Osho on path

Question – Is there an Intellectual path to Enlightenment?

Osho – First, there is no path. The very idea of a path is fallacious. The path necessarily leads you away — the path necessarily takes you from this to that, from here to there, from now to then. There is no need for any path for enlightenment, because enlightenment is being here. The path will be a distraction; all paths are distractions. Follow any path and you will be following a wrong path — and there are no paths which are RIGHT paths.

Let it sink deep in your heart: There are no right paths, paths as such are wrong. To be on a path is to be going into a wrong direction, because you will be going away and away from yourself. Not really, but in desire, in dream. That’s why all the religions have become other-worldly — they are all paths. To be a path, it is needed that the God should be far away. The farther the better, because then the path can be created. Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Buddhism — paths can be created. God has to be really far away — so far away that the path is non-ending and the priest can go on exploiting.

In Dostoevsky there is a parable: Jesus comes back after eighteen hundred years, just to see how things are going now. And he thinks things must be going beautifully now, because almost half the world is Christian. He appears in the marketplace of Bethlehem, people surround him and they laugh and they joke. And he feels a little embarrassed: What is the matter? Why are they laughing?

And he asks, and they say ‘You look like Jesus — you have almost succeeded in looking like Jesus.’ And he says ‘But I am Jesus.’ And they laugh even more. And they say ‘Whosoever you are, either you are a pretender or you are a madman. But escape from here. If the priest comes to know, you will be in difficulty.’

And it is Sunday, Jesus must have chosen Sunday, and the people are coming out of the church. But he remains there under the tree waiting for the priest. Because he thinks ‘If ordinary people cannot recognize me, at least my priest will recognize me.’ And comes the priest. And he is so angry — angry the same way as Jewish rabbis had been eighteen hundred years before. And he pulls Jesus down and tells the people to take him into the church — this man seems to be either mad or dangerous, a pretender.

Jesus cannot believe his own eyes. ‘My own priest…has just a few minutes before been preaching about my words.’ And it is happening, the same drama is happening again. And he starts feeling as if he is going to be crucified again. And the priest takes him inside, locks him into a.small cell. And he wonders, sitting there, ‘Now what is going to happen? But what type of Christians are these people? If they cannot recognize me then whom are they going to recognize? And they have been waiting for me, and continuously praying to me “Come back!” and “We need you!” And now I am here!’ This seems to be unbelievable.

And the whole day he remains in the cell. In the middle of the night comes the priest with a lamp. And the priest touches the feet of Christ and he says ‘I recognized you. But I cannot recognize you in the marketplace. You are not needed any more, we are doing your job so perfectly well. And you are a great disturbance — you have always been. You need not come, we are taking care of your business here. And everything has settled, and you will unsettle it and you will destroy everything that we have done down these eighteen centuries. It has been an arduous journey but now we are established. The whole earth belongs to us, almost. Every town has the church, and millions of missionaries and priests are roaming around the world converting everybody to Christianity. Sooner or rater, by the end of this century, we will have converted the whole earth. You need not come — because you are a disturber, an ancient disturber. You will start saying dangerous things again and all our effort will be undone.

‘I recognize you in this darkness of the night. But in the morning, before people, I cannot recognize you. You had better escape, otherwise I will have to crucify you.’

Jesus Christ so close is dangerous to the priest. Because then the priest is not needed at all. The mediator is not needed, the agent is not needed, the medium is not needed. When Christ is standing by your side, there is no need tor anybody to become a link. God has to be far away, very very far away, so the priest can play the role of becoming a messenger. So he can become the bridge between you and God.

All paths are created by the priest. Buddhas have not given any path. They have given an understanding to you that there is no need to go anywhere. You just be silent, you just be in, and all is available to you. God is not outside, He is your inside. God is not an object, He is your subjectivity. God is YOU! So where are you going? What path is needed? No path is needed. No path is the right path.


First, there is no path. And second, God cannot be recognized and realized by any of your parts. God can only be realized through your totality. Neither is there an intellectual path nor is there an emotional path, neither head nor heart. You come to God as a total being, all is included in it. Your intellect, your emotions, your logic, your love, your blood, your bones, your guts. Everything is included in it, you as a totality. But paths are bound to be fragmentary, no path can be total. So there are intellectual paths — in India they call them GHYANA yoga, the path of knowledge. Then there are emotional paths — BHAKTI yoga, the path of devotion. And then there are paths of action — KARMA yoga.

Man has three layers in his being: knowing, feeling, doing. Now, these three paths are evolved because of these three layers in man’s being. Intellect can know but cannot feel. Emotion can feel but cannot know. Action can do but cannot know, cannot feel. Knowledge cannot do, feeling cannot do. Man is this trinity, this triangle: action, knowledge, feeling. And they all have to be integrated together in one unity. Only then, you know God.

Not only has man divided man, man has divided God too — God the father, God the son, God the holy ghost. Or, in Indian mythology, TRIMURTI — the three faces of God. God has no face, God is facelessness. God has no form, how can He have a face? God is not three, God is one. Even to say ‘one’ is not right, because the one creates the idea of two and the two creates the idea of three, and on and on you go.

God simply is. Neither one nor three, neither one nor many. God is a simple is-ness. And when you are in your is-ness you are God. Remember, you don’t come to see God, you don’t encounter God, you don’t come to realize that ‘This is God.’ When you come to God you are God. God is not something outside you but is your innermost core, is the center of the cyclone.

So there is no path, first. And there are no intellectual or emotional or other kinds. There are no paths, you have to become a totality. In that very totality you become divine. Intellect can go on and on analyzing. It is dry, it is analysis, it is logic, it cannot feel.Through intellect, science is born. That’s why science cannot say God is. Science has to deny God. That denial comes because of its presuppositions. Because science believes only in reason, and it believes in a very detached reason. Your feelings should not come into it. You should remain aloof, detached, indifferent to whatsoever you are looking at. You should be just an observer, with no feeling, with no heart. Your heart should not beat, your knowledge should be devoid of feeling.

Naturally, science stumbles upon matter. Not that only matter is; science stumbles upon matter because of its methodology. The methodology is such that consciousness cannot be caught hold of. Consciousness is excluded from the very beginning, the method excludes it.

For example, if you start seeing through the ears then you will stumble upon only sounds. You will not come to see flowers and colors and rainbows and the sun and the moon and the stars. And sooner or later you will conclude that only sounds exist, there are no flowers and there are no colors.

Logic has given science. Love has given the so-called religions — the religions of yesterday, the religions which are no more relevant. They were as partial as science. That’s why there was so much conflict between science and religion — that conflict was not accidental. The conflict was of methodology. Religion was basically emotional, of feeling. Logic was denied, reason was prohibited. Tears were okay, prayers were okay, but no intellect. The intellect was the enemy. So when science started growing, it was natural that the church and the religious people would be in conflict with it. The religion of yesterday was as partial as today’s science.

Nobody has ever been able to see the human being in its totality. But that moment has come. Now man is no more childish. That moment has come — the moment for that idea, the idea of totality, to be accepted, has come. And when the moment for some idea comes then nothing can prevent it. All partial efforts have failed. Science has failed, religion has failed, politics has failed — politics means action. They all have failed. In fact, partiality has failed.

The East has suffered because it leaned too much towards the feeling part. Hence the poverty, hence the misery, because science could not grow. And without science there is going to be poverty, without science there are going to be a thousand and one problems on the material plane. The West has developed technology. The poverty has disappeared, many illnesses have disappeared, it has been a blessing. But on the other hand, man has also disappeared. And man has turned into a machine. The heart is no more functioning, love flows no more, the juice of feelings has dried up and man is becoming a desert. Man is feeling meaninglessness and is very close to committing suicide. Individuals have been committing suicide, their number grows every day. And sooner or later, if balance is not brought, if partiality is not dropped and totality is not brought, there is every possibility man may commit a global suicide. There are great preparations for it.

Love has disappeared from the West, as logic has disappeared from the East. This is a lopsided situation. My approach is that of totality, of wholeness. And whatsoever is whole I call holy. With me, you have to learn this thing. You are not to choose one, you have to choose totality. You have to be a whole man. Nothing should be rejected. You should be whatsoever you are, with great acceptance. It is difficult to accept all, because if you accept logic then it becomes contradictory to accept love. If you accept love then it feels difficult to accept logic. But what can you do? This is how things are. It is not a question of choice; it is how you are made, it is how existence functions.

Existence is paradoxical. And man has been carrying a very foolish, stupid idea that he has to be non-paradoxical. So when he chooses intellect he destroys feeling, because feelings don’t fit with intellect. But what is the need to fit? Or when he chooses feeling he becomes antagonistic to logic and reason. He becomes superstitious. Because then he feels afraid that if logic comes in then where will be faith? Then faith will be destroyed.

But I tell you there is no need to be afraid. You can accept all. Just one thing has to be understood, that life is paradoxical. And life is richer, the more paradoxical you are. If you can contain contradictions you will be vast. If you can contain contradictions you will have variety, you will have multiplicity in you, you will have all dimensions in you. And that will be the real birth of man.

Man has yet to come, man is still a promise. We are just stumbling and groping for the man to come. Man is not yet born, we are in the womb. Hence so much anxiety. And it seems the day of birth is very close. Hence so much crisis. For the first time man is going to be born — man in the sense of totality, in the sense of paradoxicalness. In the sense of vastness that contains contradictions. A man should be a poet and a man should be a lover and a man should be rational and a man should be active. A man should be all. And there is no problem in it. In fact if there is logic and love both, logic will support love and love will support logic. Your logic will never go dry, the juice of love will keep it green. It will have its green and red and gold. And if reason is there your love will never become a kind of insanity, it will retain a certain quality of reasonableness. It will not take you to extremes. You will remain in the middle, you will remain balanced and symmetrical.

So there is no intellectual path, there is no emotional path. Wholeness, totality, is required. Nothing less than that will do. You have to take the risk of being total.

Source – Osho Book “This Very Body the Buddha”

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