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Chapter 1: Toward the Awakening

Somewhere Vivekananda has said - and it is very very true - that the Buddhas, Krishnas and Christs that we have known are not really the representatives. They are not really central, they are on the periphery. The centralmost happenings have been lost to history. Those who became so silent that they couldn’t communicate with us are not known. They cannot be known: there is no way to know them. In a way Vivekananda is right, but those who have become so silent that they have not uttered anything about their experience have not helped us. They have not been really compassionate enough. In a sense they have been totally selfish.

It is true that to say anything about truth is difficult, but even then it has to be tried. It must be tried because even a diluted truth will be helpful for those who live in total illusion. Even something which carries a very very far echo will help them to change.

It is not that Buddha is very happy with what he says. Whatsoever he says, he feels is not true. He feels the same way as Lao Tzu felt. Lao Tzu says, “That which can be said cannot be true. The moment it is said it is falsified.” But still, those who live in worlds of many many illusions, those who are deeply asleep, fast asleep, for them even a false alarm may be helpful. If they can come out of their sleep, if they can be brought to a new consciousness, to a new being, even a false alarm is good. Of course, when they awaken themselves they will know that it was false - but it will have helped.

In a sense, wherever we are and whatsoever we are, we are so false that, really, absolutely pure truth is not needed at all. It cannot penetrate you. It will not have any contact; you will not be able to understand it. Only a very diluted truth, modified - in a sense, falsified - can have any appeal for you, because then you can understand the language; it has been translated for you.

These Upanishads are very simple; they speak in a very heart to heart way. They are not philosophical, they are religious. They are not concerned with concepts, with theories, with doctrines, they are concerned with a lived truth - what it is and how it can be lived. You cannot think about it, you cannot philosophize about it. You can only move into it and allow it to move into you. You can only be pregnant with it, you can only be totally absorbed in it. You can melt in it.

We will talk about the Upanishads, and I will bring my own experience as a response to them. But that is only a stepping-stone. Unless you move into the very dimension, it will not be of much use. Unless you move and take a jump into the unknown, it will not help you. Or, it may even be harmful because your mind is already too much burdened, too heavy. It need not be burdened any more. I am here to unburden it.

I am not going to teach you some new knowledge. I am going to teach you only a pure type of ignorance. When I say pure ignorance, I mean innocence. I mean a mind which is totally vacant, open. A mind that knows is never open: it is closed. The very feeling that “I know” closes you. And when you feel that “I don’t know” you are open: you are ready to move, ready to learn, ready to travel.

I will teach you ignorance, unlearning, not knowledge. Only unlearning can help you. The moment you unlearn, the moment you again become ignorant, you become childlike, you become innocent. Jesus says, “Only those who are like small children will be able to enter God’s kingdom.” I will try to make you like small children.

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