“In the new commune, the first concentric circle will be for those who come like journalists – prejudiced people, who already know that they know. In short, for the fools,” states Osho.
The first, the most superficial circle, will consist of those who come only out of childish curiosity, or out of already accumulated prejudices, who are, deep down, antagonistic – the journalists, etcetera.
They will be allowed only to see the superficial part of the commune – not that anything will be hidden, but just because of their approach they will not be able to see anything more than the most superficial. They will see only the garments. Here also the same goes on happening. They come and they see only the superficial.
Just the other day I was reading a journalist’s report; he was here for five days. He writes, “for five days,” as if it is a very long time to be here; five days, as if he has been here for five lives! Because he has been here for five days he has become an authority. Now he knows what is happening here because he has watched people meditating. How can you watch people meditating? Either you can meditate or not, but you cannot watch people meditating. Yes, you can watch people’s physical gestures, movements, dance, or their sitting silently under a tree, but you cannot see meditation! You can see the physical posture of the meditator, but you cannot see his inner experience. For that, you have to meditate, you have to become a participant.
And the basic condition for being a participant is that you should drop this idea of being a watcher. Even if you participate, if you dance with the meditators, with this idea that you are participating only to watch what happens, then nothing will happen. And, of course, you will go with the conclusion that it is all nonsense – nothing happens. And you will feel perfectly right inside yourself that nothing happens, because you even participated and nothing happened.
That man writes that he was in darshan and much was happening to sannyasins – so much was happening that after a deep energy contact with me they were not even able to walk back to their places – they had to be carried away. And then he mentions, “But nothing happened to me.” That is enough proof that all that was happening was either hypnosis, or people were pretending just because the journalist was there, or it was just an arranged show, something managed – because nothing was happening to him.
There are things which can happen only when you are available, open, unprejudiced. There are things which can happen only when you put aside your mind.
The journalist writes again, “The people who go there, they leave their minds where they leave their shoes – but I could not do that. Of course,” he says, “if I had left my mind behind, then I would have also been impressed.” But he thinks the mind that he has is something so valuable – how can he leave it behind? He feels himself very clever because he didn’t leave his mind behind.
Mind is the barrier, not the bridge. In the new commune, the first concentric circle will be for those who come like journalists – prejudiced people, who already know that they know. In short, for the fools.
The second concentric circle will be for those who are inquirers – unprejudiced, neither Hindus nor Mohammedans nor Christians, who come without any conclusion, who come with an open mind. They will be able to see a little deeper. Something of the mysterious will stir their hearts. They will cross the barrier of the mind. They will become aware that something of immense importance is happening – what exactly it is they will not be able to figure out immediately, but they will become aware vaguely that something of value is happening. They may not be courageous enough to participate in it; their inquiry may be more intellectual than existential, they may not be able to become part, but they will become aware – of course, in a very vague and confused way, but certainly aware – that something more is going on than is apparent.
The third circle will be for those who are sympathetic, who are in deep sympathy, who are ready to move with the commune a little bit, who are ready to dance and sing and participate, who are not only inquirers but are ready to change themselves if the inquiry requires it. They will become aware more clearly of deeper realms.
And the fourth will be the empathic. Sympathy means one is friendly, one is not antagonistic. Empathy means one is not only friendly; one feels a kind of unity, oneness. Empathy means one feels with the commune, with the people, with what is happening. One meets, merges, melts, becomes one.
The fifth circle will be of the initiates, the sannyasins – one who is not only feeling in his heart but who is ready to be committed, to be involved. One who is ready to risk. One who is ready to commit, because he feels a great, mad love – mad, mad love – arising in him. The sannyasin, the initiate.
And the sixth will be of those who have started arriving – the adepts. Those whose journey is coming closer to the end, who are no longer sannyasins only but are becoming siddhas, whose journey is coming to a full stop, is getting closer and closer to the conclusion. The home is not far away, a few steps more. In a way, they have already arrived.
And the seventh circle will consist of arhatas and bodhisattvas. The arhatas are those sannyasins who have arrived but are not interested in helping others to arrive. Buddhism has a special name for them: arhata – the lonely traveler who arrives and then disappears into the ultimate. And the bodhisattvas are those who have arrived but they feel a great compassion for those who have not yet arrived. The bodhisattva is an arhata with compassion. He holds on, goes on looking back and goes on calling forth those who are still stumbling in darkness. He is a helper, a servant of humanity.
There are two types of people. The one who is at ease only when he is alone; he feels a little uncomfortable in relationship, he feels a little disturbed, distracted, in relationship. That type of person becomes an arhata. When he has arrived, he is finished with everything. Now he does not look back.
The bodhisattva is the second type of person: one who feels at ease in relationship, in fact far more comfortable when he is relating than when he is alone. He leans more towards love. The arhata leans more towards meditation. The path of the arhata is of pure meditation, and the path of the bodhisattva is that of pure love. The pure love contains meditation, and the pure meditation contains love – but the pure meditation contains love only as a flavor, a perfume; it is not the central force in it. And the pure love contains meditation as a perfume; it is not the center of it.
These two types exist in the world. The second type – the follower on the path of love – becomes a bodhisattva. The seventh circle will consist of arhatas and bodhisattvas.
Now, the seventh circle will be aware of all the six other circles, and the sixth circle will be aware of the other five circles – the higher will be aware of the lower, but the lower will not be aware of the higher. The first circle will not be aware of anything other than the first circle. He will see the buildings and the hotel and the swimming pool and the shopping center and weaving and pottery and carpentry. He will see the trees, the whole landscape… he will see all these things. He will see thousands of sannyasins, and he will shrug his shoulders: “What are these people doing here?” He will be a little puzzled, because he was not thinking that so many mad people can be found in one place: “All are hypnotized!” He will find explanations. He will go perfectly satisfied that he has known the commune. He will not be aware of the higher – the lower cannot be aware of the higher. That is one of the fundamental laws of life – aes dhammo sanantano – only the higher knows the lower, because he has passed from the lower.
When you are standing on the sunlit mountain peak, you know everything down in the valley. The valley people may not be aware of you at all, it is not possible for them. The valley has its own occupations, its own problems. The valley is preoccupied with its own darkness.
The fool can come to a master but will remain unbenefited because he will see only the outer. He will not be able to see the essential, he will not be able to see the core. The fool comes here too, but he listens only to the words – and he goes on interpreting those words according to his own ideas. He goes perfectly satisfied that he knows what is happening.
There are many fools who don’t come here – they don’t feel the need. They simply depend on other fools’ reports. That’s enough. Just one fool can convince thousands of fools, because their language is the same, their prejudices are the same, their conceptions are the same… there is no problem! One fool has seen, and all the other fools are convinced. One fool reports in the newspaper and all the other fools read it early in the morning, and are convinced.
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 2, Ch 7 (excerpt)
Illustration: logo of Life-awakening movement, 1970 (aka Jeevan Jagruti Kendra)