Osho speaks on 8 books, among them Tertium Organum and The First and Last Freedom.
Now my work begins. What a joke! The joke of all jokes is that Sosan, the Chinese sage, was knocking at the door of my consciousness. These mystics are too much. You can never know at what moment they will start knocking at your doors. You are making love to your girlfriend, and Sosan comes and starts knocking. They come all the time, anytime, they do not believe in any etiquette. And what was he saying to me? He was saying, “Why haven’t you included my book?”
My God, that is true! I have not included his book in my list for the simple reason that his book contains all that is. If I include his book then nothing else is needed, then no other book is needed. Sosan is enough unto himself. His book is called Hsin Hsin Ming.
Hsin has to be written not like the English ‘sin’ but h-s-i-n. Now you know the Chinese: what a way to commit a sin! Hsin… Hsin Hsin Ming.
Okay Sosan, I include your book too. That becomes my first book today. I am sorry, it should have been the first from the very beginning, but I have already talked about twenty others. It doesn’t matter. Hsin Hsin Ming whether I said it or not, is the foremost, the first. Write the FIRST, Devageet, in capital letters.
Hsin Hsin Ming is such a small book that if Sosan had known that one day, after him, Gurdjieff would write a book called All and Everything, he would have laughed, because that title belongs to his own book. And Gurdjieff had to write one thousand pages, yet the few words of Sosan are far more penetrating, far more significant. They go directly to your heart.
I can even hear the noise – not of those words going to your heart, but some mouse, some devil, doing his work. Let him do his work.
Sosan’s book is so small, just like Isa Upanishad, and far more significant. When I say that my heart breaks, because I would like Isa to be the ultimate book, but what can I do? – Sosan has defeated it. Tears come to my eyes because Isa is defeated, and also because Sosan is victorious.
The book is so small, you can write it on your palm; but if you try, please remember… the left hand. Don’t write it on the right hand, that will be sacrilege. They say, “Right is right, and left is wrong.” I say left is right, and right is wrong, because the left represents all that is beautiful in you, and Sosan can enter only through the left. I know because I have entered thousands of hearts through the left hand, through the left side, through their feminine, their yin – I mean the Chinese yin – I have never been able to enter anybody through his yang. The very word is enough to prevent anybody: yang. It seems to say “Keep away!” It says “Stop. Do not enter here. Keep off! Beware of the dog!”
The right is like that. The right belongs to the wrong side of your consciousness. It is useful, but only as a servant. It should never be the master. So if you write Sosan’s Hsin Hsin Ming, write it on your left palm.
It is such a beautiful book, each word is golden. I cannot conceive of a single word that could be deleted. It is exactly that which is needed, required, to say the truth. Sosan must have been a tremendously logical man, at least while he was writing his Hsin Hsin Ming.
I have spoken about it and I have never loved speaking more. The greatest moments of my speaking were when I was speaking on Sosan. Speaking and silence together… speaking yet not speaking, because Sosan can be explained only through no-speaking. He was not a man of words, he was a man of silence. He spoke just the minimum. Forgive me Sosan, I forgot you. Just because of you I remember a few more who can knock at my door and disturb my afternoon sleep, so it is better that I should mention them.
First is Sosan’s Hsin Hsin Ming.
Second is P.D. Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum. It is a miracle that he wrote it before he had even heard of Gurdjieff. He wrote it before he knew what he was writing. He understood it himself only afterwards, on meeting Gurdjieff. His first words to George Gurdjieff were: “Looking into your eyes I have understood Tertium Organum. Although I have written it, now I can say that it has been written through me by some unknown agency I was not aware of.” Perhaps it was that rascal Gurdjieff who wrote it through him, or maybe somebody else whom the Sufis call the Ultimate Rascal, who has been doing miracles – miracles like Tertium Organum.
The title means ‘the third canon of thought’. The Sufis give that ultimate agency a name; it is not a person but only a presence. I can feel that presence right now, here… this very moment. They call it a certain name, because everything has to be given a name, but I will not say it, not in the presence of this beauty, this splendor… of this exuberance… of this exaltation… of this ecstasy.
I said it is a miracle that Ouspensky could write Tertium Organum, one of the greatest books in any language of the world. In fact it is said, and rightly so – remember, I emphasize and repeat, rightly so – that there are only three great books: the first is Organum written by Aristotle; the second is The Second Organum written by Bacon; and the third, by P.D. Ouspensky, Tertium Organum. ‘Tertium‘ means third. And Ouspensky has, very mischievously — and only a saint can be so mischievous — introduced the book by saying, without any ego, simply and humbly, that “the first exists but not before the third. The third existed even before the first came into existence.”
Ouspensky seems to have been spent, totally and utterly spent, into Tertium Organum, because he never could reach to the same height again. Even reporting Gurdjieff in In Search of the Miraculous he has not attained to the same height. When he betrayed Gurdjieff he tried finally to create something better than Tertium. As his last effort he wrote The Fourth Way but failed utterly. The book is good, good for any university curriculum. You can see I have my own ways of condemning a thing….
The Fourth Way can be part of a regular curriculum in a university course, but more than that it is nothing. Although he was trying to do his best it is the worst book that Ouspensky has written. It was his last book.
That is the difficulty with all that is great: if you try, you miss. It comes effortlessly or not at all. It has visited him in Tertium Organum and he was not even aware of it. The words in Tertium are so powerful one cannot believe that the author is unenlightened, that he is still looking for a master, that he is still searching for the truth.
I was a poor student, working the whole day as a journalist – that is the worst job you can do, but that’s what was available to me at the time – and I was in such need that I had to join a night college. So the whole day I worked as a journalist, and at night I went to college. In a way my name belongs to the night. Rajneesh means the moon: rajni means the night, eesh means God – God of the night.
So people used to laugh and say, “This is strange: you work the whole day, and go to study at night. Are you trying to fulfill your name?”
Now I can answer them, yes – write it in capital letters – YES, I have been trying to fulfill it my whole life. What else can be more beautiful than to be the full moon? So as a poor student in those days, I used to work the whole day. But I am a crazy man, rich or poor does not matter….
I have never liked to read books borrowed from others. In fact I hate even borrowing from a library, because a library book is like a prostitute. I hate to see the marks, the underlining of other people. I always love the fresh, the snow-white freshness.
Tertium Organum was a costly book. In India, in those days, I was getting a salary of only seventy rupees each month, and by coincidence the book cost exactly seventy rupees – but I purchased it. The bookseller was amazed. He said, “Even the richest man in our community cannot afford it. For five years I have been keeping it to sell, and nobody has purchased it. People come and look at it, then drop the idea of buying. How can you, a poor student, working the whole day and studying at night, working almost twenty-four hours each day, how can you afford it?”
I said, “This book I can purchase even if I have to pay for it with my life. Just reading the first line is enough. I have to have it whatsoever the cost.”
That first sentence I had read in the introduction was, “This is the third canon of thought, and there are only three. The first is that of Aristotle; the second of Bacon, and the third, my own.” I was thrilled by Ouspensky’s daring, that he said, “The third existed even before the first.” That was the sentence that caught fire in my heart.
I gave the bookseller my whole month’s salary. You cannot understand, because for that whole month I had to almost starve. But it was worth it. I can remember that beautiful month: no food, no clothes – not even shelter; because I could not pay the rent I was thrown out of my small room. But I was happy with Tertium Organum under the sky. I read that book under a street lamp – it is a confession – and I have lived that book. That book is so beautiful, and more so now that I know that the man did not know at all. How could he have managed it then? It must have been a conspiracy of the gods, something from the beyond. I cannot resist anymore from using the name the Sufis use; they call it khidr. Khidr is the agency that guides those who need guidance.
Tertium Organum is the second book.
Third: Geet Govind – the song of God. This book was written by a poet very much condemned by Indians, because in Geet Govind , his song of God, he talks too much of love. Indians are so against love that they have never appreciated this great work.
Geet Govind is something which should be sung. Nothing can be said about it. It is a Baul song, the song of a madman. If you dance and sing it, you will understand it, there is no other way.
I am not mentioning the name of the man who wrote it. That is not important. X-Y-Z… not that I don’t know his name, but I will not mention it for the simple reason that he does not belong to the world of the buddhas. Yet he has done a great service.
Fourth: Now be patient, because I have to complete the list to ten. I cannot count more than that. Why ten? – because I have ten fingers. That’s how the number ten came into existence: ten fingers. Man started counting on his fingers so ten became the basic number.
Fourth: Kundkunda’s Samayasar. I have never spoken about it. I decided to many times but always dropped the idea. This is one of the greatest books the Jainas have produced, but it is very mathematical; that’s why I have always dropped it. I love poetry. If it was poetic I would have spoken on it. I have even spoken on unenlightened poets, but not on even enlightened mathematicians and logicians. Mathematics is so dry. Logic is a desert.
Perhaps he is around here among my sannyasins… but he cannot be. Kundkunda was an enlightened master, he cannot be born again. His book is beautiful, I can only say that much. I will not say anything more because it is mathematical…. Mathematics too has its beauty, its rhythm, that’s why I appreciate it. It has its own truth but it is very limited, and very right-handed.
Samayasar means the essence. If by chance you ever come across Kundkunda’s Samayasar, then please never hold it in your left hand. Keep it in the right hand. It is a right-hand book, right in every way. That is why I have declined up till now to speak about it. It is so right that I feel a little aversion to it – of course with tears in my eyes, because I know the beauty of the man who wrote it. I love Kundkunda, and I hate from my guts his mathematical expression.
Gudia, you can have a little more freedom because I have to talk about four books more. If you want you can go out again.
Fifth: J. Krishnamurti’s The First and Last Freedom. I love this man, and I hate this man. I love him because he speaks the truth, but I hate him for his intellectuality. He is only reason, rationality. I wonder, he may be a reincarnation of that goddamned Greek Aristotle. His logic is what I hate, his love is what I respect – but his book is beautiful.
This was his first book after his enlightenment, and the last too. Although many other books have appeared they are only poor repetitions of the same. He has not been able to create anything better than The First and Last Freedom.
It is a strange phenomenon: Kahlil Gibran wrote his masterpiece The Prophet when he was only eighteen years old, and struggled his whole life to create something better but could not. Ouspensky could not go beyond Tertium Organum even though he met Gurdjieff, lived and worked with him for many years. And such is the case with J. Krishnamurti: his book The First and Last Freedom is really the first and the last.
Sixth. The sixth is a book by another Chinese, The Book of Huang Po. It is a small book, not a treatise, just fragments. Truth cannot be expressed in a treatise, you cannot write a PhD. on it. A PhD. is a degree that should be given to the fools. Huang Po writes in fragments. On the surface they seem to be unconnected, but they are not. You have to meditate and then you can find the connection. It is one of the most meditative books ever written.
In English The Book of Huang Po is translated in the English way as The Teachings of Huang Po. Even the title is wrong. People like Huang Po don’t teach. There is no teaching in it. You have to meditate, to be silent, to understand it.
The seventh is The Book of Hui Hi. Again in English it is translated as The Teachings of Hui Hi. These poor Englishmen, they think there is nothing more in life than teaching. These Englishmen are all teachers. And be aware of Englishwomen; otherwise you will get caught with a schoolteacher!
Hui Hi and Huang Po are both masters. They impart, they don’t teach. Hence I call it The Book of Hui Hi, although you will not find it in the libraries. In the libraries you will find The Teachings of Hui Hi.
Eighth: the last – at least for today, because one never knows about tomorrow. Other devils may start knocking at my doors. I must have read more than any man alive on the earth, and remember, I am not boasting but simply stating a fact. I must have read at least one hundred thousand books, possibly more, but not less than that, because after that I stopped counting. So I don’t know about tomorrow, but for the eighth today…. I am feeling a little guilty about Geet Govind because I haven’t told you the name of the author. I will tell you, but first let me finish the eighth.
The eighth book that has impressed me immensely is a strange one, obviously; otherwise it would not have impressed me at all. You will be shocked! Guess what the eighth book can be…. I know you cannot guess it – not that it is in Sanskrit or Chinese, Japanese or Arabic. You have heard about it, you may even have it in your home. It is the Song of Solomon in The Old Testament. This is a book I love wholeheartedly. I hate all that is Jewish except the Song of Solomon.
The Song of Solomon is very much misunderstood because of the so-called psychologists, particularly the Freudians – the frauds. They have been interpreting the Song of Solomon in the worst possible way; they make it a sexual song. It is not. It is sensual, that’s true, very sensual, but not sexual. It is so alive, that’s why it is sensual. It is so full of juice, that is why it is sensual… but not sexual. Sex may be a part of it, but don’t misguide humanity. Even the Jews have become afraid of it. They think that it has been included in The Old Testament by accident. In fact this song is the only thing worth preserving; all else is worth throwing into the fire.
Is my hour over? So bad. You say “Yes,” but what can I do? – this is the very beauty. Thank you both.
Om Mani Padme Hum
How beautiful to stop at this beauty. No, no, no. This “No” is what the Indians say when they attain to enlightenment. Then they don’t want to be born again. They say “No, no, no….” After this beautiful experience, what is the point of continuing?
Osho, Books I Have Loved, Session 3
While undergoing dental treatments, Osho spoke during 16 sessions about the books he considered most important. What he said was recorded by hand.