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Consciousness and Unconsciousness

...by OSHO

Unconsciousness is a wandering outside; consciousness is a deepening of the inside.

My work consists of transformation. This is an alchemical school: I want to transform you from unconsciousness into consciousness, from darkness into light. I cannot give you a character; I can only give you insight, awareness. I would like you to live moment-to-moment, not according to a set pattern given by me or given by the society, the church, the state. I would like you to live according to your own small light of awareness, according to your own consciousness. Be responsive to each moment.

A man of consciousness responds, and his responses are spontaneous. He is mirrorlike: he reflects whatsoever confronts him. And out of this spontaneity, out of this consciousness, a new kind of action is born. That action never creates any bondage, any karma. That action frees you. You remain a freedom if you listen to your nature.

Responsibility is awareness, alertness, consciousness. Ego is just unconsciousness. They cannot coexist. As you grow more conscious you grow more towards light, and anything belonging to the world of darkness starts disappearing. Ego is nothing but darkness.

The first thing to becoming a master of oneself is to become more conscious of your acts and your thoughts. Unconsciousness is slavery, consciousness is mastery.

Consciousness means living with a witness; unconsciousness means living without a witness. When you are walking on the road, you can walk consciously — that’s what Buddha says one should do — you are alert, deep down you are aware that you are walking; you are conscious of each movement. You are conscious of the birds singing in the trees, the early morning sun coming through the trees, the rays touching you, the warmth, the fresh air, the fragrance of newly opening flowers. A dog starts barking, a train passes by, you are breathing… you are watching everything. You are not excluding anything out of your alertness; you are taking everything in. The breath goes in, the breath goes out… you are watching everything that is happening.

Desire exists with unconsciousness, it cannot exist with consciousness; when you move in desire, consciousness disappears. Hence so much insistence by all the buddhas and Jainas for desirelessness. When you are desireless you will be aware; when you are aware you will be desireless. These are two aspects of the same coin — on one aspect, desirelessness; on another aspect, alertness, consciousness.

I teach you transcendence — neither positive nor negative. Be a watcher: witness both. When there is day, witness the day, and when there is night, witness the night — and don’t get identified with either. You are neither the day nor the night; you are the transcendental consciousness. Become more and more centered there in that transcendence.

Bodhidharma is saying in other words, act only out of totality. And this kind of act is possible only if your whole being is totally conscious and your action comes from your whole being, not from a small part of your being — then it cannot be total and cannot be sure. Act totally and act intensely, and act absolutely in consciousness and in spontaneity. Then whatever you do is good.

One who commits anything against existence has to suffer. One who helps existence to grow towards more beauty and more consciousness, and more joy and more dance, should be rewarded — not by any God, but by his own act. In fact, when you do something good out of your awareness, the very action brings such blissfulness to you, such peace, such joy; you are rewarded in the action itself.

That’s what the state of enlightenment is — so alert that only the witness is real and everything else is nothing but ripples on the surface of the water. Everything is passing, everything is a flux. Only one thing remains and remains and remains, and that is your consciousness, your awareness.

Transforming unconsciousness into consciousness — that is the real transformation of base metal into gold. Gold represents consciousness, enlightenment.

Being simply a witness you are at the highest peak of consciousness, and when you are at the highest peak of consciousness, from there you can look at the deepest depth of your being — the very abysmal depth. You have moved from a horizontal into a vertical being.

Unconsciousness goes downwards, consciousness goes upwards. And one thing more: upwards is synonymous with inwards, and downwards is synonymous with outwards. Consciousness goes inwards, unconsciousness goes outwards. Unconsciousness makes you interested in others — things, people, but it is always the others. Unconsciousness keeps you completely in darkness; your eyes go on being focused on others. It creates a kind of exteriority, it makes you extroverts. Consciousness creates interiority, it makes you introverts; it takes you inward, deeper and deeper.

A child is not conscious. A child lives in a deep unconsciousness. By becoming conscious you are becoming adult, mature, so all that was clinging in your unconsciousness will disappear. Just as you bring light in a room and the darkness disappears; bring consciousness deep in your heart.

Witness that you are not the seven subtle bodies behind the body, layer upon layer. Witness that you are only a witness, and nothing else — a pure consciousness.

Religion is basically the science of creating consciousness in you. Become more meditative, become more conscious. Out of that consciousness a very flexible, spontaneous character is born, which changes every day with the situation, which is not attached to the past, which is not like something ready-made. On the contrary, it is a responsibility — a moment-to-moment capacity to respond to reality. It is mirrorlike; it reflects whatsoever is the case, and out of that reflection, action is born. That action is religious action.

Conscience means all the knowledge that you have. And consciousness means being empty, being utterly empty, and moving into life with that emptiness, seeing through that emptiness and acting out of that emptiness — then action has tremendous grace. And then whatsoever you do is right. It is not a question of what is right and what is wrong, because something that is right today may be wrong tomorrow. And borrowed knowledge never helps.
Reaction is unconscious. You do not know exactly that you are being manipulated. You are not aware that you are behaving like a slave, not like a master. Action out of consciousness is response.

Heaven means consciousness, hell means unconsciousness.

You carry your hell in your unconsciousness and you carry your heaven in consciousness. These are not geographical places, these are states of your being. Asleep, you are in hell and suffering from nightmares. Awake, you are in heaven and all suffering has ceased.

Man is unconscious; he understands the language of unconsciousness And whenever somebody talks from the peaks of consciousness it becomes utterly ununderstandable, unintelligible. He is so far away! By the time his words reach the dark valleys of our unconscious we have distorted them to such an extent that they have no reference at all to the origin any more.

Problems exist through your ignorance, through your unconsciousness. Consciousness is the solution. Remember, I call it the SOLUTION. It has nothing to do with any particular problem. Every and all problems disappear through it — it is THE SOLUTION.

As far as buddhas are concerned, as far as I am concerned, consciousness cannot be attained by any chemical. Unconsciousness can be produced by chemicals, because unconsciousness is a very gross, lower phenomenon. Consciousness is the highest peak of growth, of opening, of coming home; it is not possible through the chemicals. It is possible only if you go on sharpening your intelligence; if you go on working on your witnessing soul; if you become more and more a witness of all that you do, of all that you think, of all that you feel. If you are miserable — as everybody is — then remember, it simply shows you are unconscious.

That is what sannyas is all about: making consciousness more and more the center of your being, and transforming more and more chunks of unconsciousness into consciousness, bringing more and more light into the inner darkness. A day comes when you are full of light; your whole being is conscious. Not even a corner of your being has any darkness about it — all is known and experienced through and through. You are well acquainted with yourself, totally acquainted with yourself; then whatsoever you do, Prem Murti, is right. Right is the flowering of consciousness, and wrong the flowering of unconsciousness.

If your life was of meditativeness, awareness, witnessing, then you will be able to witness death too. If your whole life you remained cool, centered in different situations, death will give you the ultimate challenge, the ultimate test. And if you can remain centered, calm and cool and watching, then you will not die an unconscious death, your death will bring you to the ultimate peak of consciousness. And then, certainly, it HAS to be celebrated. So whenever one of my sannyasins dies, we celebrate, we dance, we sing. We give him a good farewell.

Truth is very simple, and because it is very simple you don’t look at it. You will have to learn, you will have to become aware, of the simplicity and obviousness of truth. There is nothing more to it. It is simply this: consciousness is bliss, unconsciousness is misery.


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