The Ultimate Polarity: Meditation and Love

The whole of life consists of polar opposites. But those polar opposites are not only polar opposites, they are also complementaries. They are helping each other, they are supporting each other.

These are two polarities in life: meditation and love. This is the ultimate polarity.

“The whole of life consists of polarities: the positive and the negative, birth and death, man and woman, day and night, summer and winter. The whole of life consists of polar opposites. But those polar opposites are not only polar opposites, they are also complementaries. They are helping each other, they are supporting each other.

“They are like the bricks of an arch. In an arch the bricks have to be arranged against each other. They appear to be against each other, but it is through their polar opposition that the arch is built, remains. The strength of the arch is dependent on the polarity of the bricks arranged opposite each other.

This is the ultimate polarity: meditation means the art of being alone, and love means the art of being together.

“The whole person is one who knows both and who is capable of moving from one to the other as easily as possible. It is just like breathing in and breathing out – there is no difficulty. They are opposite: when you breathe in there is one process, and when you breathe out the process is just the opposite. But breathing in and breathing out make one full breath.

In meditation you breathe in, in love you breathe out. And with love and meditation together your breath is complete, entire, is whole.

“For centuries religions have tried to attain one pole to the exclusion of the other. There are religions of meditation. For example, Jainism, Buddhism – they are meditative religions, they are rooted in meditation. And there are bhakti religions, religions of devotion: Sufism, Hasidism – they are rooted in love. A religion rooted in love needs God as the other to love, to pray to. Without a God the religion of love cannot exist it is inconceivable – you need an object of love. But a religion of meditation can exist without the concept of God; the hypothesis can be discarded.

Hence Buddhism and Jainism don’t believe in any God. There is no need of the other. You just have to know how to be alone, how to be silent, how to be still, how to be utterly calm and quiet within yourself. The other has to be completely dropped, forgotten.

Hence these are godless religions.

“When for the first time Western theologians came across Buddhist and Jaina literature they were very puzzled: how to call these godless philosophies religions? They could be called philosophies, but how to call them religions? It was inconceivable to them because the Judaic and Christian tradition thinks that to be religious God is the most essential hypothesis. The religious person is one who is God-fearing, and these people say there is no God, hence there is no question of fearing God.

“In the West for thousands of years it has been thought that the person who does not believe in God is an atheist, he is not a religious person. But Buddha is atheistic and religious. It was very strange for Westerners because they were not at all aware that there are religions that are rooted in meditation.

“And the same is true about the followers of Buddha and Mahavira. They laugh at the stupidity of other religions that believe in God, because the whole idea is absurd. It is just fantasy, imagination, nothing else; it is a projection. But to me, both are true together. My understanding is not rooted in one pole; my understanding is fluid.

I have tasted truth from both sides. I have loved totally and I have meditated totally. And this is my experience, that a person is whole only when he has known both. Otherwise he remains half, something remains missing in him.

“Buddha is half – so is Jesus. Jesus knows what love is, Buddha knows what meditation is, but if they meet, it will be impossible for them to communicate with each other. They will not understand each other’s language. Jesus will talk about the kingdom of God and Buddha will start laughing: “What nonsense are you talking? The kingdom of God?” Buddha will say just, “Cessation of the self, disappearance of the self.” And Jesus will say, “Disappearance of the self? Cessation of the self? That is committing suicide, the ultimate suicide. What kind of religion is this? Talk about the supreme self!”

“They will not understand each other’s words. If they ever meet they will need a man like me to interpret; otherwise there can be no communication between them. And I will have to interpret in such a way that I will be untrue to both! Jesus will say kingdom of God and I will translate it as nirvana – then Buddha will understand. Buddha will say nirvana and to Jesus I will say kingdom of God – then he will understand.

Humanity needs a total vision now. We have lived with half visions for too long.

It was a necessity of the past, but now man has come of age. My sannyasins have to prove that they can meditate and pray together, that they can meditate and love together, that they can be as silent as possible and they can be as dancing and celebrating as possible. Their silence has to become their celebration, and their celebration has to become their silence. I am giving them the hardest task ever given to any disciples, because this is the meeting of the opposites.

“And in this meeting all other opposites will melt and become one: East and West, man and woman, matter and consciousness, this world and that world, life and death. All opposites will meet and merge through this one meeting, because this is the ultimate polarity; it contains all the polarities.

“This meeting will create my man – Zorba the Buddha. That’s my name for the new man. And each of my sannyasins has to make all the efforts possible to become such a liquidity, a flow, so that both poles belong to you.

Then you will have the taste of wholeness. And to know wholeness is the only way to know what is holy. There is no other way.


Osho, The Imprisoned Splendor, Talk #21

More about this topic: 

Osho, The Path of Love, Talk #10 – Please Wake Up

Osho, Philosophia Perennis, Series 2, Talk #2 – Zorba the Buddha

Osho, Take it Easy, Talk #15 – Existence is Made of the Stuff Called Love 

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