Osho on Objective Art

Question – Bhagwan, What is Objective Art? Is Creativity somehow related with Meditation?

Osho : Art can be divided into two parts. Ninety-nine percent of art is subjective art. Only one percent is objective art. The ninety-nine percent subjective art has no relationship with meditation. Only one percent objective art is based on meditation. The subjective art means you are pouring down your subjectivity on the canvas, your dreams, your imaginations, your fantasies, your dreams. It is a projection of your psychology in the same way it will be in poetry, in music, in all dimensions of creativity. You are not concerned with the person who is going to see your painting. You are not concerned what will happen to him when he sees your painting; that is not your concern at all. Your art is simply a kind of vomiting. It will help you, just the way vomiting helps. It takes the nausea off, it makes you cleaner, makes you feel healthier. But you have not considered what is going to happen to the person who is going to see your vomit. He will become nauseous. He may start feeling sick.

Look at the paintings of Picasso. He is a great painter, but just a subjective artist. Looking at his paintings, you will start feeling sick, dizzy, something going berserk in your mind. You cannot go on looking at Picasso’s painting long enough. You would like to get away, because the painting has not come from a silent being. It has come from a chaos. It is a by product of a nightmare. But ninety-nine percent art belongs to that category.

Objective art is just the opposite. The man has nothing to throw, he is utterly empty, absolutely clean. Out of this silence, out of this emptiness, arises love, compassion, and out of this silence a possibility for creativity. This silence, this love, this compassion, these are the qualities of meditation.

Meditation brings you to your very center, and your center is not only your center, it is the center of the whole existence. Only on the periphery we are different. As we start moving towards the center, we are one. We are part of eternity, a tremendously luminous experience of ecstasy which is beyond words, something that you can be but very difficult to express it. But a great desire arises in you to share it, because all other people around you are groping for exactly such experiences. And you have it. You know the path.

And these people are searching everywhere except within themselves — where it is. You would like to shout in their ears. You would like to shake them and tell them, that “Open your eyes! Where are you going? Wherever you go, you go away from yourself. Come home back, and come as deep into yourself as possible.”

This desire to share becomes creativity. Somebody can dance. There have been mystics — for example, Jalaluddin Rumi — whose teaching was not in words, whose teaching was in dance. He will dance. His disciples will be sitting by his side, and he will tell them, that “Anybody who feels like joining me can join. It is a question of feeling. If you don’t feel like, it is up to you. You can simply sit and see.” But when you see a man like Jalaluddin Rumi dancing, something dormant in you becomes active. In spite of yourself you find you have joined the dance. You are already dancing before you become aware that you have joined it.

Even this experience is of tremendous value, that you have been pulled like a magnetic force. It has not been your mind decision, you have not weighed for pro and for against, to join or not to join, no. Just the beauty of Rumi’s dance, his spreading energy, has taken possession of you. You are being touched. This dance is objective art.
And if you can continue — and slowly you will become more and more unembarrassed, more and more capable — soon you will forget the whole world. A moment comes, the dancer disappears and only the dance remains. And then there is a meeting with the Master, the synchronicity I have been talking about again and again in different ways from different directions. They are not two. The ice has melted. Slowly, slowly other disciples will be joining.

A famous story is about Jalaluddin Rumi. He was living in a forest monastery with five hundred disciples. Few visitors who were passing by the road just out of curiosity, that “What this fellow Jalaluddin Rumi is doing here? We have heard five hundred people are living with him, but what they go on doing inside this monastery?” They went it. They saw. They could not believe. Five hundred people dancing madly. Nobody even took any note of them. They remained there for at time being, and then they thought that these people are mad. “Returning, we will see what happens. Perhaps we can find them sitting and then we can talk about, ‘What you are doing?’ This time they seem to be completely mad.”

Next time when they were coming back after few months, they again went into the monastery. The five hundred people were there. Nobody was dancing, all were sitting like statutes, with closed eyes. There was a eternal silence. It was even more frightening to those people. Dancing at least there was some activity. Now what has happened to these people? They have gone, seems to be, completely mad. Dancing in the hot sun in the desert for days — this is the result. But they thought, that “When we are coming again for the next trip, we will see what happens.”

Next trip they came, there was only Jalaluddin Rumi. The five hundred has gone. They were very much puzzled: “What has happened? All those people are dead?” That’s what they could logically think. “First they were dancing madly, then they were sitting like statues as if not breathing at all. Perhaps they have all died. This old guy is dangerous! But now at least we can talk something to him.” They reached to him and asked him, “What has happened to five hundred people who used to dance here and then sit?”

Jalaluddin said, “The work is over. They have learned what they have come to learn. Now they have gone to teach others. Are you interested?” They said, “No. We are going for a business trip.”

Jalaluddin said, “You can go for a business trip later on, but this is far
more important.” They said, “Just, please, forgive us. Not this time, because that dance in the hot sun — we cannot manage.”

Jalaluddin said, “You need not be worried. It manages itself. You don’t have to manage it.” They said, “Before we leave, we want to ask, they what happens? Why they were sitting like statutes?”

Jalaluddin said, “When the dancer has disappeared, who is going to dance? There is a momentum — the dance continues for awhile — then that, too, stops. Then comes a period when one is utterly silent, just sitting, doing nothing. But the bliss of it is incomparable. So whenever you can find time, if I am alive you are always welcome.”
There are in India statutes which you have just to sit silently and meditate upon. Just look at those statutes. They have been made by meditators in such a way, in such a proportion, that just looking at the statue, the figure, the proportion, the beauty….

Everything is very calculated to create a similar kind of state within you. And just sitting silently with a statue of Buddha or Mahavira, you will find a strange feeling which you cannot find in sitting by the side of any Western sculpture. All Western sculpture is sexual. You see the Roman sculpture: beautiful, but something in you creates sexuality. It hits your sexual center. It does not give you an uplift.

In the East the situation is totally different. Statutes are carved, but before a sculptor starts carving statues he learns meditation. before he starts playing on the flute he learns meditation. Before he starts writing poetry he learns meditation. Meditation is absolute necessity for any art, then the art will be objective. Then just reading few lines of a haiku, a Japanese form of a small poem — only three lines, perhaps three words — if you silently read it, you will be surprised. It is far more explosive that any dynamite. It simply opens up doors in your being.

Basho’s small haiku I have on the pond near my house. I love it so much, I wanted it to be there. So every time, coming and going…. One of the persons I have loved. Nothing much in it. “An ancient pond….” It is not an ordinary poetry. It is very pictorial. Just visualize: “An ancient pond. A frog jumps in….” You almost see the ancient pond! You almost hear the frog, the sound of its jump: “Plop.”
And then everything is silent. The ancient pond is there, the frog has jumped in, the sound of his jumping in has created more silence than before. Just reading it is not like any other poetry that you go on reading — another poetry, another poetry.

No, just you read it and sit silently. Visualize it. Close your eyes. See the ancient pond. See the frog. See it jumping in. See the ripples on the water. See the sound, hear the sound. And hear the silence that follows. This is objective art.

Basho must have written it in a very meditative mood, sitting by the side of an ancient pond, watching a frog. And the frog jumps in. And suddenly Basho becomes aware of the miracle that sound is deepening the silence. The silence is more than it was before. This is objective art. By ‘objective’ it means the person is not simply trying to get rid of his sickness, garbage, of which he is so full of wants somehow to throw it out.

I used to know a principle. I was only a student in his college, but we became very friendly, because so many complaints were coming against me to him, that finally he thought, “This boy seems to be unique. Every day some professor comes with a complaint, and whenever I call the boy, I always find he is right. This is such a strange thing: that all my professors prove wrong and he is always right. I cannot say that you have done anything wrong.”
We become friendly, I told him, “Whether they send me or not, I will be coming at least once every day!”

He said, “I enjoy your coming, so you can come, whether they send you or not. If they send, good, if they don’t send you, you come on your own. And now we are not going to discuss for what you have done and for what they have sent you. Because I can see, we can discuss far better things. And I love your insight into things.”
So I started going to the principle and then I became aware of one thing, that whenever I will go to him, he will take his earplugs off. I said, “What are you doing?”

He said, “You know, my whole life I have been tortured by all kinds of complaints, finally I decided not to hear anything. Everything is right! So I just keep earplugs. They go on saying; then I go on nodding. And they feel happy and I feel happy. But with you I really want to talk, so I have to take (them out), but don’t tell it to anybody else.”
I said, “This is really a great device. Everybody should use it. It prevents other people pouring their garbage in your mind. And everybody is so interested in pouring his garbage in your mind.”

That I have heard — I told the principle the story, that’s why I remember it — that a thief was caught. And the man, in whose house he was stealing, came to the court and asked the judge to forgive the thief. The judge said, “This is strange. He was trying to steal in your house. Why you want him to be released?”

He said, “In fact, he would have stolen and he would have left, but I was awake, and you know, I am a poet. So I told him, ‘Sit down and listen to my poetry, otherwise I will give you to the police.’ So out of fear he sat down. He returned everything; he said, ‘You take everything, but please don’t tell me your poetry, I am a poor thief and I don’t understand poetry.'”

The poet said, “It does not matter, whether you understand or not. I am enjoying telling it. And if you are going to create trouble, I am going to phone the police. The whole night this poor man has been listening to my poetry; he has suffered enough. And then he was caught by the police. Just release him. And I hope that once in a while he should come and visit me. And no need to catch hold of any thief, because I am capable enough to catch hold of thieves and make them listen to my poetry. I write the poetry with so much effort, and nobody is there to listen to me. So only once in a while I get some audience. And this man was really very attentive. He seems to be a lover of poetry.”

People are ready to throw their garbage, their advice, their wisdom, their knowledge, everybody is ready to catch hold of you and put something in your mind. You are already too much burdened. Subjective art burdens you more. Objective art unburdens you. Subjective art should be part of psychiatric hospitals only. People suffering from mental sicknesses should be allowed painting, poetry, sculpture, anything they want. And it is going to help, it is therapeutic. It will make them healthy.

Now it is being used by few psychotherapists. Carl Gustav Jung has used painting to heal many patients, but that painting should not be allowed to be sold in the art galleries to reach to people, because if they see it, something sick is bound to radiate from it.

Subjective art is good for the artist but not for the one who looks at it, who sees it, who listens it, who reads it. It is harmful to him. And objective art is only one percent, for the simple reason because very few people have been meditating. And out of those very few people, only few expressed their silence into artistic forms.

But my idea is that as your commune matures, as you are finished with your necessary things, your houses, your roads — and they too can be very artistic, they can be expression of your meditation — as you are finished with utilitarian things, I have the idea that the university should be teaching you with meditation, painting, dancing, singing, music, sculpture, poetry, every possible thing.

This commune should become a commune of creators. Unless you are a creator, you will never find real blissfulness. It is only by creating, that you become part of the great creativity of the universe. But to be a creator, meditation is a basic necessity. Without it you can paint, but that painting has to burnt, it has not to be shown to others. It was good, it helped you unburden, but please, don’t burden anybody else, don’t present it to your friend, they are not your enemies. Objective art is meditative art, subjective art is mind art.
Okay, Pratima?

Source – from Osho Book “The Last Testament, Volume3”

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