The Religious Attitude is Alchemical
15 May 1976 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
[A sannyasin returning to the West, expressed sadness at the thought of leaving Osho.] Sadness is also good. One has to learn that everything is good. Goodness is not a quality of anything, it is just your approach, and how you look at it. Sadness is also good because it gives you a depth which no happiness can ever give. Happiness remains shallow, superficial. Sadness goes to the very depths of your being, reaches to the very centre, penetrates you to the very heart. God comes to you in everything, in different forms and different ways. Sometimes He comes as sadness to give you depth. Sometimes He comes as happiness to create ripples of laughter on your surface. Sometimes He comes as life, sometimes as death, but only He is coming through different forms. Multi are His forms, many are His ways, and millions are His faces. One has to learn to recognise Him in whatsoever form He comes. He will try to deceive you but you are not to be deceived. When He comes as sadness, remember that is also His image. Maybe this is needed right now. There was one sufi mystic, Bayazid, who used to pray to God every day, expressing thanks and gratitude. Sometimes there was nothing to be thankful for. One time he and his disciples were hungry for three days. They were being hunted from one town to another because the Mohammedans were against them. But again, that evening, Bayazid thanked God.
One disciple said, 'This is too much. We cannot tolerate it! For what are you thanking God?' Bayazid had been saying, 'You are so good, my Lord. Whatsoever we need, you always give us.' The disciple said 'Now it is going too far. For three days we have been hungry and have been thrown out of every village, and people have been out to kill us. And You are saying "Whatsoever is needed, you always give us"! Now what has He given us for these three days?' Bayazid laughed and said, 'He has given us three days' poverty, and hunger and people who are after our lives. Whatsoever is needed, He always gives. This is needed. This must be needed because He knows better than we.' This is the religious attitude. The religious attitude is very alchemical it transforms everything. The baser metal is immediately transformed into gold once you have the religious outlook. The religious outlook is the philosopher's stone. You touch anything and immediately it becomes gold. So touch your sadness with a religious, grateful heart, and suddenly you will see that even sadness has a beauty to it. A silence will immediately settle around you and you will feel thankful that He has given sadness to you. He always gives in the right moment whatsoever was needed. You may not understand. Sometimes you may even misunderstand, but that doesn't make any difference. For these few months that you will be away, try to recognise Him in every form... and don't let Him deceive you! [A sannyasin says: I always feel when I am in front of you that I have a lot of things I can't say, and other things I am longing to say. I would like to say that I am experiencing at times a lot of softness... it's a feeling I can't express. I feel somehow flowing. It was not something I was aware of doing it just happened.] Good. Continue to flow back home; don't stop. The mind is very against the flow. It is a frozen thing, rocklike, and it enjoys destroying the flow of your being very much. There is only one possibility for the mind to dominate you, and that is if you are not flowing. If you are flowing, your energy is such a flood that all the rocks of the mind and thoughts are thrown away, taken to the ocean. They cannot stay in the way. The mind is always trying to create in every way, a dead structure around you dead thoughts, concepts, ideologies, religions, philosophies but everything dead. Mind is very anti-life. Life is a flow. So even sometimes when you have an experience of flowing, the mind will try in every way to subvert it, sabotage it, to destroy it. And whenever the flow comes, you start feeling soft and sensitive; that's a natural consequence of the flow. It makes you fragile, flexible like a small child, soft, young. There is a story about a great indian mystic, Shankara, the founder of Advaita Vedanta. He was one of the greatest enlightened people ever. He was talking to his disciples and to illustrate some point, on the wall he drew a picture of a sage, a very young figure, almost boyish. Surrounding the figure were many disciples, very very old and ancient.
One disciple asked, 'What are you doing sir? It seems you have forgotten and put things wrongly. You have put just a boy as the master and these old, ancient people you have put as disciples.' Shankara said, 'No, I have done that with deep consideration. The mind is very old and consciousness is always young and fresh. The master is young because he has come to know eternal youth. He is soft, boyish. Disciples are very old because they carry minds, layers upon layers of mind from very ancient times, from many lives. They carry all conditionings, all karmas and imprints; they are their past. They are very old. 'The master is young because he is his present. He has no past and future. He is just born, has just come into existence this moment. He will be there again next moment but he will not carry this moment with him.' So the more you become sensitive, open, flowing, the more you will see a very deep softness inside you, as if something, rocks, are melting. There is something butter-like, very soft. Out of that softness, love and compassion arise. So keep that flow don't forget about it and back home continuously remember it.