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Chapter 1: The Absolute Host

You can forget it, you can remember it. These are the only two things you can do about your nature, about your intrinsic consciousness.

But between the two there is not much difference; the difference between sleep and waking is the only difference. And one who is awake today was asleep yesterday; one who is asleep today may become awake tomorrow, so it is only a question of timing. It is only a question of your decision, when to recognize. As far as buddhahood is concerned, it is waiting there since eternity to eternity. Whether you recognize it or not, it does not matter.

If you recognize it, all your actions will change. Your world view will change. Mind will not be any more a master to you, but will be a very good and very efficient servant, a good biocomputer. But first the master has to be recognized; then the mind and the body function according to the wisdom of the master.

Ryusui is a great master. He’s saying:

Emptiness is a name for nothingness.

In the dictionaries and encyclopedias you will find emptiness having a negative connotation.

In the experience of the meditator, emptiness is not negative. It is simply that your room is full of furniture. Have you ever thought about it, that room means space? You take out all the furniture - what is left behind? Ordinarily, anybody will say that now the room is empty.

Buddha was the first person to say that now the room is really a room, empty of any thing, just itself. All the junk has been removed. Emptiness in Buddha’s conception is a very positive - the most positive - quality.

Buddha introduced many original viewpoints to the world; this is one of his original contributions.

Emptiness and nothingness don’t really mean what you ordinarily mean by them. Emptiness simply means the pure, unclouded sky of your consciousness. And nothingness simply means “no-thingness.” Just put a hyphen and then you will see the change that happens: no-thingness. Your consciousness is not a thing, it is not an object. It is always a subjectivity. You cannot put it before yourself and examine it.

That is the problem before the scientist: he cannot recognize consciousness because he cannot make consciousness an object of examination. He cannot dissect it. He cannot find of what it is constituted. He cannot pull it apart and look deeper into it, because consciousness is not a thing. It is “no-thing” - but it is. It is pure “isness.”

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