What is life? Is nature still moving anywhere? Or is this the end of the journey?
Life is a preparation. And the preparation continues every moment. You may or may not be aware of it, but you are moving towards a very great festival.
“At times you will fall, but you will get up again; at times you will lose your way, but you will find your path again. There is some very powerful destiny, some tremendous pull continuously drawing you towards this great celebration. Something is going to happen to you. In fact, something is already happening to you.
“You feel incomplete within, but this is because you are a seed. The seed is groping in the dark, trying to push its way through the earth. The seed breaks through stones, passes through layers of soil and surmounts all obstacles in its upward path towards the sun. But it has no knowledge of what it is doing.
“If you ask it, ‘What are you doing? Where are you going?’ it will not be able to give you an answer.
There is some instinct within it that directs its course.
“It must reach the sun; it has to touch the sky. There is no other goal. Unless it sees the sun it will never bear flowers; there will never be any celebration in its life.
“The tree grows onwards and upwards, spreading its branches to the sky and, when it has done its utmost, flowers bloom. After a time the flowers fall to the ground and become seeds again. Then the same journey begins all over. This kind of repetition is to be found in the life of a tree. The same cycle is present in all of nature.
Man, on the other hand, has evolved to the point where, if he becomes conscious, there is no repetition.
“But if he remains asleep and unconscious the repetitive cycle will go on and on.
“There are a few things that must be understood. Firstly, this infinite universe you see about you, this sun, moon, stars and planets, is not without cause. This whole evolving system exists within a great framework, within a great destiny. Just as flowers are hidden in a tiny seed and bloom from that seed, the potentiality of godliness flowering is hidden in the vast universe.
Everything in it is moving towards this flowering, towards this manifestation.
“Everyone is moving towards this, sinner and saint. Some will be tardy and some will be on time, but it will not make much difference in the end.
“There are two kinds of evolution. One kind of evolution is unconscious, and we know nothing about it whatsoever. We neither know what is happening nor why it is happening.
“Do you really know what you are doing, why you are doing it, what prompts you to act? You cannot even stop doing! You do not even know why you are doing what you are doing; some force, some destiny compels you.
Nature is unconscious evolution and godliness is conscious evolution. Man is the link between the two; man is how godliness is linked with nature.
“Man is a creature of great dignity. Don’t toss this dignity off casually. You are the point where nature becomes divine, where nature is transformed into godliness, where matter is transformed into consciousness, where form becomes formlessness, where shape becomes shapelessness. You are that link; your dignity is without limit.
“At present your dignity is hidden in the womb of the future. You are a seed; you do not know your flowers yet. Nature is simply unconscious. It is a blind race, a blind journey.
“With man a new link begins, but you do not automatically become that link just because you have been born as a man.
To become that link, to attain to that status, you will have to exert yourself consciously.
“…You will no longer continue your journey blindfolded, that you will now move ahead with your eyes wide open, that you will now be aware of all your conscious activities, of where you are going, of why you are going somewhere.
“You will breathe consciously; when you walk you will even raise your legs consciously. You are now taking a jump beyond the blind race of nature. All that blind race does is bring you back to the point from whence you began your journey.
“First the seed becomes the tree and then the tree becomes the seed. You are born, then you die, and then you are born again. It is a circle. The world is a wheel; it keeps on revolving and revolving. But you never seem to arrive anywhere.
Man must awaken; he must make this journey with full awareness.
“Nature brings you to the human state and now you will have to continue on your own. This is a tremendous responsibility and it worries you. This is why man is always so worried – in nature, nothing is worried.
“The animals and the birds and the trees and the stones and the streams are not worried. They have no cause for anxiety; they are unconscious of what is happening.
“Man is anxious because he sees clearly that, no matter what happens, it is inadequate. You feel that whatsoever you are it is not enough, that something is lacking. This feeling disturbs you, stabs at you like a thorn, and unless you become conscious, unless you become aware, it will harass you your whole life long.
Your journey with nature is over, nature has brought you as far as it can – and it has been a very long journey.
“It has not been an insignificant thing; it has taken a very long time. Assuming the earth were twenty-four hours old, then scientists say man has only been here for two seconds. Man has not been here for very long. Nature is very very ancient, but in a total journey of twenty-four hours only two seconds have passed since the consciousness that is man has been born.
This evolution to the human stage is the highest flowering in nature.
The journey through the darkness of nature is over.
Man has reached the frontier; he has come to the crossroads.
“If you go back to nature now you will just be repeating the cycle of births and deaths all over again – this is what humans generally do. Such men belong to the world; such men are worldly men.
“The Hindi word for world is sansara; it means a wheel. And the man who lives like a wheel, continuously revolving in the same circle, is bound to the world. He repeats the same routine day after day. He gets up in the morning and does what he did yesterday; he spends this afternoon as he spent the one before.
“Living by the clock – which goes round and round too – he repeats the same routine in the evening and the same routine at night. He is lost in the repetition of his routine. And then one day he is suddenly no more.
Then, as a seed, he enters a new womb and the blind journey begins all over again.
“The Hindus are the oldest conscious people, the most ancient awakened people on this earth. They were the first to conceive of religion and they have only one great desire, only one great throbbing in their hearts – how to be freed, how to be liberated from this cycle of births and deaths, how to jump outside the circumference of this wheel, how to attain to consciousness and move outside the circle of sansara. The
“Hindus say, ‘We have taken this blind journey so many times. We have become seeds and trees and trees and seeds over and over again. It all seems so pointless, so useless.’
Now a tension begins; now anxiety is born.
“No irreligious or non-religious man will ever become as uneasy as a religious man will. What is there for an irreligious man to worry about? You will find him making merry in a club, in a bar or in the marketplace. Such a man has no worries at all. And even if he does have a few he is easily rid of them.
“For example, if he does not have enough money it can be earned; his bank balance can be augmented. If he hankers after fame, fame can be found; if his house is small he can build a bigger one. These are not very great problems; they can easily be solved. This is why such a man is not overly concerned. You will find him laughing and enjoying, but do not be deceived by this outward show.
“A deep anxiety grips a religious man because he has begun to think, ‘How long can this repetitiveness last?’ This is the beginning of his anxiety. He is anxious to free himself from this cycle of births and deaths. He thinks, ‘I have gone around and around often enough. It is already late. When shall I awaken? When shall I become conscious?’
So the first stage in the growth of a man of religion will be one of anxiety; the last stage will be one of serenity and peace.
“But this last stage is very, very far away; a long journey must be undertaken. Between these two stages, between anxiety and peace, a man of religion has to make tremendous effort.
“Bear in mind that, through the process of unconscious evolution, nature has brought you as far as it could. Nature’s function is now complete. Now it is your turn; now you have to do something. For a while a father holds the hand of his baby son and helps him to walk. But how long can he do that? A point comes when the father has to say to his son, ‘Now walk on your own legs. Now you are ready to walk on your own. Now you are mature. Now you must begin your own journey; now you must take the responsibility for your own life on your own shoulders. Now you must take care of yourself.’
“Maturity will only come to a man, will only grow in a man, when he accepts this challenge. Your ability to look after yourself is in relation to the effort you expend on your own behalf.
Nature is now telling you the same thing a father tells his son.
“Nature has brought you to the point where you have evolved into a fully grown human being. Now you are able to think, now you are able to discriminate, and when you become anxious about yourself you can now select the path that will lead you out of your anxiety.
Nature’s job is now over. Now you must take the reins into your own hands; now you must become a seeker.”
Excerpted from Osho, The Great Secret, Talk #3 – Drunk with Boundless Youth
To read the full series on evolution:
An introductory summary:
The Origin of the Species – A Revolutionary New Understanding
Links to excerpts from Osho on different aspects of evolution:
From Unconscious Evolution to a Revolution in Consciousness
What Is the Evolution of a Seeker on the Journey to Consciousness?
From Natural Selection to Conscious Evolution to Total Consciousness
Evolution and Consciousness – From Existence to Essence
From Instinct to Boredom – Have Human Beings Stopped Evolving?
Does Evolution Naturally Lead to Freedom?
This article is published on Medium