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Is it possible to glimpse the ultimate without enlightenment?*

No, it is not possible. Enlightenment is only a door. It is as if somebody were to ask whether it is possible to enter this house without a door. Then what would you say? You would say that it is not possible. And even if he got in by breaking a wall, you would still call that hole in the wall an entrance, you would call it a door. But it is not possible to enter a house without a door. However you enter, it will have to be through a door. If you are intelligent you will enter through the door, if you are unintelligent you will break a hole in a wall somewhere.

Thoughtless state. ©Photo from Ojas archive 
Thoughtless state. ©Photo from Ojas archive 

Except enlightenment, there is no way. Enlightenment is the door to the ultimate, to truth. And without a door, I don’t see how you can enter – no one has ever entered without a door.

Remember this, and don’t think that the ultimate will be possible without samadhi. The mind is like this: it hopes there might be a cheaper way. It suggests that there is a path that you don’t have to walk for yourself. But you have to walk on your path. That is what a path means, that you create it by walking on it. You want there to be a door that you don’t have to pass through and yet still reach the destination. But there is no door that will lead you somewhere unless you pass through it.

But the mind has many weaknesses. One of the weaknesses of the mind is that you want to get something for nothing. Especially when it comes to experiencing the ultimate, you have the idea that it is only worth considering if you can get it without doing anything for it. And, in actual fact, even if someone were ready to give it to you for nothing, you would think twice about whether to accept it or not.

Once there was a sadhu, a monk in Sri Lanka, and every day he would talk about enlightenment, about nirvana, about samadhi. Some people had been listening to him for years.

One day a man stood up and said to him, “I want to ask you, so many people have been listening to you for such a long time – has anyone become enlightened?”

The monk said, “If that’s what you are asking, let’s make you enlightened today. Are you ready? If you are ready, then it is my truth that I will make you enlightened today.”

But the man said, “Today? Let me think about it a little. Someday…. Just like that, today? Let me think about it a little. I will come again and tell you.”

If somebody were to tell you that he could introduce you to God right this minute, I don’t think your mind would immediately say yes. Your mind would start thinking about it. I am talking to you about truth, and your mind will start thinking whether or not to know it. Even if you could get God for free, you would think about it first. When you are paying a price for something it is quite natural to think about it – but the mind always wants everything for free. Whatever seems to have no value to your mind you want for free. Whatever seems to have a value to your mind you will pay a price for.

If you care even a little about experiencing the divine, you will feel that you are ready to give up everything for it. If you have to give up everything for just a glimpse of the divine, you will be ready to do it.

Someone has asked, “Is it possible to glimpse the ultimate without enlightenment?” No, it is not possible. It is not possible without effort. It is not possible without resolve. It is not possible without your total commitment and devotion.

But this kind of weak people give the cunning people an opportunity to exploit them. A kind of religious exploitation goes on all over the world, because you want to get something for nothing. Some people will tell you that you can get what you want with their blessings: “Worship me, fall at my feet, remember my name, have faith in me and you will achieve it all.” And because people are weak they believe this, and they waste their lives touching their feet. You will not gain anything this way, it is just exploitation.

You will have to walk on the path yourself. ©Photo from Ojas archive
 You will have to walk on the path yourself. ©Photo from Ojas archive

No guru can give you enlightenment. He can show you the path how to reach it, but you will have to walk on the path yourself. No guru can walk for you; no one in this world can walk for someone else. Your own legs make you walk, and you have to walk on your own legs. And if someone says – and there are many who say – “We want only one thing from you: that you have faith in us and we will do the rest”…they are exploiting you. And because you are weak you allow them to exploit you.

All the religious hypocrisy that is happening in the world is happening more because of your weakness than because of the hypocrites. If you were not weak no religious hypocrisy in the world would stand a chance. If a man has even a little strength and courage, if he feels even a little pride and respect for his life and somebody says to him, “I will make you attain the divine through my blessings,” he will say, “Forgive me, but this would be a great insult.” In fact, he would say, “Can there be anything more insulting to me than the idea that I should attain the ultimate through your blessings?”

Doors are open. ©Photo from Ojas archive 
Doors are open. ©Photo from Ojas archive 

And what is given by somebody as a favour can also be taken away just as easily. What have you gained when what has been given as a favor can be taken away with the loss of this favor? And an enlightenment that can be given and taken away, an enlightenment that can be given to you by somebody else, would simply be a deception.

No one in this world can give truth and enlightenment to anyone else. You will have to experience it through your own effort and devotion. So don’t think this even for a moment, because your weakness will prove fatal to you. And not only will it destroy you, it will also make it possible for the hypocrites, the deceivers and the false gurus to multiply. They are false, they have no value, and what’s more they are dangerous and destructive.

 

  * excerpt from OSHO. The Path of Meditation.

Updated on 24-08-2015







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