The roots of plants are in the earth; the roots of the human body are in the soul.
But neither the head nor the heart is the place from where man is connected to his life-energy – and if we do not know anything about those roots then we can never enter the world of a meditator.
of the navel
in the world.
Then where are the roots of man? Perhaps you are not aware of the place. If even simple and common things are not given any attention for thousands of years, they are forgotten. A child is born in the womb of a mother and grows there. Through which part is the child connected to its mother? Through the head or through the heart? No, it is connected through the navel. The life-energy is available to it through the navel – the heart and the brain develop later on. The life-energy of the mother becomes available to the child through the navel. The child is connected to his mother’s body through his navel. From there the roots spread out into the mother’s body and also, in the opposite direction, into his own body as well.
The most important point in the human body is the navel. After that the heart develops and after that the brain. These are all branches which develop later. It is on them that the flowers blossom. Flowers of knowledge blossom in the brain; flowers of love blossom in the heart. It is these flowers which allure us, and then we think that they are everything. But the roots of man’s body and his life-energy are in the navel. No flowers blossom there. The roots are absolutely invisible, they are not even seen. But the degeneration that has happened to human life in the past five thousand years is because we have placed all our emphasis either on the brain or on the heart. Even on the heart we have placed very little emphasis; most of the emphasis has gone to the brain.
Only from the navel
can anybody enter
into the soul.
From early childhood, all education is an education of the brain; there is no education of the navel anywhere in the world. All education is of the brain so the brain goes on growing larger and larger and our roots go on becoming smaller and smaller. We take care of the brain because the flowers blossom there, so it becomes larger – and our roots go on disappearing. Then the life-energy flows more and more feebly and our contact with the soul becomes weak.
Slowly, slowly we have even come to a point where man is saying, “Where is the soul? Who says there is a soul? Who says there is a God? We do not find anything.” We will not find anything. One cannot find anything. If somebody searches all over the body of the tree and says, “Where are the roots? I cannot find anything,” then what he is saying is right. There are no roots anywhere on the tree. And we have no access to the place where the roots are; of that place we have no awareness. From early childhood, all training, all education is of the brain, of the mind, so our whole attention gets entangled and ends up focused on the brain. Then for our whole life we wander around the brain. Our awareness does not ever go below it.
The journey of a meditator is downwards – towards the roots. One has to descend from the brain to the heart, and from the heart to the navel. Only from the navel can anybody enter into the soul; before that, one can never enter it.
Normally the movement of our life is from the navel towards the brain. The movement of a seeker is exactly opposite. He has to descend from the brain to the navel.
In these three days I will be talking to you and showing you, step by step, how to descend from the brain to the heart and from the heart to the navel – and then how to enter the soul from the navel.
Today it is necessary to say a few things about the body.
The brain alone
will only take man
The first thing to understand is that the center of man’s life-energy is the navel. Only from there does the child acquire life; only from there do the branches and sub-branches of his life start spreading; only from there does he get energy; only from there does he get vitality. But our attention is never focused on that energy center – not even for a minute! Our focus is not on the system through which we get to know that energy center, that center of vitality; instead our whole attention and our whole education is focused on the system that helps to forget it! That is why our whole education has gone wrong.
Our whole education is taking man slowly, slowly towards madness.
The brain alone will only take man towards madness.
[…] The first thing: man’s soul is connected neither to the brain nor to the heart, man’s soul is connected to his navel. The most important point in a man’s body is the navel; it is the center. The navel is not only in the center of man’s body but also in the center of life. A child is born through it and his life ends through it. And for the people who discover truth it is the navel which becomes the door.
You may not be aware that the whole day you breathe with your chest but at night your breathing starts coming from the navel. The whole day your chest goes up and down, but at night when you are asleep your belly starts moving up and down. You must have seen a small child breathing; the chest of a small child is not moving, it is his belly that is moving up and down. Small children are still very close to the navel. As a child starts growing, he starts breathing from the chest only, and the tremors of the breath no longer reach the navel.
…the center of
is the navel.
If you are going along a road, riding a bicycle or driving a car, and suddenly an accident happens, you will be surprised to notice that the first impact will be on the navel – not on the brain or the heart. If a man suddenly attacks you with a knife, the first tremor will be felt at the navel, not anywhere else. Even right now, if you suddenly become afraid, the first tremor will be felt at the navel. Whenever there is a danger to life, the first tremors are felt at the navel because the navel is the center of life. The tremors will not happen anywhere else. The sources of life are connected from there, and because our attention is not at all on the navel, man is left hanging in a limbo. The navel center is totally sick, there is no attention paid to it – and there are no arrangements for its development.
There should be some arrangements to develop the navel center. Just as we have created schools and colleges to develop the brain, in the same way some arrangement is absolutely necessary to develop the navel center because there are certain things by which the navel center develops and there are certain things by which it does not develop. As I said, if a situation of fear arises, then it is felt first of all at the navel center. So the more a man practices fearlessness the more his navel will become healthy; the more a man practices courage the more his navel center will develop. The more fearlessness grows the more the navel will be strong and healthy and the contacts with life deeper. That is why all the great meditators of the world have considered fearlessness to be an essential quality in a seeker – there is no other significance of fearlessness. The significance of fearlessness is that it makes the navel center totally alive; it completely facilitates the total development of the navel.
Osho, The Inner Journey, Ch 1, translated from Hindi (excerpt)