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Someone has asked: Who is it that thinks after becoming a witness? Part I*

When you are a witness there is no thought. The moment you think something, you are no longer a witness. I am standing in the garden and I become a witness to a flower, I am looking at the flower – if I am only looking I am a witness, and if I start thinking then I am not a witness. The moment I start to think, the flower will no longer be there before my eyes – the current of thought will come between me and the flower. When I look at the flower and say, "The flower is beautiful," the moment my mind says that the flower is beautiful I am not seeing the flower. Because the mind does not do two things at the same time – a thin curtain comes in between. And if I start thinking, "I have seen this flower before, this flower is familiar," this flower has disappeared from my eyes. Now I am just imagining that I am seeing it.


Once I took a friend who had come from far away boating on the river. He had just come back from far away countries. He had seen many rivers and many lakes, and he was full of thoughts about those rivers and lakes. When I took him boating on a full-moon night, he kept on talking about lakes in Switzerland and about lakes in Kashmir. After an hour, when we were returning, he said to me, "The place where you took me was really beautiful."

I said, "You are lying. You didn't even see the place. I felt the whole time that you might just as well have been in Switzerland or in Kashmir, but you were not present in the boat we were sitting in.

"And now I also want to tell you this," I said to him, "When you were in Switzerland you must have been somewhere else. And when you were in Kashmir you cannot have been on the lake about which you were talking. Not only am I saying that you did not see the lake to which I took you – I am telling you that you have not seen any of these lakes."

The curtain of your thoughts does not allow you to be a witness. Your thoughts don't allow you to be a witness. But when you drop thoughts, when you become separate from your thoughts, then you become a witness. The absence of thoughts makes you a witness. But while I am telling you to become a witness, you are asking, "Who is thinking?"

No, there is no one who is thinking, there is only the witness, and that witness is your interiority. If you are in a state of total witnessing – where no thought arises, where no wave of thoughts arises – then you will enter into yourself. In the same way, when there is no wave in the ocean, no movement, then its surface becomes silent and you are able to see below the surface.

Thought is a wave, thought is a disease and thought is excitement. You attain to witnessing when you have lost the excitement of thought. When you are witnessing, no one is thinking. If you think, you are no longer witnessing. Thinking and witnessing is a contradiction.

This is why we have made such a total effort to understand this method of meditation. In fact, we have been doing experiments in dropping thought. And in the experiment that we are doing here, you are making thoughts very weak so that you come to the state where there are no thoughts and only the thinker is there. By the thinker I mean the one who thinks – only he is present, but he is not thinking. And when he does not think then seeing happens. Try to understand this: thinking and witnessing are two opposite things. That is why I said before that only blind people think. Those who have eyes don't think. If I don't have eyes and I want to leave this house, I will think, "Where is the door?" If I don't have eyes and I want to get out of this building, I will think, "Where is the door?" But if I have eyes, what is there to think about? I will see the way out and leave. So the point is that if I have eyes I will see the way out, why would I think about it?

The less people can see, the more they think. The world calls them thinkers, but I say they are blind. And the more people can see, the less they think.

Mahavira and Buddha were not great thinkers. I hear very intelligent people say that they were great thinkers. That is absolutely wrong. They were not thinkers at all because they were not blind. In India we call them seers, watchers.

This is why in India we call the science of this method darshan, seeing. Darshan means to see. We don't call it philosophy; philosophy and darshan are not synonymous. Often people call darshan 'philosophy', but this is wrong. It is wrong to call the darshan of India, Indian philosophy; it is not a philosophy at all. Philosophy means thinking, contemplating, reflecting. And darshan means to drop all thinking, contemplating and reflecting.



* - Excerpt from OSHO. The Path of Meditation

Updated on 05-08-2019

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