Question – The west has given birth to aristotle, nietzsche, heidegger, camus, berdyaev, marcel and sartre. Is it going to give birth to buddhas by itself or is a communion with the eastern consciousness needed?
Osho – CHINMAYA, THE BUDDHA-CONSCIOUSNESS is neither Eastern nor Western. It has nothing to do with geography or history, it has nothing to do with mind as such. Mind is Eastern, Western, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, German, but the innermost pure consciousness is simply the pure sky – you cannot identify it with anything because it is unconditioned. What is East and what is West? – ways of conditioning, different ways of conditioning. What is a Hindu and what is a Jew? – different ways of conditioning. These are names of diseases. Health is neither Eastern nor Western.
A child is born, and immediately the conditioning starts – very subtle are the ways of conditioning. Directly, indirectly, we start pressing the child into a certain mold. He will speak a certain language, and each language has its ways of thinking, each language has its emphasis, its particular direction. That’s why sometimes it becomes impossible to translate from one language into another; the other language may not even have words which correspond, the other language may not have looked at reality and life in that way. Life is infinite; the way you look at it is finite – there can be infinite ways of looking at it.
And then the child starts getting coloured by the family, by the school, the church, the priest, the parents – and it goes on silently. Slowly slowly, the whole sky of consciousness is closed, only a small window, an aperture, is left open. That aperture is Indian, English, American. That aperture is Hindu, Jaina, Buddhist. That aperture is Eastern, Western.
Buddhahood is to regain again the consciousness that you had brought with your birth. That uncontaminated purity, that original face without any masks, that innocence is Buddhahood. So Buddhahood cannot be Eastern, Western; it is transcendental.
You may be surprised that when a child grows up in a family… and each child has to grow in a family – it is almost a must, there is no other way – some kind of family is needed. Even if it is a commune, it will have its own limitations, it may be a kibbutz but it will have its own limitations. And there is no way to bring up a child without a certain nourishing surrounding. That nourishing surrounding is a must, without it the child cannot survive; the child has to be looked after, but the child has to pay for it. It is not simple, it is very complex. The child has to continuously adjust himself to the family because the family is ’right’, the father is ’right’, the mother is ’right’. They are powerful people – the child is helpless. He has to depend on them, he has to look up to them, he has to follow them. Right or wrong is not the question; the child has to become a shadow, an imitator.
That’s what Hinduism is, Christianity is, that’s what Eastern and Western mind is. And it is very subtle; the child may never become aware of it because it is not done in one day, it goes on so slowly – just like the water falling from the mountain, falling and falling and falling, and it destroys the rocks, and the stones disappear.
The child has to adjust in many ways. That adjustment makes him false, inauthentic, makes him untrue – untrue to his own being. Now psychologists have discovered that if a certain child proves to be stupid, it may not be so, because no child is born stupid. It may be just the whole surrounding, the family, that he had to adjust to. If the father is too intellectual, the child will have to behave in a stupid way to keep a balance. If the child behaves in an intelligent way, the father is, in a subtle way, angry. He cannot tolerate an intelligent child, he never tolerates anybody who is trying to be more intelligent than him. He will force the child to remain inferior notwithstanding what he goes on saying, and the child will learn the trip of behaving like a fool, because when he behaves like a fool, everything goes okay, everything is perfectly okay. The father may show his displeasure on the surface, but deep down he is satisfied. He always likes fools around him; surrounded by fools, he is the most intelligent person.
Because of this, over hundreds of years women have learned a trick: they never try to be intellectual – the husband won’t like it. Not that they are not intelligent, they are as intelligent as men – but they have to learn. Have you not watched it? If the wife is more educated, the husband feels a little bad about it. No man wants to marry a woman who is more educated than him, more famous than him.
Not only that, but in small things too: if the woman is taller, no man wants to marry her. Maybe it is just because of this that women have decided biologically also not to become too tall – there may be some kind of psychological reason in it – otherwise you will not get a husband. If you are too intelligent, you will not get a husband. The woman has to pretend that she always remains a baby, childish, so that the husband can feel good that the woman leans on him.
In a family, the child comes into a ready-made situation. Everything is already there, he has to fit himself into it, he has to adjust to it. He cannot be himself; if he tries to be himself, he always gets into trouble and he starts feeling guilty. He has to adjust – whatsoever the cost – survival is the most important thing, the first thing, other things are secondary. So each child has to adjust with the family, with the parent, with geography, with history, with the idiosyncrasies of the people around him, with all kinds of prejudices, stupid beliefs, superstitions. By the time you become aware or you become a little bit independent, you are so conditioned, the conditioning has gone so deep in the blood and the bones and the marrow, that you cannot get out of it.
What is Buddhahood ? Buddhahood is getting out of this whole conditioning. This is cutting the root. You can go in the garden and watch – one thing you will be surprised about. When the new tree is planted, naturally the tree has to adjust with the other trees which are already in existence. It has to find ways. It can grow its branches only where there is a space. If other trees are already occupying that space, it cannot grow in those directions. It has to find a way in the existing situation; it has to adjust. Maybe it cannot grow branches on all sides, it cannot be balanced – it can grow branches only to the north because there is some space there, the other three sides are already occupied.
It becomes lopsided: it grows a branch too much towards the north, and all the other sides remain ungrown; it is lopsided. And this is on the surface. If you go deep, the same is happening with the roots. There are already roots of other trees; they have already taken possession of the earth. The new tree has to find ways; it has to avoid the places that have been already occupied, it has to find new sources of water if it can, it cannot grow its roots as they would have grown naturally if there had been no other trees around.
But that is not possible for a child – the same happens to humanity. The child grows branches in directions which are available. The child grows roots; those roots become entangled with the roots of the parents. And they remain entangled if you don’t cut them. It is very difficult to find a really grown-up person; people grow old, they never grow up. And growing old is not growing up – they are not synonymous. Growing old is moving towards death, growing up is moving towards more life, more abundant life. Great decisiveness is needed on your part. People remain entangled. A man may be fifty, but he is still behaving with his wife as if he were with his mother. He still expects the same from his wife as he used to expect from the mother; he is still a child. The woman may be fifty, but she still expects from the husband the same kind of behaviour as she expected from the father. This is not growing up. And because it cannot be met – the husband is not your father and the wife is not your mother – then there is frustration. This is entanglement with the roots.
You are still entangled. The father may be dead, the mother may be dead, but your roots still go on moving in the same directions in which they learned to move in your childhood. Now the space is available, but you have forgotten how to grow in those spaces which have become newly available – space becomes available every day. But you have forgotten, completely forgotten. Or a few parts of you have died; they have simply disappeared. It is very difficult to find a man who is whole. Somebody’s hands are too big, and the brain too small. Somebody’s brain is too big, and the heart is almost non-existing, zero. People are living only in parts, and to live in parts is to live in misery. A Buddha is one who lives as a whole, as an organic whole. East and West are irrelevant to Buddha-consciousness.
Chinmaya, if Buddhas can happen in the East without the help of the West, why can’t they happen in the West without the help of the East2 And who has told you that they have not happened in the West already? Just the names are different there; they don’t call it Buddha-consciousness, they call it Christ-consciousness; it is the same. Meister Eckhart or Jacob Boehme or Gurdjieff – these are Buddhas. They have been happening in the West as much as they have been happening in the East; only the names differ.
No support of the East is needed, no communion. A Buddha is not a communion of East and West, a Buddha is a transcendence of all that is East and West – a transcendence of all divisions – not a communion, not a meeting but a transcendence, not a synthesis of the opposites but going beyond the opposites. A Buddha is a pure sky – he knows no boundaries. It can happen anywhere, in any time.
But the Eastern ego feels very good to think that Buddhas can only happen in the East. And when Indians use the word ’East’ they simply mean India; they don’t mean China, they don’t mean Japan – they can’t mean Pakistan – their ’East’ simply means India. And if you insist in India too – ’Where?’ – then it never means South India, it means North India. If you go on insisting, you will find finally that the Indian means that he himself is the person who can become the Buddha, nobody else. If you go on insisting, finally you will find that he is declaring himself, that’s all; only he can become the Buddha, nobody else. Deep down it is nothing but an ego game. Forget all these ego games. Get out of these egoistic assertions.
In time also, just as it happens in space, the same has happened again and again. India is a certain space. In time also the same happens. Now, there are people who say ’Buddhas only used to happen in the past, they cannot happen now. They are not going to happen in the future; this is a KALI YUGA, this is the worst time.’ Why is this the worst time? Time is always the same. The birds sing the same songs that they used to sing in Buddha’s time, the trees still bloom the same way, and the rivers flow the same way, the stars move in the same way. This is the same dance; time cannot make any difference. Why only in the past? Again the ego is involved. We are too attached with the past – ’our past’, ’our heritage’. We think of our past in glorious terms, that gives us great satisfaction, and it helps us and consoles us that ’We have been at the top; nobody has ever been at that height where we have been’. It helps us to feel good, because when we look around – and the real situation is so ugly – we need some kind of dream to help us.
And there are two kinds of dreams possible: either you dream of the past, that’s what religions have been doing, or you dream of the future, that’s what materialistic religions are doing. Communism, fascism, nazism – they dream of the future; they say in the future will be the utopia, the golden age. Old religions used to say in the past was the golden age. Nobody says that right now is the golden age.
And I would like to declare it to you right now: NOW IS THE ONLY GOLDEN TIME. Buddhas happen now, because there is no other time, and Buddhas happen here. And the ’here’ contains all, the whole space, and the ’now’ contains the whole time. But they happen only when somebody takes the decision to go beyond all boundaries, when somebody risks going out of the herd and the herd psychology, when one decides not be a part of the mob.
That’s what you are: when you are a Hindu you are part of a mob, when you are a Jaina you are part of a mob, you are a Christian you are part of a mob. When you drop out of the mob and you become free and you start to live life the way you want to live it, when you accept yourself totally – when there is no self-condemnation, when you don’t compare yourself with anybody or any ideal and you don’t put yourself down again and again – when you start living your life joyously the way God wants you to live…
God has not given you birth to live somebody else’s life; if he had wanted a Krishna, he would have created a Krishna, if he had wanted a Christ, he would have created a Christ. Why Chinmaya? Now he wants a Chinmaya.
The Hassid mystic, Zusia, was dying, and he started praying. Tears were flowing down from his eyes and he was trembling. And somebody asked ’What is the matter? Why are you trembling?’
He was saying ’I am trembling for a certain reason. This is my last moment, I am dying. Soon I will be facing my God, and I am certain he is not going to ask me ”Zusia, why were you not a Moses? If he asks I will say ”Lord, because you didn’t give me the qualities of a Moses!”; there will be no problem. He will not ask me ”Why were you not the Rabbi Akiba?” I will tell him ”Sir, you never gave me the qualities of being an Akiba, that’s why.” But I am trembling because if he asks ”Zusia, why were you not a Zusia2” then I will have nothing to answer, then I will have to look down in shame. That’s why I am trembling and these tears are flowing. My whole life I tried to become Moses or Akiba or somebody else, and I completely forgot that he wanted me to be just Zusia and nobody else. Now I am trembling, now I am afraid. If he asks this question, what am I going to ansWer? How will I be able to raise my eyes when he says ”Why were you not Zusia? You were given all the qualities of being a Zusia, how did you miss?” And I have missed in imitating others.’
Remember, always remember Zusia; it is one of the most significant incidents in any mystic’s life. If you remember it, it will help. You have to be your own self, utterly your own self. Don’t imitate. Don’t follow the past. Don’t follow any ideals because they are all herd psychology. Slip out of them. Be a lion, and move out of the mob. And start living your life as truly as possible, because if you cannot be true to your own life, how can you be true to others? And by being true to your own self, you will transcend all limitations of countries, religions, political dogmas, East, West; you will transcend all limitations.
By being yourself… Just think of it, will you be a German? or will you be a Japanese? or a Burmese? Just being yourself, who will you be? a Christian? a Hindu? a Mohammedan? You will not be; you will not find yourself in all these definitions, you will start growing beyond definitions. Buddha-consciousness is transcendental consciousness. It has nothing to do with East or West.
Source – Osho Book “The Sun Rises in the Evening”