Everything Has Consciousness

Consciousness Excerpts

Sugit (Japan) sent us this footage of a few moments in the life of mother duck and her ducklings. Which led us to Osho and consciousness and his observation on swans, peacocks and ducks.

Around the world people have written poems, mostly devoted to man and woman and their love. A few are devoted to the beauty of nature. But Zen is not in the same category as other poetry. It is simply a meditative mind, just watching what is happening around. And he sees beauty all around. The splendor of existence is so much that he feels to make a note in his book. Before the window… you have to visualize. Just visualize the window:

Before the window,
slender, jade-colored bamboos sing
when the cool rains fall,
with a rustling sound.
Their feathery green
intruding at my desk,
they know there is
no purer, hidden spot than this.

Poor Isho lived in a hut near the bamboos, and the falling leaves are running into his hut, under his desk. He says, They know there is no purer, hidden spot than this.

Zen wants you to know that even the leaves falling from the trees have a consciousness of their own. Nothing is unconscious. There are different ways of being conscious, but we are living in an ocean of consciousness. Millions are the aspects… so that we cannot understand exactly what the bamboos are doing.

Now in Mukta’s pond, two beautiful snow-white swans have come, flown from England. Great visitors! And every night when I come and go, I cannot resist looking at them. They look so meditative, the whole day doing zazen… because they don’t have any rented bicycle, they don’t have to go to any movie. They are so silent that if you sit by the side of Mukta’s pond you will become silent, seeing their silence. They just don’t do anything – simply exist, no philosophical argument.

Seeing those swans I remember that in India, the man of self-realization is also called paramhansa. Hansa means swan and paramhansa means the great swan. Every day seeing them, I could understand: they look so buddhalike, just enjoying being – no work, no job, no strike, no lock-out, no interest in the whole world around them; they don’t have anything.

But with their coming, the pond has become a temple. They are meditating day and night. What is happening inside them is difficult for us to know, but something must be happening inside them. They are such beautiful people. It must be in a different dimension, so we never crisscross each other, but in the same direction there must be other people, other birds.

There were ducks also – now, ducks are small; they became afraid when the swans came. So the ducks were in a very great trouble for a few days because the peacocks peck them on the head, so they cannot come out of the pond. And in the pond, two big swans are there – so unfamiliar, one does not know what they will do. So the ducks were hiding in the bushes. But slowly slowly some communication is certainly happening, because the ducks are coming closer… and yesterday Avesh informed me that they have entered the water with the swans. In silence, something has grown, a friendship. Nothing has been said, nothing has been heard, but something must have transpired between them.

Either the swans must have told them, “Come on, don’t be worried,” or the ducks must have asked, “Can we come in?” Something is bound to have happened, because suddenly it cannot be. But it is outside the area of our intelligence.

That is the very effort of Zen poems – to bring to your consciousness that the whole of existence is conscious. Different colors and different nuances and different ways, but the man who has reached the highest peak can see that nothing in the world is without a living force, without a potentiality that can grow one day into a buddha.

Buddha himself has told about one of his past lives. He was an elephant. One night the forest suddenly caught fire. The fire was going so wild, and animals were running to find some way out. The elephant was also running, because the fire was tremendous. Just to take rest, he stood under a tree which was not yet burning. As he was settling to stand there, a small rabbit just came under one of his feet which was up. Now it was difficult for the elephant to put his foot down; the poor fellow will die. So he tried hard to remain standing on three feet, but an elephant’s weight….

Buddha says that because of that compassion the elephant remained standing, he could not put his foot down. The fire surrounded the whole place. He risked his life as long as he could save the rabbit, and then the fire burned both of them. Buddha says, “I was that elephant and I earned my buddhahood by being compassionate.”

Now all over the world, in the birds, in the animals, something is happening. It is not a dead world. Everybody is trying to move to higher peaks. This idea of evolution is totally different from Darwin’s evolution. Darwin’s evolution looks very stupid, because we don’t see any animal changing into any other animal. For millions of years there is no record that somebody has seen a monkey suddenly going to the tailor’s shop to say that, “I have changed my mind, I want to be a man. Now prepare the dress, made to order.” Neither is any other animal changing into another species. That idea of Darwin is absolutely absurd.

But the East has a different concept. The same evolution is happening – in every animal something is evolving. At a certain point when the animal dies, he will be born on a higher scale. Up to now, man is the highest scale that millions of animals have reached. Amongst human beings, the buddhas are the highest peaks.

These small poems are just to remind you that even fallen leaves in the rain and in the storm are rushing towards poor Isho’s hut and his writing table, and hiding under the table. And he says, They know there is no purer, hidden spot than this. Otherwise they would not have come here.

This understanding that the whole existence is alive, conscious, makes your whole behavior different. Then you don’t think of hunting animals, because they are your brothers. A little backward, a little uneducated, a little primitive, but killing them, you are killing future buddhas. Hence, the experience of all the buddhas has terminated in a very loving and compassionate relationship with existence. Not even a tree has to be cut. It is alive; it may have a different kind of consciousness. Don’t wound it, don’t hurt it, because every wound and hurt that you do will have effects on you, your own evolution.

Osho, Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Ch 5

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