Book Reviews — 30 August 2018

Surendra’s review of a new book based on a series of talks Osho gave in Hindi during the early 1960s, the first book by Osho ever published, entitled Samadhi Ke Teen Charan.

You are not an individual; there is a crowd stuffed inside you.

When news recently came out about this unique publication, I bought a copy straight away. Once I began reading, I could not stop. It was so engaging that I had to drag myself away to deal with the daily necessities. The need to absorb the contents of this book felt very pressing. I read it within a couple of days and now find myself starting again from the beginning.

In fact, you have never gone inside and looked. Your being outside yourself is the origin of your mind. If you go inside and search, there is no mind. Your being outside yourself is the origin of your ‘I’. If you go inside and search, there is no ‘I’, there is no ‘me’; it is the shadow of your being outside. Since you are constantly moving outside yourself twenty-four hours a day, a shadow is born, and that gives you the impression of an ‘I’. 

If you want to begin, or move deeper into meditation, this is a unique and profound source of support. Osho takes us to the foundation of all our problems and explicitly describes countermeasures to address them.

We are somewhat satisfied and somewhat peaceful. That kind of mind is mediocre, it is difficult; that kind of mind is complex. It has both. It has peace and tension also; love and hatred also, and everything else too. This duality does not let us move toward truth. Only if the mind becomes totally silent can truth be experienced in life.

3 Steps to AwakeningAs a wonderful translation of a series of talks Osho delivered in the early nineteen sixties, it makes for a powerful and invigorating read, whatever state you are in. These words are from the first meditation camp given by Osho in the hills of Rajasthan. At that time, he was still a professor at the University of Jabalpur. The original version, in Hindi, was also the first book by Osho ever published. Now, we have a chance to imbibe this illuminating transmission in English.

Inside every man there are at least three personalities. One is what he really is, about which he does not know anything. The second is what he thinks he is. The third is what he wants to project to people that he is. Every individual is divided into three levels. The first is the one he is really on, but is unaware of. The second is the one he considers himself on. The third is the one he wants others to believe he is on.

While untenable and unsustainable conditions, based on false beliefs, seem to be accelerating our planet towards a disaster, many of us feel a sense of urgency. Time feels limited.

We have been believers for a very long time, and our world is a result of all that believing. Can there be a more rotten world than this? Can there be more pain and tension and anguish than there is today?

Although these talks were delivered more than fifty years ago, they are aptly fitting for our present time. For us now, right now, they are as loud a wake-up call as Osho has ever given.

The day we are born and the day we die and what is spread in-between them is not life; it can only be called a gradual death…

The moment we are born, dying begins. Death keeps growing more and more, and one day it is complete…

The one who lives only between that birth and death is not actually alive. Only someone who becomes connected with the life that is before birth and beyond death is alive. True religiousness is concerned with discovering truth, connecting one with that which is never born and never dies.

This clarion call lays out clearly, with masterly precision, what our inner situation is and what we can do about it. We have been taught, as we grow up, to rely on a mind that is essentially just a parrot. Thoughts and our attachment to them lead us astray. Without transformation on the inside, nothing of lasting significance can happen on the outside, whether interpersonal or global.

As long as you have attachment to thoughts, you should not be under the illusion that you can drop anything. The real clinging and burden is that of thought. Everything else is on the outside, it does not have a hold on you. It is only thought that has a hold on you.

As the title suggests this book is eminently practical: detailing three distinct obstacles and three ways to raise our awareness to leap over those barriers.

There are only three steps: freedom of consciousness, simplicity of mind, and emptiness of mind.

Of course, this book is not about ‘do this’ and ‘do that’; Osho has never been prescriptive nor encouraged spiritual ambitiousness.

Everything that is practiced is useless. Only what comes naturally is meaningful…. Whatever is significant in life happens; it is not practiced.

Moreover, we can feel Osho’s love permeating every word. This is especially so with his moving, closing remarks at the end of each session. The following comment concludes Osho’s penultimate talk:

You listened even to my bitter statements with so much silence. By the grace of existence, please ponder over them, and think about them just a little. Never believe in them; think about them and try to understand them. The day you feel such an approach is right for you, that day a door will open inside you. That door will be yours. It will not be mine. At that moment you will see something that is yours. It will not be mine.

I am saying all this with the hope that perhaps someone, somewhere, might be ready, and something might open up in him. Some knot might loosen up a little; even that will be of great significance.

Please accept my thanks and my greetings to the divine within you.

Osho takes us gently but surely through his vision of a sleeping and suffering humanity, of which we are part.

All of us are asleep. All of us are completely asleep toward what is going on inside us. Our very interiority is our real being, and we are unaware of it…. We are awake to what is happening outside; we are asleep to what is going on inside. That is the suffering of life, and that is the ignorance of life; that is the slavery of life and that is its bondage.

In these pages, Osho reveals the convolutions of our minds and corresponding but misleading, complexities and conflicts in our feelings. Then Osho provides the essential tools for awakening. These are fine, precision instruments with diamond edges of the most effective calibre. Yet we need courage and commitment to use them.

There will have to be some kind of effort. You will have to make an effort to turn inward. You will have to show a little courage to go inside. People are not as afraid to travel on unknown roads as they are of entering themselves, and there is a reason for that fear. You have put on a false face. As you start going inside, your entire structure will come apart, and the person you see there will be terrifying.

Osho has often urged us not to bother about pruning branches but to cut the roots. These tools are designed to do exactly that, to go to the very core of the issue.

Because we don’t know our inner self, we ask others. We want to keep the roots and remove the thorns. That creates all the conflict and tension. There is no real problem with anybody. There is only one difficulty: nobody knows his inner self totally.

This volume has a freshness and vigour that is unique. The language is very pointed: radical and uncompromising yet full of compassion. Osho’s words are crystal clear, ringing invisible bells in the depths of our being. They urge us to do something about our unawakened state and this makes for a very compelling read.

You were a child and you went through childhood; you became a young man; you became old. Just try to remember; what is the eternal element inside you that has been continually present? What has been continually present?

Except for the witness, nothing else remains. Everything else comes and goes.

Review by Surendra for Osho News

Published by Osho International Foundation in January 2018

Paperback available from oshoviha.org
Paperback and Kindle from amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.in – and outlets in your country

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