Modern psychology has discovered a few things which are significant; although they have been discovered only intellectually, still it is a good beginning.
If intellectually they have been discovered, then sooner or later existentially also they will be experienced.
Freud is a great pioneer; of course, not a buddha, but still a man of great significance, because he was the first to make the idea accepted by the larger part of humanity that man has a great unconscious hidden in him. The conscious mind is only one tenth, and the unconscious mind is nine times bigger than the conscious.
Then his disciple, Jung, went a little further, a little deeper, and discovered the collective unconscious. Behind the individual unconscious there is a collective unconscious. Now somebody is needed to discover one thing more which is there, and I hope… Sooner or later the psychological investigations that are going on, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, are bound to discover it – the cosmic unconscious. Buddhas have talked about it.
So we can say: the conscious mind, a very fragile thing, a very small part of your being. Behind the conscious is the subconscious mind – vague. You can hear its whispering but you cannot figure it out. It is always there, behind the conscious, pulling its strings.
Third: the unconscious mind which you come across only in dreams or when you take drugs. Then, the collective unconscious mind. You come across it only when you go into a very deep inquiry into your unconscious mind; then you come across the collective unconscious. And if you go still further, deeper, you will come to the cosmic unconscious.
The cosmic unconscious is nature. The collective unconscious is the whole of humanity that has lived up to now, it is part of you. The unconscious is your individual unconscious that the society has repressed in you, that has not been allowed expression. Hence it comes by the back door in the night, in your dreams. And the conscious mind… I will call it the so-called conscious mind because it is only so-called. It is so tiny, just a flicker, but even if it is just a flicker it is important because it has the seed; the seeds are always small. It has great potential.
Now a totally new dimension is opening up. Just as Freud opened the dimension below the conscious, Sri Aurobindo opened the dimension above the conscious. Freud and Sri Aurobindo are the two most important people of this age. Both are intellectuals, neither of them is an awakened person, but both have done a great service to humanity. Intellectually they have made us aware that we are not so small as we appear from the surface, that the surface is hiding great depths and heights.
Freud went into the depths, Sri Aurobindo tried to penetrate into the heights. Above our so-called conscious mind is the real conscious mind; that is attained only through meditation. When your ordinary conscious mind is added to meditation, when the ordinary conscious mind is plus meditation, it becomes the real conscious mind. Beyond the real conscious mind is the superconscious mind.
When you are meditating you have only glimpses. Meditation is a groping in the dark. Yes, a few windows open up, but you fall back again and again. Superconscious mind means samadhi – you have attained a crystal-clear perceptiveness, you have attained an integrated awareness. Now you cannot fall below it; it is yours. Even in sleep it will remain with you.
Beyond the superconscious is the collective superconscious; the collective superconscious is what is known as ‘gods’ in religions. And beyond the collective superconscious is the cosmic superconscious which even goes beyond gods. Buddha calls it nirvana, Mahavira calls it kaivalya, Hindu mystics have called it moksha; you can call it the truth.
These are the nine states of your being, and you are just living in a small corner of your being – the tiny conscious mind; as if somebody has a palace and has completely forgotten about the palace and has started living on the porch – and thinks this is all.
Freud and Sri Aurobindo are both great intellectual giants, pioneers, philosophers, but both are doing great guesswork. Instead of teaching students the philosophy of Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, it would be far better if people were taught more about Sri Aurobindo, because he is the greatest philosopher of this age. But he is completely neglected, ignored by the academic world – for a certain reason.
The reason is, even to read Sri Aurobindo will make you feel that you are unaware; and he himself is not a buddha yet, but still he will create a very embarrassing situation for you. If he is right, then what are you doing? Then why are you not exploring the heights of your being?
Freud was accepted with great resistance, but finally he was accepted. Sri Aurobindo is not even accepted yet. In fact there is not even any opposition to him; he is simply ignored. And the reason is clear. Freud talks about something below you – that is not so embarrassing; you can feel good knowing that you are conscious, and below your consciousness there is subconsciousness and unconsciousness and collective unconsciousness. But those states are all below you; you are at the top, you can feel very good. But if you study Sri Aurobindo, you will feel embarrassed, offended, because there are higher states than you – and man’s ego never wants to accept that there is anything higher than him. Man wants to believe that he is the highest pinnacle, the climax, the Gourishankar, the Everest – that there is nothing higher than him….
That’s why the modern man wants to deny God, because to accept God means you have to accept something higher than you. And the modern ego is so puffed up that the modern mind says there is no God and there is no beyond and there is no afterlife. And it feels very good – denying your own kingdom, denying your own heights, you feel very good. Look at the foolishness of it.
Buddha is right. He says:
The fool sleeps
As if he were already dead,
But the master is awake
And he lives forever.
Awareness is eternal, it knows no death. Only unawareness dies. So if you remain unconscious, asleep, you will have to die again. If you want to get rid of this whole misery of being born and dying again and again, if you want to get rid of the wheel of birth and death, you will have to become absolutely alert. You will have to reach higher and higher into consciousness.
And these things are not to be accepted on intellectual grounds; these things have to become experiential, these things have to become existential. I am not telling you to be convinced philosophically, because philosophical conviction brings nothing, no harvest. The real harvest comes only when you make great effort to wake yourself up.
But these intellectual maps can create a desire, a longing in you; can make you aware of the potential, of the possible; can make you aware that you are not what you appear to be – you are far more.
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha Vol 1, Ch 5 (excerpt)