you ask who I am; but I say, “I am not.” I always ask seekers to ask, “Who am I?” not in order that they will come to know who they are, but only in order that a moment will come when the question is asked so intensely that the questioner is not. Only the question remains. A moment is bound to come when the question is absolutely intense, as deep as it can go. The absurdity of it is revealed. You come to know that there is no one who can ask, “Who am I?” or who can be asked “Who are you?” The question is asked not to get any answer, but to transcend the question.

And once you have known that there is no one inside - in fact, there is no inside at all - the moment the inside falls, there is also no outside. The moment you are not, inwardly, then there is no one outwardly. Then the world becomes one whole. Then existence is one whole, not divided into the dichotomy of “I” and “thou.”

So to me, the question “Who are you?” makes no sense at all. Rather, “What is?” is the only relevant question - not “Who?” but “What?” Because the “what” can be the whole. It can be asked about the totality, about all that exists.

The question “What?” is existential. There is no dichotomy in it, it does not divide. But the question “Who?” divides from the very start. It accepts the duality, the multiplicity, the plurality of beings.

There is only being, not “beings.”

When I say, “there is only being” it means there is only “being-ness,” because one cannot exist apart from others. If there is no other, then even to say that one exists is meaningless.

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