Featured on Notable People — 26 October 2014

Nijinsky was a dancer, and perhaps the best dancer the world has ever known; his dance was almost magic. He was born to dance.

It was not some talent that he learned, it was some instinct in him, a born quality. The magic was such that no other dancer has been able to imitate it. Once in a while, dancing, he would jump so high that it was against gravitation. Physics cannot explain it. It is not possible with that weight to jump that high. And the most miraculous thing was his coming down: he came so slowly, just like a dry leaf falling in the fall, slowly, with no hurry to reach the ground. That is absolutely against gravitation.

Nijinsky in Le Spectre de la Rose Ballets choreographed by Nijinsky

Gravitation is such a pull, it is a magnet. It simply pulls you forcibly; you are not able to manage, or do anything about it. It is not in your hands to come down slowly or to come down fast. Everything falling towards the earth is absolutely helpless – the earth’s gravitation will decide its rate of fall. And the earth is so vast, its power of gravitation is so vast, and we are not even light like a leaf. Even Nijinsky was surprised, always surprised. He could see himself coming down slowly, not falling – as if gliding.

People asked him again and again, “What is the technique, the strategy, the method?”

He said, “I am as much surprised as you are. I don’t know. And whenever I try to do it, it never happens. It happens only once in a while, when I have completely forgotten about it. When the dancer disappears, when there is no Nijinsky – it happens. I am just a watcher, just as you are a watcher. I see my body falling down. I have tried it in private, tried it in every possible way. Neither can I jump that high, nor can I fall that slow. I have tried in front of friends, my lovers, but whenever I have tried, it has simply escaped from my hands.

“So I have learned one thing: there are things which you cannot try. There are things which are not possible through any method, any technique, any strategy. There are things which happen; you only have to allow them to happen. And the way to allow them is not to interfere; so much so that you are not even present, because your presence will also be an interference.

The moment I am not
– not present at all –
suddenly it happens.
And while it is happening
I am only a watcher.
At that moment
if I even start looking around
to see how it is happening,
things get disturbed.

You know it. Now physics has come to discover a strange fact…. We have known it about human beings. You are in your bathroom making faces in your mirror, knowing perfectly well that there is nobody watching you. But suddenly you become aware that somebody is watching through the keyhole. Everything changes. You stop making your faces, you start arranging things and start doing something relevant, rational. You have been caught red-handed. You start looking busy – and just a moment before you were not busy at all.

Modern physics has come to discover that it is very difficult in the first place to observe the behaviour of electrons, how they behave. But now we have instruments through which you can observe the behaviour of the electron. But the trouble is, the moment you watch, the behaviour changes – exactly the same keyhole story. The electron starts behaving in a different way. Just now when you were not observing, it was behaving differently. Physics has not come to any conclusion – what to conclude about it? But the fact is so clear that the electron is as conscious as you are conscious. There is no other way; otherwise, how can the electron become aware of your being aware of it?

Nijinsky said, “The moment I am not – not present at all – suddenly it happens. And while it is happening I am only a watcher. At that moment if I even start looking around to see how it is happening, things get disturbed. I have fallen in the middle of a jump so fast that I have broken my legs. Because I came in, the happening disappeared, and the gravitational pull was so much that I fell with a thump on the ground.” Otherwise he used to come down like a feather. He would not even make a sound when he came to the ground.

There are born poets, there are born dancers. In fact, everybody is born to be something. Those who somehow happen to find what they are born to are the most blissful people on the earth. Those who start moving into directions which are not for them, they are the most miserable.

Osho, From Ignorance to Innocence, Ch 3, Q 1