Discourses — 03 October 2014

Nobody has ever been able to experience the whole absurdity of the mind.

It is infinite. You will not be able to experience the whole of it; it is very creative, it goes on creating new absurdities. You have been here in this existence so long and yet you have not been able to experience the whole absurdity of it.

Osho looking up

You are not for the first time on this planet earth, you have been here before. I can see your ancient faces, hidden behind your fresh skin. You are ancient ones.

There was a teacher in Buddha’s time in India; his name was Prakuddha Katyayana. He was a rare teacher. He always addressed his disciples as ancient ones. Even if a child came to see Prakuddha Katyayana he would say, “How are you, ancient one?” Because everyone is so old, older than the earth. The earth is not very old, just… in fact, very young, adolescent. But you are older than the earth, you have been on other planets.

You are older than the sun. You have been here since existence has been here, otherwise it is not possible – you cannot suddenly bubble up. How can you happen so suddenly? You have been here all the way.

One of the most important American psychologists, William James, was writing a book which became a very important milestone in the history of psychology and religion. The name of the book is Varieties of Religious Experience. He travelled all around the world to collect material for the book. Many books have been written since then on religion, but no book has yet reached that peak.

William James worked hard on it. He also came to India, he had to – if you are writing a book on religion then India becomes a must. He came to India and he went to see a sage in the Himalayas. He does not give the name; in fact sages have no names, so there is no need. He went to see the sage and he asked a question. He had been reading an Indian scripture in which it is said that the earth is supported on eight white elephants.

Hindus are really beautiful.
They create absurd stories,
but those stories
have deep meanings
and significances.

He was puzzled – he was a logician – so he asked the sage, “This looks absurd. On what are those eight elephants standing? How are they supported?”

The sage said, “On another eight white and bigger elephants.” William James said, “But that doesn’t solve the problem. On what are those bigger white elephants standing? ”

The sage laughed and he said, “Elephants on elephants, elephants on elephants, all the way down. You can go on asking,” said the sage, “and I will go on answering the same thing – to the very bottom.”

So William James thought that once more the question could be asked: “And on what is that bottom being supported?” The sage said, “Of course, eight bigger elephants.”

It goes on and on – of course it has to be so. If you move backwards you will find yourself again and again and again. Otherwise how could you be here? You are supported by your past life, that’s why you are here. And your past life is supported by another past life – that’s why you were in your past life. And this goes on and on and you cannot ask, “How did I come for the first time?” You never came for the first time because even before that you were. Even before the first time you were supported by a past life – elephants on elephants, elephants on elephants.

Hindus are really beautiful. They create absurd stories, but those stories have deep meanings and significances. You are here only because the whole past – not your past, the whole past of existence – is supporting you. You are the whole past and yet you have not been able to exhaust all the absurdities. Do you think it will ever be possible to exhaust all the absurdities of the mind? No, nobody has ever been able to. If you become aware, even one day is enough. If you remain unaware, even millions of lives are not enough. If you become aware, even a single moment is enough to see the absurdity of the mind. And if you go on sleeping and snoring then you can go on sleeping and snoring. That’s how you have been in the past, the same you can be in the future.

Osho, Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol. 1, Ch 5

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