Marc muses on the fact that Buddha has become a household name and that there is a need arising in people to connect to their inner world.
Since the end of World War II, historians have suggested that the encounter between East and West represents the most significant event of the modern era. Bertrand Russell pointed to this shift at the end of WWII when he wrote, “If we are to feel at home in the world, we will have to admit Asia to equality in our thoughts, not only politically, but culturally. What changes this will bring, I do not know. But I am convinced they will be profound and of the greatest importance.”
Wherever you go, everywhere in the West nowadays you will find Buddha pictures and statues in shops, warehouses, garden centers, home interior- and furniture centers. On TV, Buddha is present in garden- and home make-over programs. Books on Buddha and Buddhism are sold like bibles before.
Eastern wisdom is popular in the West since 1970. Hippies and soul seekers went first, the masses followed. Asia is hot, Asia is the new place to be. Tourists, young and old, have discovered Asia and Buddhism. Flying to the Far East is not far anymore. Flying East goes faster than 30 years ago and is a lot cheaper now than it was then. Together with finance and economics, the human interest in the Eastern countries has grown. Yoga booms and books on mindfulness are in the top 10 of non-fiction bestsellers. People eat eastern food more often, travel agencies advertise with white beaches, palms and Buddha. It is the answer to the hectic and demanding pressure of daily life, it is the dream of peace and tranquility in a world of deadlines and mobile phones.
Christ is gone, churches are empty and at the same time Buddha is sitting, standing or lying down in many households. A man, smiling with eyes open or meditating serenely with eyes closed. He is big, fat, tall or short, Buddha is there, everywhere.
Coca Cola was a strong common symbol of freedom and wealth in Western Europe after WWII ended. The West needed freedom and wealth and in the last 50 years this is what the Western World got. The Internet did the rest: we are online and connected with the outer world at all times. Life is fast and weary. Have a Coca Cola! But Coca Cola is not cheap, has too much sugar and is empty quickly – this was the American dream.
Dreams have changed over the years; now we want to reconnect with our inner world.
Osho says, while he explains the new name to an initiate:
Deva means divine, deep means lamp – a divine lamp, a divine light. It has not to be created; it is already there: it has to be discovered, or rather re-discovered.
Each child born knows about it, feels it, sees it. Each child in its mother’s womb remains full of light; that is an inner light, an inner glow. But as the child is born and he opens his eyes and sees the world and the colours and the light and the people, slowly slowly the gestalt changes: he forgets to look within, he becomes too interested in the outside world. And there is a reason, because the outside world has so much variety.
The inside world has no variety; it is simple, silent, light. In a sense it is monotonous: no change ever happens there, no movement ever occurs, it is always the same. And naturally the child becomes more interested in things that are changing. Everybody is interested in change because change brings something new. The child is enquiring, curious, and the world is really tremendous – so many colours and trees and birds and animals and people and so much noise. He becomes so engrossed with it that slowly slowly he forgets to look within; he becomes oblivious of it.
In meditation one has to re-connect oneself with that inner source of light. One has to forget the whole world and go in, turn in and tune in, as if the world has disappeared, as if it doesn’t exist. At least for one hour every day one has to forget the world absolutely and just be oneself. Then slowly slowly, again that old experience is revived. And this time, when you come to know it, it is tremendous because now you have seen the world and all its variety, you have seen all the noises. Now to see the inner silence and the purity of light is a totally different experience. And it is so nourishing, so vitalising; it is the source of nectar.
Once you have known it, consciously…. The child knows it unconsciously; the meditator comes upon it consciously…. Once you have known it consciously the fear of death disappears because you know, you know absolutely, without any doubt, that this light is eternal, that the body may drop but this light will continue. It is so indubitable that even if one wants to doubt it, one cannot; doubt simply disappears. The certainty is absolute, and with that certainty comes a transformation in life. Then all values change: things that were important up to now become unimportant and things that you have not even thought about become important. One goes through a revolution.
So this has to be your meditation, every night or in the early morning or whenever you can find time, when it is easier to forget the world, either late in the night when the traffic has stopped and people have gone to sleep and the whole world has disappeared on its own accord – then it is easier to slip out – or early in the morning when the people are still fast asleep. But once you have started seeing it then it can be seen any time. In the market-place, in the middle of the day, you can close your eyes and you can see it. And even to see it for a single moment is tremendously relaxing.
But start in the night: for one hour just sit silently looking in, watching, waiting, for the light to explode. One day it explodes. You are not to create it, you are only to re-discover it.
Osho, Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot, Ch 22
Text by Marc
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