Osho gives the name Deva Prayoga to the new sannyasin, which means divine experiment. “From the known one has to go always into the unknown and one day from the unknown into the unknowable.”
Michael, a tall blond American, is taking sannyas. Osho tells him to feel as if he is dying. He sinks back slowly, his head and the upper half of his body resting in the lap of Radha, stationed behind him. His face is utterly white. He looks exactly like a western re-enactment of Jesus dying. When he comes back, he smiles, face suddenly aglow… a small boy.
This is sannyas, says Osho. He listens. We all listen…
To me life is a divine experiment. It is not punishment – it is god’s experiment. It is a design, it is a growth situation.
It is a provocation to go higher and higher and higher. It is a constant challenge – not to remain limited by the past, not to remain confined by the past, not to remain burdened by the known. One has to continuously go beyond the known. Only by going from the known to the unknown does the greatest experiment happen one day. That is: going from the unknown into the unknowable. But one learns from going from the known to the unknown.
So the beginning is dropping the known and always choosing the unknown. Then by and by that quality of adventure, that quality of quest, exploration, gathers, goes on gathering, comes to a climax, a crescendo – and then the quantum leap. The quantum leap is from the unknown to the unknowable. That unknowable is called god. God is just a name for the unknowable. It is just a word, a symbol; it can be dropped. In fact it should be dropped because the very word has become known so much that it no more represents the unknowable.
The priests have used it so much that they have corrupted it by too much use. The word has become so familiar that it rings no bell in the heart. And familiarity breeds contempt – god, god, god… church, temple, mosque. Everywhere people talking about god, everybody believing in god. The whole thing has become vulgar… too mundane. It can be dropped.
Remember: the unknowable. Science only believes in two things – the known and the unknown; it does not believe in the unknowable. That’s the difference between science and religion. Science says the existence can be divided into two parts – the known and the unknown. The unknown is that which we will know some day. It has no intrinsic quality of remaining unknown forever – it is just uncharted, but we will chart it. All that has become known was unknown one day; it has become known. All that is unknown today will become known tomorrow… or some day! – it is potentially capable of being known.
Religion says there are three things: the known, the unknown… and up to this point religion agrees with science, there is no disagreement. But religion says there is something more too: that is the unknowable, which cannot be known ever, which will remain mysterious. By its very nature it is a mystery. And religion has some valid reason for it; it is not just illogical.
There are many things we will never be able to know for certain – for example, how this existence came into being. We will never be able to know because we came very very late; there was nobody witnessing it. It will always be more or less a guess. There are a thousand and one theories about creation but all are guesses, all guesswork. No theory can be called scientific; there is no way, because nobody has witnessed it. Nobody could witness it because we came later on. It was not possible to be there when existence was being created, so that mystery will remain a mystery.
Man can go on knowing many things, but the knower in man will remain a mystery because there is no way to make the knower an object of knowledge – it remains subjective. It is always the knower; it is never the known. And there is no way to divide yourself into two parts, and even if it can be done then the part that becomes known is no more you. The part that still knows, is you, so it is irreducible; that mystery of the knower will never be solved.
And the end remains unknowable. What to say about the end of existence? We don’t even know what happens to a man when he dies, and people die every day; people simply disappear. The cocoon is left, the body is left, and the soul? – nobody knows where it goes, whether it remains or not, whether is simply disappears, dissolves or travels ahead. Death happens every day and we are not even able to know death – so what to say about the death of the whole existence ? We will not be there to witness it either. Just as the beginning has been missed, the end is going to be missed, because when the existence ends we will end with it. So nobody will be there as a witness.
These are very fundamental mysteries and there are other mysteries. Love is a mystery: nobody knows yet why and how it happens. And there are other mysteries which happen rarely, so they are not so common – for example, samadhi, enlightenment. They happen but are not common. Nobody knows what happens when a man becomes a buddha. Even a buddha is incapable of explaining it; even he keeps quiet. Even he smiles and keeps quiet. He says, ‘You can know only when it has happened to you. It is a taste to be tasted. There is no way to explain it.’
These are the three things: from the known one has to go always into the unknown and one day from the unknown into the unknowable. So there are only two steps of sannyas: first, from the known into the unknown, and the second and the last, from the unknown into the unknowable.
This is the experiment….
Osho rises, puts his hands together in salutation, and leaves the auditorium. We are all still for a moment. Trains groan by in the distance. Slowly we gather ourselves together and leave in twos and threes. Out of the auditorium, through the gates, out to friends, ready to rejoice or comfort or just share… each one of us a tiny, flickering potential in Osho’s divine experiment.
Osho, Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There, Ch 10