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Osho on Gnosticism


The fifth gospel. It is not recorded in The Bible; it has just been found in Egypt: Notes On Jesus, by Thomas. I have spoken about it because I immediately fell in love with it. Thomas, in his Notes On Jesus, is so simple that he cannot be inaccurate. He is so direct, immediate, that he is not, only Jesus is.
Do you know that Thomas was the first disciple to reach India? Indian Christianity is the oldest in the world, older than the Vatican. And the body of Thomas is still preserved in Goa - a strange place, but beautiful, very beautiful. That′s why all the outsiders, called hippies, have become attracted towards Goa. There is no other place... no other beaches so pure and beautiful as in Goa.
The body of Thomas is still preserved, and it is a miracle how it is preserved. Now we know how to preserve a body, to freeze it, but Thomas′ body is not frozen; some ancient method that was used in Egypt, in Tibet, has been used in this case too. Scientists have not yet been able to discover - such chemicals have been used... or even whether any chemicals were used or not. Scientists are great! They can reach to the moon, but they cannot make a fountain pen which does not leak! About small things they are failures.
I am not a scientist. Yesterday, even when I said "Okay," it was not okay. I simply said it because I love you and I did not want to cause any trouble. I don′t know anything about machinery or chemistry, I only know myself. When everything around me is going perfectly there is a transcendence. I know through that transcendence that everything is going perfectly. If something is wrong, I have to come down again.
Let me explain to you the whole Eastern concept of coming down. A man is born only if something is wrong... if something is wrong with him. If nothing is wrong he is not born; he moves to the source, disappears in the cosmos.

(Osho in Books I Have Loved)


To see God one needs eyes absolutely without any idea. The idea is the greatest cloud.
One of the greatest mystics of the West - whose name is not known because he has not signed his book - has written one of the most important mystic treatises ever: The Cloud of Unknowing. He says that it is not through knowledge that you come to know; on the contrary, you come to know by UN-knowing. This is pure absurdity! It is talking in paradoxes: knowing through unknowing.
What does he mean? He means that when all knowledge has been dropped, when all experience has been put aside, when mind as such is no more functioning, then you relate with existence in a totally new way. Each fiber of your being pulsates with the whole; it is a rhythmic dance. It IS absurd - you cannot make a theory out of it.

(Osho - The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, vol.8 #8)

You cannot pinpoint me. You cannot fix me. I am not a thing. I am a river, a cloud which is constantly changing its form. My idea of consistency is rooted in this continual change, this dynamic dance called life. Yes, to me God is a dancer, constant movement; that is the beauty of God. In fact I would not like to call God a dancer but dance itself - because even the word ′dancer′ would be false: it gives an idea of a certain entity - just dance, just cloud.
There is an ancient Christian mystic treatise, The Cloud of Unknowing. No other book has such a beautiful title: ′The Cloud of Unknowing′. That is the definition of God: ′cloud′ and ′of unknowing′.
You cannot make knowledge out of the experience of God. In fact, the more you experience God, the less and less you will know. The day God has happened to you totally, you will not be found there. The knower has gone, disappeared. The dewdrop has slipped into the ocean, or... the ocean has slipped into the dewdrop.

(Osho - The Secret of Secrets, vol.2 #2)

The paradox is that the man of knowledge claims that he knows and the man of knowing does not even know that he knows. The man of knowing is innocent. There is a very famous mystic treatise in the West - the only one in the West. Nobody knows who wrote it, nobody knows from whom it came, but it must have come from a tremendous experience. The name of the treatise is The Cloud of Unknowing. It is from a man of knowing, but he calls it The Cloud of Unknowing. He says, "When I came to know, I forgot all knowledge; all knowledge disappeared." There is no need for knowledge when you know. When you don′t know, you cling to knowledge because only through that knowledge can you pretend to know. when you know, you can forget knowledge. When you don′t know, how can you afford to forget it?
So only the greatest knowers have been able to forget knowledge. That is the peak, and it has to be remembered. Living here with me, being here with me, don′t become men of knowledge otherwise you will have missed me. Become men of knowing, become clouds of unknowing - which is the same thing in other words. Knowing is almost like unknowing because in knowing there is no knower, the ego does not exist. In knowledge there is a division: the division of the known and the knower, the division of the subject and the object. In knowing there is no division. Knowing is not divisive, it is unitive; it unites.
Science is a sort of knowledge, religion a sort of knowing or unknowing, hence their paths never cross anywhere and they never will cross. Where science ends, religion begins. Where cunningness ends, innocence begins. Where the knower disappears, knowing comes in.

(Osho - Tao: The Pathless Path, vol.1 #11)

Have you ever heard of a Christian mystic treatise, ′The Cloud of Unknowing′? It is one of the most beautiful books ever written. The author is unknown - some medieval Christian mystic - but it is one of the most penetrating books ever.
God is known through a sort of unknowing. God is not known through learning, but through unlearning. God is not known through the mind, but by dropping of the mind.
God is known in tremendous ignorance, because ignorance is innocence; knowledge is cunning. Knowledge tries to control. Knowledge makes you powerful. Ignorance makes you humble. So remember not to become knowledgeable. Never allow knowledge to collect around you. Every day knowledge is accumulated through experience; every day, throw it away. It is dust that gathers on the mirror of consciousness.
Scholars, pundits, are the farthest away from god. So more and more relax in a sort of unknowing. Know that you don′t know - and only that knowledge is valuable which knows that it doesn′t know. Not knowing is the way. Only through being like small children - innocent, uncorrupted by knowledge, full of wonder - does one come to the divine.

(Osho - Blessed are the Ignorant #24, a Darshan Diary)


I have spoken about his statements, which are only fragments noted down by his disciples, but I have spoken on him only to make it known to the world that people like Dionysius should not be forgotten. They are the real people.
The real people can be counted on your fingers. The real person is one who has encountered the real, not only from the outside as an object, but as his own subjectivity. Dionysius belongs to the great world of the buddhas. I refer again to his few statements - I cannot call it a book; a book needs to be a little more than just fragments.

(Osho - Books I Have Loved)



I would have loved for him to have been born in the East. To be born among Germans and then to write or speak about the ultimate is a difficult job. But the poor man did it, and did it perfectly. Germans are Germans; whatsoever they do, they do it perfectly. Even today it seems one German sannyasin is still knocking. Perfection! Listen to his knocks, how beautiful they sound amidst all this silence.
Eckhart was uneducated. It is strange that many of the mystics are uneducated. There must be something wrong with education. Why are there not so many educated mystics? Education must be destroying something, and that prevents people from becoming mystics.
Yes, education destroys. Twenty-five years continuously, from the kindergarten to the postgraduate courses in university, it goes on destroying in you whatsoever is beautiful and aesthetic. The lotus is crushed under scholarship, the rose is murdered by the so-called professors, teachers, vice-chancellors, chancellors. What beautiful names they have chosen for themselves.
The real education has not begun yet. It has to begin. It will be the education of the heart, not of the head; of the feminine in you, not the masculine.
It is a wonder that Eckhart, among the Germans, the most male chauvinist race in the world, remained yet in his heart, and spoke from there. Uneducated, poor, of no political status, of no economic status, of no status at all - just a beggar, but so rich. Very few people have been so rich. Rich in his being - his BEING. Write BEING in capital letters.
These two words, being and becoming, have to be understood. Becoming is a process with no beginning and no end, a continuum. But being is not a process at all, it simply is. Call it is-ness, and you will be very close to it. Being is neither of time nor of space, it is a transcendence. Transcendence - again, write TRANSCENDENCE in capital letters. Alas that you cannot write it in golden letters. It is a word that should be written in gold, pure gold - not eighteen carat but twenty-four carat, one hundred percent gold.
Eckhart said only a few things, but even those were enough to irritate the ugly priesthood, the pope and the devils that surround him. They immediately stopped Eckhart. They told him what to say and what not to say. It needs a madman like me not to listen to these fools.
But Eckhart was a simple man; he listened, listened to authority. A German is after all a German. When you say "Left turn" he turns left; when you say "Right turn" he turns right.
I was expelled from army training at the university because when they said "Right turn" I would think it over. Everybody would immediately turn except me. The military officer was puzzled. He said, "What′s the matter with you? Can′t you hear? Is something wrong with your ears?"
I said, "No, something is wrong with me. I don′t see the point. Why should I turn left or right? There is no necessity, no reason. And these poor fools who have turned to the right and then to the left will come to the same position that I am in already."
Naturally I was expelled - and I was immensely happy. Everybody thought it was bad luck, and I thought it was good luck. They whispered that something must be wrong with me: "He was expelled and yet he is enjoying...." I threw a party with wine and all.
Eckhart listened. A German cannot be really enlightened, it will be very difficult. Vimalkirti (one of Osho′s German disciples) may be the first German who became enlightened. But Eckhart was very close; one step more and the world will end... and the opening, the opening of the doors, the opening to the beyond. But he said - even though he was a German, and even under pressure from the pope - he said beautiful things. Just a little bit of truth has entered into his sayings, hence I include him.

(Osho in Books I Have Loved)


jacob boehme

I don′t know how to pronounce his name, but who cares! That is how it is written: B-o-e-h-m-e. Germans must pronounce it differently, that much I am certain. But I am not a German. I don′t have to compromise with anyone in any way. I have always called him "Boomay." Even if he comes to me and says, "That′s not exactly my name," I will say, "Get lost! To me this is your name, and this is going to be your name, Boomay."
Strangely, whenever Arpita comes into my room I smell Boehme, I suddenly remember Boehme. Maybe it′s just an association, because he was a shoemaker and Arpita is my shoemaker. But Arpita, you are blessed that you remind me of Boehme, one of the most beautiful Germans ever. Again, he was utterly poor. It seems one has to be poor to be wise; that has been the case up to now. But not after me. After me you have to be rich to be enlightened. Let me repeat it: you have to be rich to be enlightened.
Jesus says the rich will not enter into his kingdom of God. He was talking in the old way. I say emphatically that only the richest will enter into the kingdom of God. And remember, what I am saying is the same as what Jesus was saying, it is not contradictory. The ′poor′ in Jesus′ terminology and the ′rich′ in my terminology mean exactly the same. He calls a man poor who has lost himself, his ego, and that is the man I call rich. The more egoless you are the richer you are. But in the past, very rarely was a man like Boehme born into a rich family, particularly in the West.
It is not so in the East. Buddha was a prince, Mahavira was a prince; the twenty-four tirthankaras of the Jainas were all kings. Krishna was a king, Rama was a king. All were rich, immensely rich. It signifies something; it signifies the richness I am talking about. A man is rich when his ego is lost. When he is no more, he is.
Boehme says a few things, just a few. He could not say many things, so don′t be afraid. The one thing I would like to mention is: The heart is the temple of God. Yes, Boehme, it is the heart not the head.

(Osho in Books I Have Loved)


emanuel swedenborg

There is a scientific record about a very rare man in the West, Swedenborg. He wrote a letter to Wesley, a famous priest, and told him, "In the world of the spirits, I have heard the rumor that you want to see me." Wesley was surprised because he was thinking to see him, but he had not said so to anybody. He could not believe it. He wrote a letter saying. "I am simply amazed. I don′t know what you mean by the world of spirits, I don′t know what you mean that you have heard the rumor, but this is certain that I have been thinking to see you - and I have not said this to anybody I will be coming on such and such date, because I am going for a tour, and three, four months afterwards I will be coming to you." Swedenborg wrote to him, "That is not possible because, exactly on that date, I have heard the rumor in the world of the spirits that I am going to die." And exactly on that date he died.
Swedenborg was staying with a few friends at a holiday resort, and suddenly he started crying, "Fire! Fire!" They could not believe what he was saying. They ran out. There was no fire - nothing a small village, a seaside village. They asked him what he meant - and he was perspiring as if there was fire, and he was so trembling. Then he said. "Nearabout three hundred miles away a town is on fire." A horseman was sent immediately. He was right. The town was on fire, and at that moment the people of the town became aware, when he said. "Fire! Fire!"
The queen of Sweden became interested in this man. She said, "Can you say something to me which can give me proof that you move in the world of the spirits?" He closed his eyes and he said, "In your palace," where he had never been because he had never been called before to the palace and it was not a public place where anybody could go.... He said, "In a certain room," the number of the room, "in a certain drawer, which is locked, and the key will be found in another room, open it. Your husband has left a letter for you." The husband had been dead for almost twelve years. "And this is the message on the letter...." He wrote the message. The room was found, the key was searched for and found, the drawer was opened, and there was a letter and exactly those were the words that Swedenborg had written on the piece of paper.
Patanjali says if nirodh is accomplished it becomes samadhi. If samadhi is attained, one becomes one-pointed, consciousness becomes a sword, a sharp, one-pointed thing with knowledge of past and future. Because then for you time disappears and you become part of eternity. Then past is not past for you and future is not future for you. Then for you all the three are available simultaneously.
But this is not a miracle. This is a simple Law, a basic Law. One has to understand and use it.

(Osho in Yoga: the Alpha and the Omega, vol.7 #7)


maurice nicoll

Nicoll was a disciple of Gurdjieff, and unlike Ouspensky, he never betrayed, he was not a Judas. A true disciple to the very last breath and beyond it too. The commentaries of Nicoll are vast - I don′t think anybody reads them - thousands and thousands of pages. But if one takes the trouble one is immensely benefited. In my opinion Nicoll′s Commentaries should be considered as one of the best books in the world.

(Osho in Books I Have Loved)

Maurice Nicoll, one of the disciples of George Gurdjieff, and one of the most significant disciples, says ′As we cease to invent ourselves, so we cease to invent other people. We begin to feel a common existence which is without passion, and is simply what it is, without further definition.′
When you stop inventing yourself - your ego is your invention - when you stop creating a false pseudo personality around you, when you just start being just whatsoever you are, when you start relaxing into existence...′As we cease to invent ourselves, so we cease to invent other people.′ Both things go together. If you are inventing yourself, you will be inventing others too. You go on creating a very beautiful image of yourself and, correspondingly, you go on creating beautiful images of other people. Neither your image about yourself is true, nor is your image about other people true. So you live in a kind of illusion, and again and again you are frustrated, because nothing comes according to your image. It cannot come - your image is just your invention, it is not the truth.
Maurice Nicoll is right. He says: When we stop inventing ourselves, we stop inventing others, and then suddenly there is a common ground, a common existence. Passion disappears, and when passion disappears, compassion appears.

(Osho in I Say Unto You, vol.1 #3)


Whenever someone realizes the ultimate, he is not like your wise men. He cannot be. He may be like your fools, but he cannot be like your wise men. When Saint Francis became enlightened he used to call himself God′s fool. The pope was a wise man, and when Saint Francis came to see him even he thought this man had gone mad. He was intelligent, calculating, clever; otherwise how could he be a pope?
To become a pope one has to pass through much politics. To become a pope saintliness is not needed, diplomacy is needed, a competitive aggression is needed to put others aside, to force your way, to use others as ladders and then throw them. It is politics... because a pope is a political head. Religion is secondary or nothing at all. He may be a theologian, but he is not religious, because how can a religious man compete? How can a religious man fight and be aggressive for a post? They are only politicians.
Saint Francis came to see the pope, and the pope thought this man a fool. But trees and birds and fishes thought in a different way. When Saint Francis went to the river the fishes would jump in celebration that Francis had come. Thousands witnessed this phenomenon. Millions of fishes would jump simultaneously; the whole river would be lost in jumping fishes. Saint Francis had come and the fishes were happy. And wherever he would go birds would follow; they would come and sit on his leg, on his body, in his lap. They understood this fool better than the pope. Even trees which had become dry and were going to die would become green and blossom again if Saint Francis came near. These trees understood well that this fool was no ordinary fool - he was God′s fool.

(Osho - A Bird on the Wing #10)

Saint Francis of Assisi lay on his deathbed. He was singing, and singing so loudly that the whole neighborhood was aware. Brother Elias, a pompous but prominent member of the Franciscan order, came close to Saint Francis and said, "Father, there are people standing in the street outside your window." Many had come. Fearing that the last moment of Francis′ life had come, many who loved him had gathered together around the house.
Said this brother Elias, "I am afraid nothing we might do could prevent them from hearing you singing. The lack of restraint at so grave an hour might embarrass the order, Father. It might lower the esteem in which you yourself are so justly held. Perhaps in your extremity you have lost sight of your obligation to the many who have come to regard you as a saint. Would it not be more edifying for them if you would die with more Christian dignity?"
"Please excuse me, Brother," Saint Francis said, "but I feel so much joy in my heart that I really can′t help myself. I must sing!"
And he died singing. In the whole Christian history, he′s the only one who has died singing. Many Zen people have died singing, but they don′t belong to Christianity. He is the only Zen master amongst Christian saints. He didn′t care a bit about Christian dignity.
Now what happened? This brother Elias wants to prove to people that Saint Francis is a saint. Now he is afraid that people will not think that he is a saint; they may think he is mad or something. A saint has to be sad by the very definition. Christians believe only in sad saints. They cannot believe that Jesus ever laughed. That is below Christian dignity. Laughter? - so human, so ordinary? They know only one thing, to put Jesus there high above humanity - but then all that is human has to be taken out of him. Then he becomes just a dead, bloodless thing.
This brother Elias is worried. This is the last moment, Francis is dying, and he will leave a bad name behind him. People will think either he was not a saint or he was mad. He is worried because he wants to prove. In fact he is not worried about Saint Francis, he is worried about himself and the order: "It will be very embarrassing for us later on. How are we going to answer these people? What happened in the last moments?" He is worried about himself. If the master is mad then what about the disciple? He is a disciple.
But see two different planes, two different dimensions together. Elias is concerned with public opinion. He wants to prove his master to be the greatest master, to be the greatest of saints, and he knows only one way to prove it - that he should be serious, that he should take life seriously, that he should not laugh and should not sing, should not dance. They are too human, they are too ordinary. Ordinary mortals can be forgiven, but not a man of the stature of Saint Francis.
But Saint Francis has a different vision - he is just ordinary. He says, "Please excuse me, Brother, but I feel so much joy in my heart that I really can′t help myself. I must sing!" In fact, it is not that Francis is singing, Francis has become the song. That′s why he cannot help, he cannot control. There is nobody left to control it.
If the song is happening it is happening. It is not within control, it can′t be, because the controller has disappeared. The self, the ego, no more exists. Saint Francis does not exist as an individual. There is absolute silence inside. Out of that silence this song is born. What can Francis do? That′s why he says, "I can′t help it. I must sing!"
And he died singing. And there can be no other better death. If you can die singing, that proves that you lived singing, that your life was a joy and death became the crescendo of it, the culmination.
Saint Francis is a Buddha. The characteristic of a Buddha is that he is ordinary, that he has no ideas about himself of how he should be, that he simply is spontaneous, that whatsoever happens, happens. He lives on the spur of the moment, that is his authenticity.

(Osho - The Diamond Sutra #7)