In Hamlet’s famous soliloquy his ultimate question is: To be or not to be?
Osho, my ultimate question is: To be and not to be?
Milarepa, Shakespeare is a great poet, but not a mystic. He has an intuition into the reality of things, but that is only a glimpse, very vague as if seen in a dream, not clear. His question in Hamlet shows that unclarity. “To be or not to be?” can never be asked by a man who knows, because there is no question of choice. You cannot choose between “to be” or “not to be.”
In existential terms, not to be is the only way to be. Unless you disappear you are not really there. It looks a little difficult to understand, because basically it is irrational. But reason is not the way of existence; existence is as irrational as you can conceive.
Here those who think they are, are not. And those who think and realize they are not – they are.
The idea that “I am” is just an idea, a projection of the mind. But the realization that “I am not” comes only as a flowering of meditation. When you realize, “I am not,” only the I disappears and there remains behind a pure existence, undefined, unbounded, unfettered, just a pure space.
“I” is a great prison.
It is your slavery and bondage to the mind.
The moment you enter beyond the mind, you are – but you don’t have any notion of being an ego, of being an “I.” In other words: the more you think you are, the less you are; the more you experience that you are not…the more you are.
The moment the soap bubble of your ego pops, you have become the whole existence. Yes, something has disappeared…before you were just a dewdrop, now you are the whole ocean! You are not a loser. You were encaged in a very small, limited space, and that imprisonment is our misery, our pain, our anguish. From every side we are enclosed, from every side we are encountered by a thick wall – we cannot move.
Have you ever experienced in a nightmare, in a dream…you know perfectly well that your eyes are open, but you want to move your hands and you cannot; you want to get up, but you cannot. A tremendous fear grips you as if you are paralyzed for the moment. That experience will explain to you our whole life as a dewdrop. Our intrinsic nature is to be oceanic and to force an ocean into a dewdrop is certainly to create anxiety, anguish, misery, agony.
Shakespeare’s question, To be or not to be? is only intellectual – and it is bound to be intellectual, because he was not a man of realization. He was very talented, perhaps there have been only a few poets of his caliber. But to be a poet is one thing – and to know existence from inside, not from outside, is another.