It is pretty clear that our species, Homo sapiens, meaning "wise person," is not as sapiens as we like to imagine. Perhaps Homo insapiens would be more appropriate.
First we brainwash all new arrivals to be loyal to this gang or that: political, national, religious, ethnic, ideological... whatever. Implicit in this process is that my gang is better than the other gang. The religious gangs have a particular trick of opposing birth control to make sure their gang has lots of new members.
Naturally, these artificially created gangs are primed to fight to prove they are right. Homo insapiens then arranges "elections," or some other hierarchical system, so that the gangs now have "legitimate" gang leaders, whose main claim is to be able to successfully defeat the other gangs. Outrageous sums of money and energy are required to sustain the resultant conflicts, not to mention the "collateral" costs in pain, suffering and destruction.
It is ambition, it is some desire, it is some hope in the future that keeps the body moving.
At the same time millions --or is it billions? -- of wretched people have almost no food, no water, no sanitation, no shelter, no healthcare, no education, no employment... Zilch.
Conventional wisdom says that the solution is to support your gang to get a better deal. Meanwhile, many others of these "wise" ones are busily consuming, and wasting, at unsustainable levels as we wreck the only still habitable planet we know of. This is only worsening the plight of those dispossessed masses to the point they have to leave their increasingly uninhabitable lands and start walking. To where?
What is driving this insane obsession to keep moving round and round in circles, like a complete ring of ants on a plate, just following the ant in front till they drop? Unless we can understand what keeps us moving towards oblivion, we will never discover how to stop.
Would a little wisdom help? Osho explains:
"It is ambition, it is some desire, it is some hope in the future that keeps the body moving. The word for this ambition, desire, hope used by Gautam Buddha is tanha. It contains all these things. You are always looking ahead for something to happen in your life; you have not lived yet. The past is empty; you know it has been a desert. The only way to move is to keep your eyes far away on some star. It is just your imagination, but it is enough to keep the body moving.
It can happen in a deeper meditation that you come to a full stop, to a state of unmoving, just a feeling that there is no need to move...
"If it has not happened up to now, there is no guarantee that it will not happen in the future. Tomorrow is always open, and it is the tomorrow that keeps the body moving and the mind moving and not only in one life: the Eastern understanding is far deeper than the Western understanding about the inner secrets.
"All the mystics born in the East may disagree on every other point, but on one point their agreement is absolute, and that is the point of reincarnation. It is not only in one life that you go on moving because of some desire or many desires. You go on moving from one life to another life, from one womb to another womb, but the reason is the same: movement means you have something in the future to be achieved.
"Your future is alluring you. You are fascinated by all the possibilities that can be yours. You are not at all finished. Because the past was empty, the future can be fuller, richer, better. It is this hope that keeps on and never dies. Every day you will find it disappointed, every life you will find it disappointed. But still the future is there, always available, open, and giving you as many chances as you want.
"It can happen in a deeper meditation that you come to a full stop, to a state of unmoving, just a feeling that there is no need to move, no need to go anywhere, because there is nowhere to go. You have been running after shadows for so many lives, yet everything has proved to be meaningless, and you never arrive at any goal.
If the goal disappears from your mind, you will find yourself slowing down, in your body, in your mind. A deep relaxation will start settling.
"In deep meditation the realization can come that there is no goal and all movement is futile. If there is no goal, there is no need to move, since all movement is goal-oriented; they are together. If the goal disappears from your mind, you will find yourself slowing down, in your body, in your mind. A deep relaxation will start settling. It is one of the most beautiful experiences.
"Meditation is actually meant to bring you to this full stop, where for the first time you are no more motivated by any desire, by any ambition, by any longing. For the first time future has disappeared. It has never been in existence, it was only your imagination. Future is your projection of unfulfilled desires. The more unfulfilled you are, the bigger a future you have. The more unfulfilled is your being, the richer the dreams you have of the future. But it is just in your mind.
"We divide time into three tenses: the past, the present, the future. But it is a wrong division. Time consists only of the present, and mind consists only of past and future. You are mixing two things together.
"Meditation will help to give you the clarity to divide them exactly as they are.
"Mind is memory of the past and mind is imagination for the future. But time itself is undividedly only present. You never meet yesterdays, and you never meet tomorrows. What you actually encounter, always, is the present moment.
"The moment you realize this, you start settling withinwards. All movement is outwards, all movement is extrovert. No-movement is introvert, no-movement is going inwards, just settling at the very centre of your being -- not even a ripple, no thought, no dream, no desire.
The present is nothing but death for the mind. But death for the mind is the beginning of your authentic life.
"This is actually the state of meditation. Mind has gone with the movement; it was another name of movement. It kept you busy and occupied with the future, with the past, with everything except the present. It was very reluctant to come to the present. That's why people find it difficult to meditate.
"Mind pulls them either towards the past, where it is perfectly happy, or towards the future, because only in the past or in the future can it live. The present is nothing but death for the mind. But death for the mind is the beginning of your authentic life. Mind keeps you living an unauthentic life. All your despair, all your agony, all your misery are the children of your mind. As movement stops, mind stops. Suddenly you are here and now. For the first time you touch existence. For the first time you are awake. The dream of the mind, the sleep of the mind is no longer there.
"In this awakening moment you find yourself -- not the ego that you used to think is you, not the old personality that you always believed in and had remained identified with. That personality, that ego, was all part of the mind; with the mind, they have all disappeared. All that fog is no more there -- just a crystal-clear clarity, a transparency, a silence, alive, full of peace and a subtle joy so deep that you have never known such a depth before. You could not have even conceived or dreamed of it.
As movement stops, mind stops. Suddenly you are here and now. For the first time you touch existence. For the first time you are awake.
"This is not only your self, this is the universal self too. Because it is also the universal self, Gautam Buddha decided to call this experience "no-self," simply to emphasize that you are no more. Existence is: you are gone. Now the whole has taken over. You are conscious, conscious for the first time in totality.
"And new things start happening to you. They are just the opposites of what the mind was creating. Instead of agony, you have ecstasy; instead of misery, you have tremendous blissfulness; instead of despair, you are utterly at ease; instead of feeling a meaninglessness, for the first time you see the significance and the beauty and the glory that has been bestowed upon you by existence. And without any effort on your part a tremendous urge arises to thank the whole, to be grateful, to dance in gratitude, to sing in gratitude.
"To me, the only true prayer is that which comes out of gratitude, not addressed to any god, not addressed to get anything, but addressed to the whole of existence for all that it has already given to you. It is so much. You suddenly see that you don't deserve all this. You have never earned anything of it: all this beauty, all these blessings, all this ecstasy. You cannot conceive that it is your earning. It is simply a gift from the beyond. You can only bow down to -- not to anybody in particular, just to the whole that surrounds you." (Excerpted from Osho, Sat-Chit-Anand)
This article by Dr. John Andrews originally appeared in the OSHO Times
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