Shanti’s letter in response to the publishing of his article, ‘Osho, The Midwife of My Soul’:
I can fully understand that you took me writing “IAM” in my recent article for a mistake. Naturally you changed it into the more proper looking “I AM”, but the story behind “IAM” is so hilarious and enlightening that I love to share it with you.
It happened a couple of years ago. I must have had too much money, not enough to buy myself a Rolls Royce or a Rolex – and unlike Osho I didn’t have the kind of friends that would offer me such toys – but enough to write to a company in the Highlands of Scotland. Since 1879 they make “enduring pieces of elegance and functionality, at a certain remove from modish vicissitudes” for grown-up men, like stainless steel precision instruments, horology, compasses, card cases, key chains and flasks to take your whiskey with you.
By the way: You might know what the difference is between adults and children? It’s the price of their toys.
Of course my toy had to be “beautiful and made with fine and exceptional craftsmanship, combining high-performance functionality with unique, elegant and masculine design.” Central to their design process is “the idea of an independent-minded man who constructs his own lifestyle, and who therefore needs versatile modern classics – pieces that make a statement of elegance and quality, and that avoid a transitory modishness.”
To easily express it: my choice was a versatile clock.
Their products can be “customized and personalized with laser-engraved initials, a message, or even graphics using state-of-the-art laser-engraving technology.” So I asked them to engrave “I AM” on my clock, expressing my feeling that ‘I’ am a partaker of existence, of ‘AM’-ness, of ‘Being’.
I didn’t want them to make even the slightest mistake in the message on my thing of beauty, so I formulated my explicit request for a little space between I and AM to honour my independence, my individuality. I did so not only with well-chosen words and in two different ways of formulating my wish, but also with a state-of-the art drawing, emphasizing the absolute need for a proper distance between I and AM!
They took their time for their engraving of “I AM” and I had a hard time waiting for weeks, full of excitement for my present to arrive.
Finally it happened! The very first thing I did after opening the box was looking for the “I AM”, but for a split second it was a great shock to see “IAM”, without the slightest space between Me and Being, between Me and the Universe! Then the loud laughter took over for minutes, a joy that has never left me ever since.
I understood the implicit message from this dear engraver from Scotland:
“Shanti, there is no ‘I’ separate from ‘AM’, from ‘Being’, so you are ‘IAM’ instead of ‘I AM’”.
I have never met the man, but you can understand I consider him as one of my Dear Great Teachers, as a real Mahatma!
The divine already is. The divine resides within you.
It is the one throbbing within you. It is the one breathing within you,
it is the one who comes as you in your birth,
it is the one who passes away as you in your death.
It is eternally manifesting itself in infinite forms,
here as a tree, there as a bird, somewhere else as a person.
The divine is! There is nothing else except it…
… Only the ego dies, you never die.
The day you know there is no such thing as ego,
then there is only the divine inside of you,
then there is no death for you,
then you are immortal.”
Dear all, enjoy the story!
With love from IAM
Related article Osho, The Midwife of my Soul
Shanti is Osho’s sannyasin for more than 35 years. A psychology teacher by profession, he translated the books of Roberto Assagioli and introduced ‘Psychosynthesis’ in Holland. He gave numerous workshops on witnessing and accepting sub-personalities. Later he was trained by Dr Edward de Bono in ‘Thinking Skills’ and worked as a management trainer. Nowadays he enjoys writing a book, The ‘Chronicle of the Earth’, the history of our planet from the Big Bang up to Now.