Osho on Imagination

Question – Beloved Osho, the other morning before lecture, i suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to touch, with great gratitude, the floor where you walk. in that moment, i heard again that voice — it still sounds like your voice: “if you can kiss in gratitude the place on earth where i have stepped… i want to tell you, that i’ve stepped everywhere on this earth. “this is really too much, for i see myself in tears, kissing every spot on the earth. and again that voice comes in me, or from me, whispering, “if you can kiss in gratitude all the earth, and all that abides on the earth, you don’t need me anymore. “please, osho, tell me that i was just imagining, that it was just a dream. you haven’t said that to me, have you?

Osho – Sarjano, the idea is Catholic. You come from the country of the pope, and that fellow goes on kissing the earth wherever he goes — even in India, where kissing the earth means kissing cow dung. When he kissed it here, that very day I said, “He has tasted something of Hindu religion.”

It is just your imagination, Sarjano. There is no need for your gratitude to be expressed in stupid gestures. Just being grateful, your eyes full of tears, your heart just melting and merging with existence, is enough. Kissing the earth is just an idiotic symbol; I could never have said anything like this to you. But you love me, and you are so full of me that even if you speak in your imagination, you may hear my voice.

But remember one thing: except for silence, everything else is your imagination — howsoever beautiful. Only your silence I can say has my support, because only in your silence are you close to the very center of existence. In absolute silence, you become the very center yourself. But remember to avoid any kind of imagination — all imagination — even beautiful imagination, apparently looking like the divine.

It happened once: I had a few Mohammedan friends and they were followers of a Sufi mystic. The mystic used to come to the city once a year to see his disciples, and they were continuously telling me, “This time when he comes, some way has to be found so that you both can meet.”

I said, “There is no problem with it. I can be his host; he can be my guest. That will be the best thing because he is going to be here three days, so for three days we can be together.”

They liked the idea. The most impressive thing to them in the Sufi mystic was that he saw God everywhere: he would see a tree and he would go and hug the tree and start talking to the tree. Almost in a trance, he would kiss the earth; he would hold your hand and kiss it and he would start talking in a trance and address you as “God! My Lord!” People were very impressed.

He came to stay with me. Before he could kiss my hand, I said, “Wait! Do you really see God in me or have you been imagining for years?” — because that is one of the traditions in the Sufis: you start imagining and slowly, slowly, the imagination becomes a reality. He was shocked. There was a moment of silence — painful silence, because his disciples were there. But he was an honest man; he said, “Ah, at least thirty years ago I started on the path, and this was the path shown by my teacher: ‘Look into everything for God.’

“In the beginning, it was difficult to see God in a camel, in a donkey, in a buffalo. But my master insisted: All these forms are gods; you don’t have to judge them — your path is just to see God in everything, so that one day you can see God everywhere. And I succeeded in three years, and I started seeing God everywhere. Now I see God everywhere.”

I said, “Just listen to me. For the three days you will be here, stop imagining. Just see things as they are: a table is a table, not God; a camel is a camel, not God; and a buffalo is a buffalo, not God — just for three days.”

He was very reluctant and afraid and nervous, but he was staying with me, so I said, “I will remind you about this kissing and hugging — don’t forget! After three days you can hug with a vengeance, because no tree can prevent how much you hug it. For three days… you can fill the quota afterwards, but for three days I will be constantly after you. You have to see things as they are.”

There was no need for three days. Within just one day, in twenty-four hours, the god that had been there for thirty years, disappeared. In the morning, he was very angry at me. He said, “What have you done? I really see a table is a table! Just now I saw a man going by on a bicycle, and I saw neither the god in the man, nor in the bicycle. You destroyed my thirty years of practice.”

I said, “Just think a little. If something that you have spent thirty years discovering was really true, then in one day it could not disappear. For thirty years you have lived in a hallucination — you created the hallucination, and the hallucination can be so strong that all doubts disappear. And thirty years is a long time.”

I told him a story of Ramakrishna which is very rare in the history of mystics. After attaining enlightenment, nobody ever tries to look into other paths to see whether they also reach to enlightenment or not — there is no point. You wanted to reach here, you have reached — now what is the point of finding out whether other roads also reach here or not? But Ramakrishna had something tremendously significant on his mind, so he gave six months to each religion that was available in his vicinity; for six months he would practice the religion and forget everything else. Of course, he was already enlightened so the path was not a problem; in six months, he would reach back to the point of consciousness.

In Bengal, there is a small local group of a very strange religion: they believe that Krishna is the only man, and those who follow him are all women. They may be men, but that is only an illusion; in reality, except for Krishna, there is no other man — all are women. He is the lover and you are the beloved. In the night, the followers of that sect, men and women both, dress alike — like women. And even men sleep with a statue of Krishna in their beds — he is their husband.

Ramakrishna followed that path also for six months. For others it was just a ritual; they were born into that religion, just as you are born into Christianity, or Hinduism, or Jainism. You don’t really care; it is just accidental that you are born into a certain religion and you follow it, but it is a formality — at the most.

But Ramakrishna was not going into those processes in a formal way: when he was following something, he was following it with totality and intensity. And almost a miracle was seen! Even in the day, he used the same clothes as women use in Bengal. Even the people of that sect told him, “In the day you can use men’s clothes; otherwise it looks very awkward.” But he said, “When I follow something, I follow it totally. I cannot divide my day from my night. And I don’t care about the world.”

His breasts started growing; his disciples became very much afraid. So much intensity of projecting that even the doctors who came to know about it when they visited Ramakrishna and saw his breasts, could not believe it — because this was a physiological miracle. But his disciples whispered in the ears of the doctor, “This is nothing — he is having monthly periods!”

For six months continuously… his voice changed, it became more like a woman’s. He started walking like a woman — which is very difficult; difficult because only a woman can walk that way. She has a womb inside her body and that womb gives a different kind of movement to the legs. Man has no womb inside; his legs have a different movement.

He started walking like a woman, speaking like a woman, his voice changed. And when the menstrual period started, then the disciples became really afraid. They said, “We have lost him. How can we get him back?” They tried to persuade him, but until six months was up, he was not going to change his path. They said, “This path is dangerous. We don’t think that these breasts and this period are going to disappear even after six months. Your whole life you will be a laughingstock — and we are going to be laughingstocks because we are your disciples.”

It took almost six months after he stopped for the change to take place again. Slowly, slowly, he became a man again — before that he had become a woman. Such a deep psychological projection… It is through such projections that people are experiencing Krishna, Jesus, Buddha — and when they experience it, they see it.

And if you say to them that it is only an illusion, how can they believe you? Their illusion looks more real than you are. Mind has a capacity to project anything and make it appear almost real; or sometimes, if the mind is very powerful, even more than real.

But my path is not the path of imagination: It is the path that does not use the mind at all. Imagination and projection and hallucination and illusion — they are all parts of the mind. My simple approach is transcendence of mind; so only when you start seeing absolute nothingness, utter silence, can you see that I am very close by.

In that silence, you have heard me; in that nothingness, you have seen me. But if you see something, if you hear something, then it is your imagination — you have fallen from the beyond, back into the mind. Only one thing has to be remembered: the mind is the world — and going beyond the mind is the beginning of God.

Source – Osho Book “The Hidden Splendor”

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