Osho on vertical line of truth

Osho – Truth is. Truth simply is. It is neither old nor new. It is eternal, it has no reference to time at all; it is beyond time. That is the meaning of the eternal. Eternal does not mean forever, because forever has a reference to time; eternal does not mean permanent, because permanency has a reference to time. Eternal simply means timeless. It is.

Truth is never past and never future. It knows only one tense, the present. Truth knows only one time, now – which is not time at all; but it is timelessness. And truth knows only one space, here – which is not space at all; it is transcendence of space. Truth is always now-here. Truth has no history. History belongs to the world of lies. Politics has history, religion has no history.

This is the first thing to be understood: that truth cannot be old and cannot be new either. If truth can be new then one day it will become old. Whatsoever is new today will be old tomorrow. Truth is never old, hence it can never be new. Truth is equivalent to existence. In a way, it can be said that it is as old as the mountains, and as new as this morning’s dewdrops – but that is only a way of saying. What is being said is that truth is eternal.

But there are people who are very much interested in the old. They are past-oriented. They believe in something only if it is very old. The older it is, they think, the better it is. All that is old is gold for them. They go on trying to prove that their scripture is the oldest scripture in the world, their religion the most ancient.

There is another group of people who think the new is always better than the old because it is new. It is more evolved, more improved, more refined. These are the two kinds of people; both go on missing the truth. One is past-oriented, the other is future-oriented; and truth exists now, neither in the past nor in the future. Before we can enter into this small parable you will have to understand something about time, because basically it is a question of understanding time and its process.

Time moves in a horizontal line from past to future. Time’s movement is linear; hence it is shallow, it can’t have any depth. One moment is followed by another moment and so on, so forth. Before you can catch hold of the moment it is already gone, so you cannot move into depth. You cannot dive in time; you can only float, you can only swim. It is very thin, it has no depth. It is horizontal. Eternity is vertical: it moves into depth and into height. Just think of the cross of Jesus: that is a symbol for time and eternity. The cross is made of two lines, one horizontal on which Jesus’ hands were nailed, the other vertical on which his body was nailed. The cross represents the whole phenomenon of time. The horizontal line is history, politics, the mundane life, the world of events, the world of facts. The vertical line is the world of truth, not of facts. The vertical line is the world of absolute reality, of God, of nirvana, of meditation.

Whenever one starts moving into the vertical world, one simply goes beyond time. Then there is nothing new, nothing old. Truth only is. Time, the horizontal line, consists of two things – past and future. The present is almost absent. You never become aware of the present – or have you ever become aware of the present? – because the moment you become aware, it is already past. You always become aware of the past.

For example, this moment: if you become aware of it, the time that is taken by your becoming aware is enough to make it past. The moment you say, ”Yes, this is the present,” it is already gone. You cannot even utter the word ”now”, because when you have uttered it it is no longer now. The present that you think exists in time is almost nothing. It is sandwiched between the past and the future. The past is big. Look backwards – it stretches and stretches, and on and on. It seems to be beginningless. And so is the future very big – it goes on stretching ahead of you, on and on, endlessly.

Between these two big phenomena, past and future, your present is just a sandwiched atomic moment of which you cannot even become aware. The moment you know it, it is no more there; it is already gone. You only become aware of the past. So time consists of past and future. Eternity consists of the present. Then what we call ”present” is nothing but the spot where eternity crosses time, where eternity penetrates time. There is a way to move into that eternity: that’s what meditation is all about.

Meditation is a drop into eternity. That’s why all techniques, all methods of meditation, insist: don’t be too obsessed with the past, let it go; and don’t be too infatuated with the future, let it go too. Slowly, slowly withdraw yourself from past memories and future projections. The past is no more, the future is not yet; both are non-existential. To remain in the non-existential is to remain in misery, because existence is bliss, satchitananda – it is truth, it is consciousness, it is bliss. Non-existence is untruth, unconsciousness, misery; just the opposite. And we live in the non-existential.

Just watch what goes on inside you: either you are thinking of the past, the nostalgia of the past – your beautiful childhood, or your youth, your love affairs, and this and that – or you are immersed in the future – what you are going to do tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. Either you are drowned in the past or you are drowned in the future. That’s why you are not. That’s why you yourself have become a falsehood. You are too concerned with the false, and that concern makes you pseudo. Withdraw yourself from the past and the future.

This is real renunciation, this is sannyas: withdrawing yourself from past and future; not by effort. Remember, if you withdraw yourself by effort you will be deceived. If you withdraw yourself by effort, if you say, ”I will withdraw myself from the past so that I can be in deep meditation,” then your deep meditation is a future project. Then it is neither meditation nor deep. You have already moved from the past to the future. If you say, ”If I withdraw from the past I will attain to nirvana,” now you have only substituted the past with the future. Both are the same, both are non-existential. It does not make any difference.

If you withdraw from your future, you say, ”I will not desire the future because I have to attain to nirvana, to enlightenment, to satori” – but this is future. You cannot withdraw by effort, because in effort you will always be motivated. There will be a desire, there will be a goal.

Then how to withdraw? One withdraws only by understanding the situation that the past is not, it is futile; not that it is going to lead you into the world of truth if you withdraw from the past, no. Just seeing the futility of the past – that this is all memory, dust that has gathered on the mirror of consciousness; it is just useless – you wash it away, with no motivation; just seeing the futility of it, you drop it. Not that you drop it for something else; if you drop it for something else the future has entered in. You have deceived yourself.

And when you drop your past seeing the futility of it, how can you go on living in the future? – because the future is always based in the past. Whatsoever you want tomorrow is nothing but all those beautiful things that you had yesterday. You want a repetition – maybe modified, a little bit better, refined – but it is the past again. When the past is dropped seeing the futility of it – for no other reason – just out of this understanding that it is futile it drops out of your hands, with it the future also disappears.

Future is the shadow of the past. You had been with a woman yesterday and you would like to be with the woman again tomorrow – that is future. Yesterday you had been to Latif’s and the food was delicious; tomorrow you are again thinking to go there. Your tomorrow is nothing but a reflection of your yesterday. When the yesterday disappears, reflections disappear. With the past, in the same package, the future is also dropped. And then there is present. Not that you had asked for it or you had longed for it or you had desired and worked and practised for it, no; because the past and future are no more there, then the present is. The same space that was occupied by the past and the future is now empty. In that emptiness one feels the present. And to be in the present is to be in truth. Then you have depth, you have fallen into the vertical dimension. You have heights, heights which are higher than Everest and depths which are deeper than the Pacific. Then your life has a grandeur, a splendor. This is what is called Buddhahood, Christ-consciousness, or whatever you will.

There are people who are past-oriented, there are people who are future-oriented – both go on missing. The orthodox, the conformist, is past-oriented, and the revolutionary, the rebel, is futureoriented; there is not any difference between them. The orthodox thinks the Golden Age was in the past, ”the Garden of Eden”. The revolutionary, the so-called communist, the fascist, the socialist – he thinks the Golden Age is to come. It is in the future, the utopia, the classless society where everyone will be equal, the world of freedom where exploitation will have disappeared and paradise will descend on earth. But paradise is right now, here.

Beware of these two traps. You need not go into the past to search for truth. You need not go into the scriptures, because scriptures belong to the past; and you need not go into imagination, logic, because all that logic can do is create utopias in the future. You need not go anywhere, neither in the past nor in the future. You have to be just here. And the utter beauty of the moment, and the utter blessedness of the moment.. and one is transformed – not by doing anything, but just by being here.

Allow yourself this fall into the present more and more. And you will be afraid, because it is really a fall. You will be going into depths, and those depths are abysmal; there is no bottom, and we have become accustomed to floating on the surface. For many lives we have been just swimming on the surface; we have forgotten the depth of the ocean, of this reality. So when you start falling into depth you will become afraid, you will have a very deep, frightening, scary experience; you will be in panic. That is the moment when you need a Master to say to you, ”Don’t be worried, there is nothing that can be lost, and that which can be lost is not worth keeping. That which is essential will remain with you, only the non-essential will be gone – and it is good that the non-essential go.”

The man of awareness becomes the man of the essence. Personality consists of the non-essential. Your soul consists of the essential, and the essential is immortal. The non-essential is momentary, and we cling to the non-essential; hence we suffer, because we cannot keep hold of it. It disappears sooner or later. Whatsoever we do is futile because the momentary cannot be forever. Just as it comes, it goes. It is a wave, a ripple, a bubble; sooner or later it will be gone. For the moment it looks so beautiful – the sun is reflected in it and a small rainbow surrounds it – but it is just a soap bubble. You can play with it but don’t become attached to it, otherwise you will suffer. And that’s why people are suffering: they become attached to soap bubbles.

They have given different names to the soap bubbles. Somebody calls it love, somebody calls it money, somebody calls it power, somebody calls it life, prestige, and so on, so forth – but they are all soap bubbles. Any moment, they will be gone, and you will be left in despair. To cling to the personality is to cling to soap bubbles.

Source – Osho Book “The Secret”

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