What exists? There are so many layers. If one is only aware of the surface, then matter exists. Matter is the surface of existence.
Science has been only on the surface, in search; to science only matter is real, and all else is not. But now science has taken a step further and says matter is not, but energy is. Energy is the second layer; it is deeper than matter. If one goes deep in matter, then there is no matter but energy. But that too is not yet enough, because beyond energy consciousness exists.
So when you ask, “Who are you?” I say, “I am consciousness.” And this answer is all inclusive – everything is consciousness. I answer only as a representative of all. You may not have heard that you are consciousness, you may not have known that you are consciousness, but I am answering even for you. Consciousness exists, and when I say something exists, it carries for me a particular, definite meaning. When I say something exists, it means it will never be in nonexistence. If something can go into nonexistence, it would mean that it never really existed. It was only phenomenal, it just appeared to exist.
So all that changes is phenomenal; it is not really existential. All that changes is only the surface. The innermost, the ultimate core, never changes. It is and is always in the present. You can never say it was, you can never say it will be. Whenever it is, it is. Only the present is applicable to it.
There is no past and no future, because the past and future become relevant only when something changes. When something is, then there is no past and future, but only the present. Of course, the meaning of present will be different, quite different. For us, present means something which exists between the past and the future. But if there is no past and no future, then the present will be something very different. It is not something in between the past and future. The present is just a moment – a moment between two nonexistentials: the past that has gone and is no more and the future that has not yet come. Between these two nonexistentials, one present moment exists. That is impossible. Between two nonexistentials there can be no existence. It only appears so.
When I say consciousness exists, I do not mean something of the past and future, but something eternal – not everlasting, because the word ‘everlasting’ carries the sense of time. When I say it always exists in the present, I mean it is nontemporal; existence means it is nontemporal. It is beyond time and, simultaneously, beyond space, because all that is in space will become nonexistential. Similarly, all that is in time will become nonexistential. And time and space are not two things. That is why I relate them. They are one. Time is only a dimension of space. The movement in space is time; nonmoving time is space. Existence is nontemporal and nonspatial.
So I think you will understand when I say I am someone who is nontemporal and nonspatial. But my I is all-inclusive. You are included, the questioner is included. Nothing is excluded. Then it will be easier to answer your inquiry. All that changes is purposive; there is something to be done, it exists for a purpose. The moment the purpose is fulfilled, it goes into nonexistence.
But all that is really existential is nonpurposive, because there is no purpose which can be fulfilled. And if there is any purpose and it is fulfilled, then existence will become meaningless. So only temporal things have purposes. They are meant for something. You can say it in this way: they are means to some end. That is what is meant by purposive. They exist for something to be fulfilled. The moment it is fulfilled, they go. But I will be needed always, and when I say “I,” that is all inclusive. There is no purpose in it.
Existence is nonpurposive. That is why it is called a leela, a play. The existence itself has no purpose to fulfill. It is not going somewhere. There is no end to it. But still it is going, still much is going. So it must be a leela, a play – only outflowing energy. This can be related to me. I am not to be anything at all. Even then, I talk of doing things.
Once you have known that you are a part of the cosmic consciousness, you will realize there is no purpose. You just exist as a play; of course the play becomes cosmic, multidimensional. You do much, and still there is no doer and there is no purpose; those things are not there. It then becomes a play.
Osho, I Am the Gate, Ch 1, Q 1 (excerpt)