Osho – Choice is bondage, choicelessness freedom. The moment you choose something, you have fallen in the trap of the world. If you can resist the temptation to choose, if you can remain choicelessly aware, the trap disappears on its own accord, because when you don’t choose you don’t help the trap to be there – the trap is also created by your choice. So this word ”choice” has to be understood very deeply, because only through that understanding can choicelessness flower in you.
Why can’t you remain without choosing? Why does it happen the moment you see a person or a thing, immediately a subtle wave of choice has entered in you, even if you are not aware that you have chosen? A woman passes by and you say she is beautiful. You are not saying anything about your choice, but the choice has entered, for to say of a person that she is beautiful means: ”I would like to choose her.” In fact, deep down you have chosen; you are already in the trap. The seed has fallen to the soil; soon there will be sprouts, there will be a plant and a tree.
The moment you say, ”This car is beautiful,” choice has entered. You may not be aware at all that you have chosen, that you would like to possess this car, but in the mind a fantasy has entered, a desire has arisen. When you say something is beautiful, you mean that you would like to have it. When you say something is ugly, you mean that you would not like to have it.
Choice is subtle and one has to be very minutely aware about it. Whenever you say something remember this: that saying is not only saying, not a mere saying – something has happened in the unconscious. Don’t make the distinction: this is beautiful and that is ugly, this is good and that is bad. Don’t make the distinctions. Remain aloof! Things are neither bad nor good. The quality of goodness and badness is introduced by you. Things are neither beautiful nor ugly; they are simply there as they are – the quality of being beautiful and ugly is introduced by you, it is your interpretation.
What do you mean when you say something is beautiful? Is there any criterion of beauty? Can you prove it that it is beautiful? Just standing by your side, somebody may think, ”This is ugly!” – so it is nothing objective; nobody can prove anything beautiful. Thousands and thousands of books have been written on aesthetics, and it has been a long, arduous journey for intellectuals, thinkers and philosophers to define what beauty is – they have not yet been able. They have written great books, great treatises, they go round about and round about, but nobody has ever been able to pinpoint what beauty is. No, it seems impossible – because there exists nothing like beauty or ugliness, it is your interpretation.
First you make a thing beautiful. This is why I say that first you create the trap and then you fall into it. First you think this face is beautiful – this is YOUR creation, this is just your imagination, this is just your mind interpreting; this is not existential, this is just psychological – and then you yourself fall into the trap. You dig the hole and then you fall into it and then you cry for help, and then you cry for people to come to your salvation.
Nothing is needed says tantra. You simply see the whole trick – it is your own creation. What do you mean that something is ugly? If man is not on the earth will there be ugliness and beauty? Trees will be there, of course, and they will bloom; of course, rains will come, and summer and seasons will follow one another – but there will be nothing like beautiful and ugly, it will disappear with man and his mind. The sun will rise and in the night the sky will be filled with stars – but nothing will be beautiful and nothing will be ugly. It was just man creating noise. Now he is no more there the interpretations have disappeared; what will be good and what will be bad?
In nature nothing is good and nothing is bad. And remember, tantra is the loose and the natural way. It wants to bring you to the deepest, most natural phenomena of life. It wants to help you drop from the mind – and mind creates distinctions, and mind says this is to be chosen and that has to be avoided. To this you cling, and that you avoid and escape from. Look at the whole phenomenon. Just a look is needed, nothing else; no practice is needed – just a look at the whole situation.
The moon is beautiful; why? – because for centuries you have been indoctrinated that the moon is beautiful. For centuries poets have been singing about the moon, for centuries people have believed – now it has become engrained. Of course there are a few things which happen with the moon: it is very soothing, you feel calmed down, and the light of the moon gives a mysterious aroma to the whole nature; it gives a sort of hypnosis, you feel a little sleepy and awake and things look more beautiful; it gives a dreamlike quality to the world – that’s why we call madmen, lunatics. The word ”lunatic” comes from the word ”luna,” the moon. They have gone mad, moonstruck.
The moon creates a sort of lunacy, a sort of madness, a neurosis. It may be concerned with the water in your body – just like the sea is affected by the moon and tides come. Your body is ninety percent sea water. If you ask the physiologists they will say that something must be happening in the body because of the moon, because your body remains a part of the sea. Man has come from the sea to the earth; basically life was born in the sea. When the whole sea is affected, of course all sea animals are affected by the moon, they are part of the sea, and man has also come from the sea. Very very long he has traveled, but it makes no difference; the body still reacts in the same way. Ninety percent of your body is water, and not only water, sea water, with the same chemicals, same saltiness.
In the womb the child swims for nine months, floats in sea water; the mother’s womb is filled with sea water. That’s why when women are pregnant they start using, eating more salt. More salt is needed for their womb, to keep the same balance of saltiness. And the child passes through all the phases humanity has passed through. In the beginning he is just like a fish, he moves into the ocean of the mother’s womb, floats. By and by, in nine months he passes millions of years. Physiologists have come to realize that he passes through all the stages of life in nine months. That may be, that the moon affects you, but there is nothing like beauty – it is a chemical phenomenon.
Certain eyes you feel are very beautiful. What is happening? Those eyes must have a quality, a chemical quality, an electric quality in them, they must be releasing some energy – you become affected by them. You say some eyes are hypnotic, like Adolf Hitler’s eyes. Just the moment he sees you something happens in you. You say eyes are very beautiful. What do you mean by beauty? You are affected.
In fact, when you say something is beautiful you are not saying that something is beautiful, you are saying that you are affected in a nice way, that’s all. When you say something is ugly, you are saying that you are affected in an antagonistic way. You are repelled or you are attracted. When you are attracted it is beauty, when you are repelled it is ugly. But it is YOU, not the object, because the same object can attract somebody else.
It happens every day; people are always amazed about other people. They say, ”That man has fallen in love with that woman – amazing!” Nobody can believe that this can happen; that woman is ugly. But to that man, that woman is the very incarnation of beauty. What to do? There can be no objective criterion, there is none.
Tantra says: remember, whenever you choose something, whenever you decide for this or against this, it is your mind playing tricks. Don’t say the thing is beautiful; just simply say, ”I am affected in a nice way” – but the base remains ”I.” If once you transfer the whole phenomenon on the object, then it can never be solved because from the first step you missed, you missed the root. The root is you, so if you are affected it means your mind is affected in a certain way. And then that affection, that being affected, creates the trap and you start moving.
First you create a beautiful man and then you start chasing him, then you run after him. And after a few days living with a beautiful man or woman, all fantasies fall to the ground. Suddenly you become aware, as if you have been deceived, that this woman looks ordinary. And you were thinking she was a Laila or a Juliet, or you were thinking he is a Majnu or a Romeo, and suddenly, after a few days, the dreams have evaporated and the woman has become ordinary, or the man has become ordinary; then you feel disgusted, as if the other has deceived you.
Nobody has deceived and nothing has fallen from the man or woman; it is your own fantasy that has fallen – because fantasies cannot be maintained. You can dream about them but you cannot maintain them for a long time. Fantasies are fantasies! So if you really want to continue in your fantasy, then when you see a beautiful woman, immediately escape from her as far as you can. Then you will always remember her as the most beautiful woman in the world. Then the fantasy will never come in contact with reality. Then there will be no shattering. You can always sigh and sing and weep and cry for the beautiful woman – but never go near her!
The nearer you come, the more reality, the more objective reality, reveals itself. And when there is a clash between objective reality and your fantasy, of course you know who is going to be defeated – your fantasy. Objective reality cannot be defeated. This is the situation. And tantra says become aware: nobody is deceiving you except yourself. The
woman was not trying to be very beautiful, she was not creating the fantasy around her, YOU created it around her; you believed it, and now you are at a loss what to do, because the fantasy cannot be continued against reality. A dream has to break – and that is the criterion.
Hindus in the East have made a criterion of truth: they say truth is that which lasts forever, forever, forever; and untruth is that which lasts only for a moment. No other distinction is there. The momentary is the untrue and the everlasting is the truth. And life is everlasting; existence is everlasting. Mind is momentary – so whatsoever mind gives to life remains momentary; it is a color that the mind gives to the life, it is an interpretation. By the time the interpretation is complete, the mind has changed. You cannot maintain the interpretation because mind cannot be maintained for two consecutive moments in the same situation in the same state. Mind goes on changing, mind is a flux. It has already changed – by the time you realize that this man is beautiful, the mind has already changed. Now you will be falling in love with something which is there no more, even in your mind.
Tantra says: understand the mechanism of the mind and cut the root. Don’t choose, because when you choose you get identified. Whatsoever you choose you become, in a certain way, one with it. If you love a car, you become one with that car in a certain way. You come closer and closer, and if the car is stolen, something of your being is stolen. If something goes wrong with the car, something goes wrong with you. If you fall in love with a house you become one with the house. Love means identification; coming so close, as if you put two wax candles closer, closer, closer, and put them very close – they become one. The heat, the burning of the flame… by and by they become one. This is identification. Two flames coming closer and closer and closer, they become one.
And when you are identified with something you have lost your soul. This is the meaning of losing your soul in the world: you have become identified with millions of things, and with everything a part of you has become a thing. Choice brings identification. Identification brings a hypnotic state of sleep. Gurdjieff has only one thing to teach to his disciples and that is not to be identified. His whole school, all his techniques, methods, situations, are based on one single base, and that base is: not to be identified.
You are crying; when you are crying, you have become one with the crying. There is nobody to watch it, there is nobody to see it; be alert and aware of it – you are lost in crying. You have become the tears and the red, swollen eyes and your heart is in a crisis. Teachers like Gurdjieff, when they say not to be identified, they say, ”Cry, nothing is wrong in it, but stand by the side and look at it – don’t be identified.” And it is a wonderful experience if you can stand by the side. Cry, let the body cry, let the tears flow, don’t suppress it because suppression helps nobody, but stand by the side and watch.
This can be done – because your inner being is a witness, it is never a doer. Whenever you think it is a doer there is an identification. It is never a doer. You can walk the whole earth – your inner being never walks a single step. You can dream millions of dreams – your inner being never dreams a single dream. All movements are on the surface. Deep in the depth of your being there is no movement. All movements are on the periphery, just like a wheel moves, but at the center nothing moves. At that center everything remains as it is, and on the center the wheel moves.
Remember the center! Watch your behavior, your actions, your identifications, and a distance is created; by and by a distance comes into existence – the watcher and the doer become two. You can see yourself laughing, you can see yourself crying, you can see yourself walking, eating, making love; you can act many things, whatsoever is going on around – and you remain the seer. You don’t jump and become one with whatsoever you are seeing.
This is the trouble. Whatsoever happens you start saying: you are hungry, you say, ”I am hungry” – you have become identified with the hunger. But just look inside; are you hunger, or is hunger happening to you? Are you hunger or are you simply aware of the hunger happening in the body? You cannot be hunger; otherwise, when the hunger has disappeared, where will you be? When you have eaten well and the belly is full and you are satiated, where will you be if you are hunger? Evaporated? No, then immediately you become the satiety. Before the hunger disappears a new identification has to be created; you become the satiety. You were a child and you thought you were a child; now where are you because you are no more a child? You have become a young man or you have become old – who are you now? Again you are identified with youth or old age.
The innermost being is just like a mirror. Whatsoever comes before it, it mirrors, it simply becomes a witness. Disease comes or health, hunger or satiety, summer or winter, childhood or old age, birth or death – whatsoever happens, happens before the mirror, it never happens TO the mirror.
This is nonidentification, this is cutting the root, the very root – to become a mirror. And to me this is sannyas: to become like a mirror. Don’t become like a very sensitive photoplate – that is identification. Whatsoever comes before the lens of the camera, the photoplate immediately takes it in, becomes one with it. Become like a mirror. Things come and pass and the mirror remains vacant, empty, void.
Source – Osho Book “Tantra: The Supreme Understanding”