Chapter 3: Enlightenment Is Not a Device
I see you here every day, so radiant, so full of light, so far away from the everyday reality of my life. You are a shining beacon showing the way, and the possibility of something more that can happen in me. Years ago, here with you, I used to feel that enlightenment was just around the corner. Now it seems a million miles away. It doesn’t seem to matter really any more: each day seeing you again is enough in itself.
Osho, is this whole idea of “enlightenment” just another device? I don’t really know what to believe anymore. You, your presence, and the tears in my eyes are all I have.
Enlightenment is not a device. All devices are for enlightenment, but enlightenment itself is an absolute reality. You think it is now miles away while before it used to be just around the corner. That was a device - to make you feel that it is just around the corner. It is certainly miles away, but those miles are very relative - they depend upon the intensity of your longing. They can be longer, they can be shorter; you can go on for lives searching for it, and you can find it today.
You have to understand the idea of relativity. Those miles are not a reality in themselves - they depend on you. If your longing is just lukewarm, then those miles are very long - perhaps too long. Perhaps it may not be possible for you to reach it. But if your longing is a flame in your heart and you are afire with it, it is a question of life and death, then those miles miraculously become very short - sometimes so short that a master can say, “You can have it right here and now,” and they disappear completely.
But the problem is to have a longing so deep, so total, so intense that it becomes your very life, your very heartbeat; that you are surrounded by it twenty-four hours a day, that you breathe it in, you breathe it out. Whatever you are doing does not matter, an undercurrent of a deep search continues. Even while you are asleep, the undercurrent of the search does not stop. You go to sleep with the longing, you wake up with the same longing; and between these two points you may have been asleep, but the longing has continued in your unconscious.
I have been telling you that enlightenment is just around the corner; that is certainly a device. For most of you it is not just around the corner, but a few of you can make it just around the corner by how much you love it..
There are so many categories: somebody is simply curious, he has no longing, he has become curious because others are searching for it. He starts thinking that there must be something in it if so many people are searching, but no bell rings in his own heart, nothing clicks within his being. Then it is millions of miles away. A few are just students - they are studying it as subject matter to increase their knowledge, to become more knowledgeable. They don’t have a desire to achieve it, they don’t have a desire to become pilgrims. They want to know everything about it - perhaps sometime it may be useful.