Osho on Mind

Osho – The most difficult thing, the almost impossible thing for the mind, is to remain in the middle, is to remain balanced. And to move from one thing to its opposite is the easiest. To move from one polarity to the opposite polarity is the nature of the mind. This has to be understood very deeply, because unless you understand this, nothing can lead you to meditation.

Mind’s nature is to move from one extreme to another. It depends on imbalance. If you are balanced, mind disappears. Mind is like a disease: when you are imbalanced it is there, when you are balanced, it is not there. That is why it is easy for a person who overeats to go on a fast. It looks illogical, because we think that a person who is obsessed with food cannot go on a fast. But you are wrong. Only a person who is obsessed with food can fast, because fasting is the same obsession in the opposite direction. It is not really changing yourself. You are still obsessed with food. Before you were overeating; now you are hungry – but the mind remains focused on food from the opposite extreme.

A man who has been overindulging in sex can become a celibate very easily. There is no problem. But it is difficult for the mind to come to the right diet, difficult for the mind to stay in the middle. Why is it difficult to stay in the middle? It is just like the pendulum of a clock. The pendulum goes to the right, then it moves to the left, then again to the right, then again to the left; the whole clock depends on this movement. If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops. And when the pendulum moves to the right, you think it is only going to the right, but at the same time it is gathering momentum to go to the left. The more it moves to the right, the more energy it gathers to move to the left, to the opposite. When it is moving to the left it is again gathering momentum to move to the right.

Whenever you overeat, you are gathering momentum to go on a fast. Whenever you overindulge in sex, sooner or later, BRAHMACHARYA, celibacy, will appeal to you. And the same is happening from the opposite pole. Go and ask your so-called SADHUS, your BHIKKUS, sannyasins. They have made it a point to remain celibate, now their minds are gathering momentum to move into sex. They have made a point of being hungry and starving, and their minds are constantly thinking about food. When you are thinking about food too much it shows that you are gathering momentum for it. Thinking means momentum. The mind starts arranging for the opposite. One thing: whenever you move, you are also moving to the opposite. The opposite is hidden, it is not apparent.

When you love a person you are gathering momentum to hate him. That’s why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend. Lovers quarrel, fight. Only lovers can quarrel and fight, because unless you love, how can you hate? Unless you have moved far to the extreme left, how can you move to the right? Modern research says that so-called love is a relationship of intimate enmity. Your wife is your intimate enemy, your husband is your intimate enemy – both intimate and inimical. They appear opposites, illogical, because we wonder how one who is intimate can be the enemy; one who is a friend, how can he also be the foe?

Logic is superficial, life goes deeper, and in life all opposites are joined together, they exist together. Remember this, because then meditation becomes balancing. Buddha taught eight disciplines, and with each discipline he used the word right. He said: Right effort, because it is very easy to move from action to inaction, from waking to sleep, but to remain in the middle is difficult. When Buddha used the word right he was saying: Don’t move to the opposite, just stay in the middle. Right food – he never said to fast. Don’t indulge in too much eating and don’t indulge in fasting. He said: Right food. Right food means standing in the middle. When you are standing in the middle you are not gathering any momentum. And this is the beauty of it – a man who is not gathering any momentum to move anywhere, can be at ease with himself, can be at home.

You can never be at home, because whatsoever you do you will immediately have to do the opposite to balance. And the opposite never balances, it simply gives you the impression that you are becoming balanced, but you will have to move to the opposite again. A buddha is neither a friend to anyone nor an enemy. He has simply stopped in the middle – the
clock is not functioning.

It is said about one Hassid mystic, Muzheed, that when he attained enlightenment suddenly the clock on his wall stopped. It may or may not have happened, because it is possible, but the symbolism is clear: when your mind stops, time stops; when the pendulum stops, the clock stops. From then on the clock never moved, from then on it always showed the same time.

Time is created by the movement of the mind, just like the movement of the pendulum. Mind moves, you feel time. When mind is nonmoving, how can you feel time? When there is no movement, time cannot be felt. Scientists and mystics agree on this point: that movement creates the phenomenon of time. If you are not moving, if you are still, time disappears, eternity comes into existence. Your clock is moving fast, and its mechanism is movement from one extreme to another.

The second thing to be understood about mind is that the mind always longs for the distant, never for the near. The near gives you boredom, you are fed up with it; the distant gives you dreams, hopes, possibility of pleasure. So the mind always thinks of the distant. It is always somebody else’s wife who is attractive, beautiful; it is always somebody else’s house which obsesses you; it is always somebody else’s car which fascinates you. It is always the distant. You are blind to the near. The mind cannot see that which is very near. It can only see that which is very far.

And what is the furthest, the most distant? The opposite is the most distant. You love a person – now hatred is the most distant phenomenon; you are overeating – now fasting is the most distant phenomenon; you are celibate – now sex is the most distant phenomenon; you are a king – now to be a monk is the most distant phenomenon.

The most distant is the most dreamy. It attracts, it obsesses, it goes on calling, inviting you, and then when you have reached the other pole, this place from where you have traveled will become beautiful again. Divorce your wife, and after a few years the wife has again gained beauty.

A film actress came to me. She had divorced her husband fifteen years ago. Now she is old, less beautiful than she was when she and her husband were separated. Their son was married last year, so at the marriage she met her husband again, and they had to travel together. The husband fell in love with her again, so she came to me and asked, ”What should I do? Now he is proposing again, he wants to get married to me again.”

She was also fascinated. She was just waiting for me to say yes. I said, ”But you lived together, there was always conflict and nothing else. I know the whole story – how you were fighting, quarreling, how you created hell and misery for each other. Now again…?”

For the mind the opposite is magnetic, and unless through understanding you transcend this, the mind will go on moving from left to right, from right to left, and the clock will continue. It has continued for many lives, and this is how you have been deceiving yourself – because you don’t understand the mechanism. Again the distant becomes appealing, again you start traveling. The moment you reach your goal that which you used to know is now distant, now has appeal, now becomes a star, something worthwhile.

I was reading about a pilot who was flying over California with a friend. He told the friend, ”Look down at that beautiful lake. I was born near it, that is my village.”

He pointed to a small village just perched in the hills near the lake, and he said, ”I was born there. When I was a child I used to sit near the lake and fish; fishing was my hobby. But at that time, when I was a child fishing near the lake, always airplanes used to fly in the sky, passing overhead, and I would dream of the day when I would become a pilot myself, I would be piloting an airplane. That was my only dream. Now it is fulfilled, and what misery! Now I am continuously looking down at the lake and thinking about when I will retire and go fishing again. That lake is so beautiful….”

This is how things are happening. This is how things are happening to you. In childhood, you long to grow up fast because older people are more powerful. A child longs to grow up immediately. Old people are wise, and the child feels that whatsoever he does, it is always wrong. And then ask the old man – he always thinks that when childhood was lost, everything was lost; paradise was there in childhood. And all the old men die thinking of childhood, the innocence, the beauty, the dreamland. Whatsoever you have looks useless, whatsoever you don’t have looks useful. Remember this, otherwise meditation cannot happen, because meditation means this understanding of the mind, the working of the mind, the very process of the mind.

The mind is dialectical, it makes you move again and again towards the opposite. And this is an infinite process, it never ends unless you suddenly drop out of it, unless you suddenly become aware of the game, unless you suddenly become aware of the trick of the mind, and you stop in the middle. Stopping in the middle is meditation.

Thirdly, because mind consists of polarities, you are never whole. The mind cannot be whole; it is always half. When you love someone have you observed that you are suppressing your hatred? The love is not total, it is not whole; just behind it all the dark forces are hidden and they may erupt any moment. You are sitting on a volcano.

When you love someone, you simply forget that you have anger, you have hate, you have jealousy. You simply drop them as if they never existed. But how can you drop them? You can simply hide them in the unconscious. Just on the surface you can become loving, deep down the turmoil is hidden. Sooner or later you will be fed up, the beloved will become familiar. They say that familiarity breeds contempt, but it is not that familiarity breeds contempt – familiarity makes you bored, contempt has always been there, hidden. It comes up, it was waiting for the right moment; the seed was there.

The mind always has the opposite within it, and that opposite goes into the unconscious and waits for its moment to come up. If you observe minutely, you will feel it every moment. When you say to someone, I love you, close your eyes, be meditative, and feel – is there any hatred hidden? You will feel it. But because you want to deceive yourself, because the truth is so ugly – the truth that you hate a person that you love – you don’t want to face it. You want to escape from real-ity, so you hide it. But hiding won’t help, because it is not deceiving somebody else, it is deceiving yourself.

So whenever you feel something, just close the eyes and go into yourself to find the opposite somewhere. It is there. And if you can see the opposite, that will give you a balance, then you will not say, ”I love you.” If you are truthful you will say, ”My relationship with you is of love and hate.”

All relationships are love/hate relationships. No relationship is of pure love, and no relationship is of pure hate. It is both love and hate. If you are truthful you will be in difficulty. If you say to a girl, ”My relationship with you is of both love and hate. I love you as I have never loved anybody and I hate you as I have never hated anybody,” it will be difficult for you to get married unless you find a meditative girl who can understand the reality; unless you can find a friend who can understand the complexity of the mind.

Mind is not a simple mechanism, it is very complex, and through mind you can never become simple because mind goes on creating deceptions. To be meditative means to be aware of the fact that mind is hiding something from you, you are closing your eyes to some facts which are disturbing. Sooner or later those disturbing facts will erupt, overpower you, and you will move to the opposite. And the opposite is not there in a distant faraway place, in some star; the opposite is hidden behind you, in you, in your mind, in the very functioning of the mind. If you can understand this, you will
stop in the middle.

If you can see I love and I hate, suddenly both will disappear, because both cannot exist together in the consciousness. You have to create a barrier: one has to exist in the unconscious and one in the conscious. Both cannot exist in the conscious, they will negate each other. The love will destroy hate, the hate will destroy love; they will balance each other, and they will simply disappear. The same amount of hate and the same amount of love will negate each other. Suddenly they will evaporate – you will be there, but no love and no hate. Then you are balanced.

When you are balanced, mind is not there – then you are whole. When you are whole, you are holy, but mind is not there. So meditation is a state of no-mind. Through mind it is not achieved. Through mind, whatever you do, it can never be achieved. Then what are you doing when you are meditating?

Because you have created so much tension in your life, you are now meditating. But this is the opposite of tension, not real meditation. You are so tense that meditation has become attractive. That is why in the West meditation appeals more than in the East, because more tension exists there than in the East. The East is still relaxed, people are not so tense, they don’t go mad so easily, they don’t commit suicide so easily. They are not so violent, not so aggressive, not so scared, not so fearful – no, they are not so tense. They are not living at such a mad speed where nothing but
tension is accumulated.

So if Mahesh Yogi comes to India, nobody listens. But in America, people are mad about him. When there is much tension, meditation will appeal. But this appeal is again falling into the same trap. This is not real meditation, this is again a trick. You meditate for a few days, you become relaxed; when you become relaxed, again the need for activity arises, and the mind starts thinking of doing something, of moving. You get bored with it.

People come to me and say, ”We meditated for a few years, then it became boring, then there was no more fun.”
Just the other day a girl came to me and said, ”Now meditation is not fun anymore, what should I do?”

Now the mind is seeking something else, now it has had enough of meditation. Now that she is at ease, the mind is asking for more tensions – something to get disturbed about. When she says that now meditation is no more fun, she means that now the tension is not there, so how can the meditation be fun? She will have to move into tension again, then meditation will again become something worthwhile.

Look at the absurdity of the mind: you have to go away to come near, you have to become tense to be meditative. But then this is not meditation, then again this is a trick of the same mind; on a new level the same game continues. When I say meditation, I mean going beyond the game of the polar opposites; dropping out of the whole game, looking at the absurdity of it and transcending it. The very understanding becomes transcendence.

The mind will force you to move to the opposite – don’t move to the opposite. Stop in the middle and see that this has always been the trick of the mind. This is how mind has dominated you – through the opposite. Have you felt it? After making love to a woman you suddenly start thinking of brahmacharya, and brahmacharya has such an alluring fascination at that moment that you feel as if there is nothing else to achieve. You feel frustrated, deceived, you feel that there was nothing in this sex, only brahmacharya has the bliss. But after twenty-four hours, sex again becomes important, significant, and again you have to move into it.

What is the mind doing? After the sex act it started thinking about the opposite, which again creates the taste for sex. A violent man starts thinking about nonviolence, then he can be violent again easily. A man who gets angry again and again always thinks of non-anger, always decides not to be angry again. This decision helps him to be angry again.

If you really want not to be angry again don’t decide against anger. Just look into the anger and just look at the shadow of the anger which you think is non-anger. Look into sex, and at the shadow of sex, which you think is brahmacharya, celibacy. It is just negativity, absence. Look at overeating, and the shadow of it – fasting. Fasting always follows overeating; overindulgence is always followed by vows of celibacy; tension is always followed by some techniques of meditation. Look at them together, feel how they are related; they are part of one process.

If you can understand this, meditation will happen to you. Really, it is not something to be done, it is a point of understanding. It is not an effort, it is nothing to be cultivated. It is something to be deeply understood. Understanding gives freedom. Knowledge of the whole mechanism of the mind is transformation. Then suddenly the clock stops, time disappears: and with the stopping of the clock, there is no mind. With the stopping of time, where are you? The boat is empty.

Source – Osho Book “The Empty Boat”

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