Question – Is the only purpose in Life Self-Realization?
Osho – No sir, not even that. Even self-realization is not the purpose. Somehow, you cannot live without purpose. You have an obsession with purpose, some purpose HAS to be there. Now if there is no other purpose, let it be self-realization. And you will feel good, you will feel very good – at least there is some purpose: self-realization. Again you have settled, again you have started thinking in terms of means and ends. Again desire will flower, you have to attain to self-realization. Again the future enters in, again you can dream.
Before, it may have been money, power, prestige. It may have been God, moksha, nirvana, the kingdom of God. Now it is self-realization. But you have to keep some goal there. And Hakuin says all is here. You want to have something on the other shore. And Hakuin says this is the only shore. The other shore is hidden in THIS shore. You are not to go anywhere, you are not to seek and search, it is already the case. You have just to be here, for a single moment be here, and…THIS VERY BODY THE BUDDHA.
Now you are creating another…Can’t you live without problems? Can’t you drop the goal-oriented approach? Can’t you be in the present? Can you only be in the future? And to be in the future is to be false, because the future has not come yet. People know only two ways to be: either they are in the past or in the future. Their identity comes either from the past or from the future. In the present they feel very shaky because in the present the identity disappears the self disappears. In the present there is nothing like ego.
Just look into it, this very moment. You are utterly here, not a single thought stirring, silence all around: where are you? In this silence, how can you exist? It effaces you, you become a tabula rasa, you become a child again. To hold to identity, either you have to look to the past…it supplies identity. You have a Ph. D. from a university, you are a doctor or an engineer, a scientist, a poet, you have written so many books. Or you belong to a royal family, or this and that. You have done these things and those things – all those accumulated acts, they become the sum total of your being. And you are not the sum total of your acts. There is another man hidden behind your acts – the real man, the essential man. The essential man has never done a thing. It is simply there, it is not a doer.
But you will cling to the identity. You have been appreciated, you will ding to it. Even if you have been condemned you will ding to it. The saints cling to their past, and so ding the sinners. The good man dings to the past, so dings the bad man, because they both need identity. And people prefer to have a bad identity than no identity. At least one knows who one is: ’I am a prisoner, I have been put in the prison for twenty years, I am a thief or a murderer. At least I know something about myself.’
Then somebody else is a saint and he has renounced the world and he fasts every month and he eats only once a day. He sleeps only three hours, thousands of people worship him, his paradise is certain, he has so many virtues. But both are clinging to identity. And both are in the same boat, the sinner and the saint.
Or you start gathering identity from the future. You are going to do this, you are going to BE this – you will become the president of a country, or you will become very famous, or you will write a book soon and you are going to win a Nobel prize. You go on thinking of the future, and that gives you a feeling who you are.
But both are false. The true is only the present. Time knows no past, no future; past and future are mind things. Time knows only one tense, and that is the present. But to be in the present means to destroy all goals, to have no future-involvement. Otherwise your energy will be flowing in that direction.
Now you say: IS THE ONLY PURPOSE IN LIFE SELF-REALIZATION?
I go on repeating every day that there is no purpose in life, life is purposeless. Hence it is beautiful. Purpose makes everything business-like. Life is poetry, it is not business. Now you have found a word – you must have thought I would like this word, ’self-realization’. All nonsense; there is no self to realize. Nothing has to be realized. The real is real – what are you going to realize! The real is already real and the unreal is unreal. ’Realization’ means something is not real yet and you are going to make it real. How can you make something which is unreal real somewhere in the future? How can you transform a lie into a truth? A lie will remain a lie, and truth has always been truth. Nothing has to be realized.
Then what has to be done? The question arises again and again in your mind. In fact nothing has to be done, you have only to see the futility of doing. In that seeing, action stops, mind stops. And that which has been with you for ever, you come to feel it, to know it. Not that you realize it, you simply recognize it. A forgotten thing is remembered again, that’s all.
Source – Osho Book “This Very Body the Buddha”