Question – Beloved Osho, What is a Contemporary Mind?

Osho – Contemporary mind is a contradiction in terms. Mind is never contemporary, it is always old. Mind is past — past and past and nothing else; mind means memory. There can be no contemporary mind; to be contemporary is to be without mind.

If you are herenow, then you are contemporary with me. But then, don’t you see, your mind disappears; no thought moves, no desire arises: you become disconnected with the past and disconnected with the future.

Mind is never original, cannot be. No-mind is original, fresh, young; mind is always old, rotten, stale. But those words are used — they are used in a totally different sense. I can understand your question — in that sense, those words are meaningful. The mind of the nineteenth century was a different mind; the questions they were asking, you are not asking.

The questions that were very important in the eighteenth century are now stupid questions. “How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?” was one of the greatest theological questions in the middle ages. Now can you find such a stupid person who will think that this is an important question? And this was discussed by the greatest theologians; not small people, great professors were writing treatises on it, conferences were arranged. How many angels? Now who cares? It is simply irrelevant.

In Buddha’s time, a great question was: “Who created the world?” It has persisted for centuries, but now fewer and fewer people are worried about who created the world. Yes, there are some old-fashioned people, but very rarely such questions are asked of me. But Buddha was encountered every day. Not a single day must have passed when somebody did not ask the question, “Who created the world?”

Buddha had to say again and again that the world has always been there, nobody has created it; but people were not satisfied. Now nobody cares. Very rarely somebody asks me the question, “Who created the world?” In that sense, the mind goes on changing as time goes on changing. In that sense, the contemporary mind is a reality.

Husband to wife: “I said we are not going out tonight, and that is semi-final.”

Now this is a contemporary mind. No husband in the past would have said that. It was always final; the last word was his.

Two high-class English ladies met each other by accident while out shopping in London. One noticed the other was pregnant and asked, “Why, darling, what a surprise! You obviously got married since I last saw you! ”
The second said, “Yes. He’s a wonderful man; he’s an officer in the Ghurka rifles.”
The questioner was horrified. “A Ghurka! Darling, are not they all black?”
“Oh no,” she said. “Only the privates.”
The questioner exclaimed, “Darling, how contemporary!”

In that sense, there is a contemporary mind….

Have you heard about the latest family game? It is called incest.
Little sister to brother in bed: “Hey, you are better at this than Daddy.”
“Yes, Mummy says so too!”

Otherwise, there is no contemporary mind. Fashions come and go; if you think of fashions then there are changes. But basically all mind is old. Mind as such is old, and there can be no modern mind; the most modern mind is still of the past. The really alive person is a herenow person. He does not live out of the past, he does not live for the future; he lives only in the moment, for the moment. The moment is all. He is spontaneous; that spontaneity is the fragrance of no-mind.

Mind is repetitive, mind always moves in circles. Mind is a mechanism: you feed it with knowledge, it repeats the same knowledge, it goes on chewing the same knowledge again and again. No-mind is clarity, purity, innocence. No-mind is the real way to live, the real way to know, the real way to be.

Source – Osho Book “The Book of Wisdom”

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