If you see the world, you cannot see godliness, that’s true – but godliness is not opposite to the world, it is just another gestalt. If you see godliness the world disappears. It doesn’t mean that you have transcended the world. It is the same world, it is just that your vision has made a new gestalt. That’s why you will find again and again, down the ages – Charvaka, Epicurus, Karl Marx – all the materialists of the world say that only matter exists, consciousness is a by-product, an epiphenomenon. Consciousness is illusory, the real thing is matter: this is one gestalt. They are not wrong.
Then there is another tradition: Shankara, Vedantins, Berkeley, they say the world exists not, only godliness is, only consciousness is. Matter is illusory, maya. They are also not wrong; that is another gestalt – but no one is absolutely true either.
The real man of understanding will say that godliness can be looked at as the world, the world can be looked at as godliness.
William James is reported to have said, “Mind is one way in which the world is assembled and things put together; matter is another” – just ways of putting and assembling things together. Neither matter exists against mind, nor mind exists against matter. You are body – this is one gestalt; you are soul – that is another gestalt. There is no ladder in between, because these are two gestalts.
Remember the picture: is there a ladder between the old woman and the young woman? There is no ladder because they consist of the same lines. Nothing changes, the picture remains the same and you don’t go anywhere…but a shift, a flick in consciousness. You see things in one way, you assemble things in one way, then you see things in another way, you assemble things in another way. Neither are materialists absolutely right – they are partially true, nor are Vedantins right – they are partially true. They both suffer from partiality. That’s why their argument can continue forever, it will never be decisive.
Just think of two people arguing: “In this picture there is a young woman,” and another man says, “There is an old woman.” They can go on arguing forever because they have partial truth, and it can never be decisive. They will never be able to commune with each other, they will never be able to understand what the other is saying, because how can one who has seen the young woman believe that the old woman exists there in the picture? and vice versa. The materialist and the spiritualist go on arguing.
I am neither. I am simply saying to you that which is. Both exist, but they are not separate. We call them two because we can see them in two ways.
You ask me about the ladder – there is no ladder. I am not proposing any gradual, slow progress for you here. That’s how you have lived for many lives: thinking that gradually, gradually, slowly, slowly, you will attain. If you see my point you attain right now!
But you are looking for a ladder.
Somebody has asked: “Osho, these talks are supposed to be on Sufism, but you are not saying anything about Sufism. You are saying many beautiful things but they are not Sufism.”