Osho on Atma Chintan

Question –  How do you define Atma Chintan?
Osho : There is no such thing as self-thinking, atma chintan. You cannot be in a state when you are thinking about yourself, because one who knows, knows; he never thinks about it. We only think about things which we don’t know… you go on thinking. But one can know oneself through borrowed knowledge; then, one can think about oneself.

Then one can think about atma and the nature of the self, the existence of the self, the origin of the self… one can go on thinking about it. But this is not knowing. In meditation, you are not thinking about yourself, you are knowing. And the moment of knowing is the moment of explosion. The mind is exploded – you become something else.

You are not the old man, you are not the old person. The old person has gone, a new man has come into being. Now this man lives in a totally different way, exists in a totally different way, loves in a different way, is in a different way because he has come to know himself. The first point of knowledge has been achieved. Now he can know others too….

We are in a dilemma. We don’t know ourselves, and we think that we know others. We are trying to know others without knowing ourselves. This is impossible. If I am ignorant of my own self, how can I know anything else in the world? The very center is ignorant, the very person is in darkness, so how can I discover light anywhere else? – it has not been discovered in me!

The first point of discovery, the first explosion of light, must be, can only be in me. Then it spreads, then it goes out and out and out. This first moment of transformation is self-knowing. Then like a pebble thrown in a lake, the circles go on spreading and spreading.

Then they will go on up to the bank. The explosion is in the self, but then the explosion goes on encircling the whole world. It goes to the very end, and then it becomes divine knowledge. First the explosion is self-knowledge, then the explosion goes, goes, goes to the infinite and becomes divine knowledge. Self-knowledge is the door, is the opening towards the divine.

But we do not know ourselves, and we think we know even God. We debate about it, we struggle about it, we discuss it, we confute, refute, convince… we say this is right, this is wrong, this religion is right, that religion is wrong, this scripture is accurate, that scripture is not accurate, we go on debating and discussing things for which, in ourselves there is no opening. The opening comes through the explosion of the self.

One thing more to be understood: The explosion is the explosion of your ego also. When you know, when you come to know yourself – this is a miracle and this is a mystery – the self remains only in ignorance. The self is part of the ignorance. We say self-knowledge, but really when the knowing comes, the self goes. There is no self then. Then there is only knowing.

Then you are not. Then there is only existence, then there is only being. That being is atman. Atman is not the self, the ego. One thing to be understood: You cannot know yourself, because the moment you come to know, you are not there, only the knowing remains. And that knowing without an ego, goes to the very endless end. Because there is no boundary now.

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