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Confusion, Clarity and The Way


After putting a question to Osho, a sannyasin adds:

I hope, beloved Osho, that I am not confusing you!

Osho answers:

You cannot... because I am utterly confused. You cannot confuse me any more. I am absolutely confused.

(Osho - Tao: The Pathless Path, vol.1 #8)

It is no wonder then that confusion is Osho's method...

A sannyasin asks:

At times you seem to intend to confuse us about love and meditation. Sometimes you stress the ultimate futility of love but on other occasions you pronounce meditation as being useless. And sometimes you say both love and meditation are fundamental paths of enlightenment.

The questioner says:

At times you seem to intend to confuse us

No, you have not listened to me well. I am always confusing, not only at times. Confusion is my method.
What I am trying to do by confusing you is to uproot you from your mind. I would not like you to have any roots in the mind in the name of love or in the name of meditation or in the name of God. Your mind is very cunning. It can thrive on anything; on meditation, on love, it can thrive. The moment I see that your mind is thriving on anything, I immediately have to uproot you from it. My whole effort is to create a no-mind state in you. I am not here to convince you about anything. I am not here to give you a dogma, a creed tolive by. I am here to take all creeds away from you because only then will life happen to you. I am not giving you anything to live by, I am simply taking all props away from you, all crutches.
The mind is very clever. If you say, 'Drop money' the mind says, 'Okay. Can I cling to meditation?' If you say to the mind, 'Renounce the world' the mind says, 'Okay. Can I now possess spiritual experiences?' If you say, 'Renounce the world' the mind says, 'I can renounce the world, but now I will cling to the idea of God.'
And nothing is a greater barrier to God than the idea of God.
The word 'God' has become a great barrier, the belief in God has become a great barrier. If you want to reach to God you will have to drop all ideas about God, all beliefs about God - Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan. You will have to be absolutely silent, unclinging, not-knowing. In that profound ignorance God reveals himself to you - only in that profound ignorance.
My effort is totally different from your effort. What you are doing here is diametrically opposite to what I am doing here. My effort is to create a profound ignorance in you, so I will have to confuse you. Whenever I see that some knowledge is being gathered, I immediately jump on it and destroy it. By and by you will learn - being close to me you are bound to learn - that it is futile to accumulate because this man will not leave you in peace. If you cling to something he is going to take it away. So what is the point? One day you will simply listen to me, not clinging, not making any belief out of it, not creating a philosophy, a theology out of it - simply listening as you listen to the birds, as you listen to the wind passing through the pines, as you listen to the river rushing towards the ocean, as you listen to the wild roar of the ocean waves. Then you don't create a philosophy, you simply listen.
Let me be a wild ocean roaring in front of you, or a wind passing through the trees, or birds singing in the morning. I am not a philosopher, I am not imparting knowledge to you. I am trying to point to something which is beyond knowledge.
So the moment I see that you are nodding, the moment I see that you are saying, 'Yes, this is true', the moment I see that you are accumulating something, immediately I have to jump upon it and contradict it to confuse you. Confusion is my method, I am doing it all the time. I will not leave you to rest unless you drop that whole effort of philosophising, unless you start listening to me without any mind, out of the sheer joy of it, as you listen to music. When you start listening to me in that way then you will never feel confused. You feel confused because first you cling to something, then in the next step I destroy it. You feel confused. You were making a house and again I come there and destroy it.
Your confusion is in fact created by yourself. Don't create that house then I cannot destroy it. If you create, I am going to destroy. If you stop creating houses - card-houses they are - if you stop creating houses, if you say, 'This man will come and destroy,' if you simply wait and listen and you don't bother to make any house to live in, then I cannot confuse you. And the day I cannot confuse you will be a great day of rejoicing for you. Because that very moment you will be able to understand me - not by your intellect but by your being. It will be a communion, not a communication. It will be a transfer of energy, not of words. You will have entered into my house.
I will not allow you to create any house because that will be a barrier. Then you will start living in that house and I am trying to bring you into my house. Jesus says to his disciples, 'In my God's house there are many mansions.' I also say to you, 'I am taking you on a journey where a great palace is waiting for you.' But I see you making houses by the side of the road and I have to destroy them otherwise your journey will be destroyed and you will never reach the goal. You start worshipping anything. You are in such a hurry, you are so impatient, that whatsoever I tell you, you simply grab it.
I am not going to allow it to happen. So, be alert. If you are alert there will be no need to confuse you. In fact, if you are alert, whatsoever I do I cannot confuse you. The day you can say, 'Now, Osho, you cannot confuse me. Whatsoever you say I listen, I rejoice in it, but I don't make any conceptualisation' is the day I cannot confuse you. Until that moment I am going to confuse you again and again and again.

(Osho - The Art of Dying #2)


Your seeming contradictions on love confuse me

Nellie, confusion is my way of working on you. I confuse you so that clarity becomes possible. People are very much certain, they already think they know. And because of their certainty they are closed. If you already know, then there is no need to seek and search. For what? If you already know, then you can keep your doors and windows closed.
People are much too certain, and that is a great problem. They have to be made uncertain again, they have to be shaken in their certainties; their dogmas and creeds have to be taken away. Hence confusion arises. What is confusion? - when you start losing grip on your old certainty. You were feeling that you know, and suddenly you start feeling that you don't know. You were thinking you have the answer, and suddenly you become aware that the question is there and the answer was just imposed.
It happens to every new disciple here - and Nellie is a new sannyasin; just the other day she has become a sannyasin. For a few days you will become more and more confused. It is a good sign, it means you are listening to me.
There are a few people who go on listening to me and are never confused. That simply means they have not heard; their ears are full of wax, they are deaf. There are people who not only don't become confused, but listening to me they become even more certain. That means they have heard something else that was not said.

Two moving-men were struggling with a big crate in a doorway. They pushed and tugged until they were exhausted but it would not move.
Finally, the man on the outside said, "We had better give up, we will never get it in."
The fellow on the inside said "What do you mean, get it in? I thought you were trying to get it out!"

If you become confused by listening to me, that means you have heard me. The more intelligent you are, the more confused you will become. And I use contradiction as a technique, I go on contradicting myself.
Why do I contradict myself? I am not teaching a philosophy here. The philosopher has to be very consistent - flawless, logical, rational, always ready to argue and prove his statements. I am not a philosopher. I am not here giving you a consistent dogma to which you can cling. My whole effort is to give you a no-mind.
Be perfectly clear about it. My effort is not to strengthen a certain mind, my effort is just the opposite of it: to give you a state of no-mind, a state which has no knowledge, a state which functions from not knowing, a state of innocence.
I use contradiction as a device. I say one thing, out of your old habit you cling to it; the next day I have to contradict it. When I contradict it you have to drop it. But you may start clinging to the new thing that I have said; I will have to contradict it again.
This will go on, you will go on clinging to this, to that. One day suddenly you will become aware what is happening. I don't allow you any certainty, nothing to cling to. And if I contradict, what is the point of clinging at all? Then why not wait? I will contradict, and then you will have to leave it, and it is painful. Once you cling to a thing and then you have to leave it, it is painful, it creates anxiety.
So those who have listened to me for a long time, listen simply. They simply listen, they don't cling. They know perfectly well, now that they are aware of the game, that tomorrow I will contradict. So why carry it for twenty-four hours? The pain of carrying the weight, and then the pain of dropping it... slowly slowly it dawns in your awareness that there is no need to cling; this man contradicts. This man is consistently inconsistent.
Once you have understood that, you listen to me as one listens to music. You listen to me as one listens to the wind passing through the pine trees, you listen to me as one listens to the birds singing in the morning. You don't say to the cuckoo, "Yesterday your song was different," and you don't go to the roseflower and say, "Last season the flowers were bigger" - or smaller - "why are you contradicting yourself?"
You don't say to the poet, "In one of your poems you said this, and in another poem you have said something else." You don't expect a poet to be consistent, so you don't ask. Poetry is not a theory, it is not a syllogism, it is a song.
I am not a philosopher. Always remember that I am a poet, not a philosopher. Remember always that I am not a missionary, but a musician playing on the harp of your heart. Songs will go on changing... you need not cling to anything, then there will be no confusion at all.

(Osho - The Book of Wisdom #26)

The Way

Formal and Real Sannyas

In ancient days there were people who were conscious of the deathless. Because of their consciousness, deathlessness, they created an atmosphere, a new sphere, in which there was no hurry. Things would move slowly if they moved at all. Then initiation was easy, then waiting was easy, then surrender was easy, then responsibilities were easy. They all have become difficult now. But still, there is no alternative, initiation is needed. The old initiation has become impossible, so a new initiation must replace it. The old must be replaced by a newer one. My whole effort is toward that.
If you are in a hurry, then I will give initiation in your running state of affairs, because otherwise there will be no initiation. So I cannot ask you to wait as a precondition. I must initiate you first and then prolong your waiting in so many ways. Through so many devices I will persuade you to wait, because without waiting there is no maturity. So when you will be ready there will be a second initiation, which would have been the first in the old days. It cannot now be the first.
Sometimes people are bewildered. Sometimes someone comes to me; he has not even heard me, he has not even known me, and I initiate him into sannyas. This is absurd, not understandable at all. But I know. And whatsoever I am doing, I am doing very considerately. This is just the beginning, this initiation, because only through this initiation will I be able to create devices for his waiting; otherwise he cannot wait. If I tell him, "Wait five years, and then I will give you initiation," he cannot wait. If I give it to him this very moment, then he can wait.
So let it be like this, it makes no difference. The same will be the process. Because you cannot wait, I change. I will allow you to wait afterwards, and then there will be a second initiation. This is the formal initiation, the second one will be informal. The second one will be like a happening. You will not ask me, I will not give you. It will happen. In the innermost being it will happen, and you will know it when it happens.

(Osho - I Am The gate #7)

So there are two initiations: one initiation is in the formal sannyas. The second initiation is when you are really possessed by me, when you have given me total freedom to work upon you, when you have said yes in the absolute sense; then the second initiation happens.
The first is happening this moment; pray and aspire for the second to happen soon. And that happens in your inner world. You will know when it has happened. When the yes has arisen and you have started doing things without any idea, judgment; without any idea of whether it is good or bad, but just because I have said to go into it, so you are going into it, then you have become innocent. Then you start functioning from that innocence, and that is real initiation.

(Osho - God's Got a Thing About You #24 (a darshan diary)

Sannyas can become the dawn of bliss it depends on you, it all depends on you. If it becomes a commitment it can transform you totally. If it remains only a formality then nothing happens through it. Only when you are committed to something totally does your heart start functioning. The formal remains in the head, only the love affair reaches to the heart; and it is only when something reaches to the heart that it changes, that it transmutes.
Sannyas has to be a commitment, a deep involvement, a love affair. It can bring the dawn.

(Osho - The Shadow of the Bamboo #5 (a darshan diary)

Initiation into sannyas is formal. It is a beautiful gesture from your side that you are ready to listen to me, that you will welcome whatsoever is given to you; that you will be open to me, that your doors will not be closed; that you will not be in an argumentative relationship with me but in a dialogue. That's what sannyas is: a simple gesture from your side that now a dialogue opens, an intimacy, an I-thou relationship, a love affair. It is a formal beginning - but it is only a beginning, remember. It is not the end; it is just the gate.
To reach the temple many more steps have to be taken, and the first and the most important step is meditation. Then everything else follows on its own. Then many doors will open, but they will open on their own. You have to open one door - the door called meditation - then all other doors will open on their own accord.

(Osho - Snap Your Fingers, Slap Your Face and Wake Up #24)

From Confusion to Clarity

The transformation from confusion to clarity makes one remember the difference between formal sannyas and real sannyas. I should say that formal sannyas involves the clearing away of all kinds of certainties and uncertainties, and real sannyas follows with a renewed clarity or, as some may prefer, with understanding or trust.

Perhaps a similar development is described by Gurdjieff when he says:

 "The chief difficulty in understanding the idea of the way consists in the fact that people usually think that the WAY", (he emphasized this word), "starts on the same level on which life is going. This is quite wrong. The way begins on another, much higher level. This is exactly what people usually do not understand. The beginning of the way is thought to be easier or simpler than it is in reality.


The moment when the man who is looking for the way meets a man who knows the way is called the first threshold or the first step. From this first threshold the stairway begins. Between 'life' and the 'way' lies the 'stairway.' Only by passing along this 'stairway' can a man enter the 'way.' In addition, the man ascends this stairway with the help of the man who is his guide; he cannot go up the stairway by himself. The way begins only where the stairway ends, that is, after the last threshold on the stairway, on a level much higher than the ordinary level of life.


Sometimes it is said: in ascending the stairway a man is not sure of anything, he may doubt everything, his own powers, whether what he is doing is right, the guide, his knowledge and his powers. At the same time, what he attains is very unstable; even if he has ascended fairly high on the stairway, he may fall down at any moment and have to begin again from the beginning. But when he has passed the last threshold and enters the way, all this changes. First of all, all doubts he may have about his guide disappear and at the same time the guide becomes far less necessary to him than before. In many respects he may even be independent and know where he is going."

(Gurdjieff in Ouspensky's In Search of the Miraculous)

Formal sannyas would then correspond with the staircase, real sannyas begins where this staircase ends. The end of confusion is just another beginning and one takes one's first steps on the Way (or one's Path).

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