What is the evolution of a seeker?
“A seeker is a man who has taken the reins into his own hands; a seeker is the child who says to the father, ‘This is more than enough. I am grateful to you, I am much obliged to you, but now I will stand on my own two feet.’ The moment you tell nature you want to stand by yourself you become a young man of maturity. At that moment maturity comes to you for the first time.
But from then on you will experience many anxieties because now you are responsible for yourself, because now your sadhana begins.
“To follow a sadhana is to proceed consciously in the direction of evolution. It is a journey of clarity, it is not a blind race. It is a directing of all one’s energy towards a single destination. That is why I always say that if a man’s gaze is not directed towards godliness his whole life is meaningless.
Directing one’s eyes towards godliness is just the introduction, just the preamble; the real thing has not yet begun. Think of a classical musician adjusting the strings of his sitar to bring his instrument to the proper tuning. The recital has not yet begun; this is just preparation. This may take a long time; the audience will often get bored and wonder how long this nonsense will go on, how long this will last – but the musician will not begin to play until his sitar is perfectly tuned. Until you evolve to this point you are in the preparatory stage.
Nature has prepared you by bringing you to the stage of humanity.
“Now you can sing the great song. Now the universal sound can descend on you; now the sound of the universe can thrill your life. But the tuning of the instruments does not produce any music on its own. If you think the recital is over as soon as the tuning is completed then the whole thing is already finished for you anyway; then nothing more can be said to you. And if the classical musician also thinks the concert is over when the instruments have been tuned, his work is incomplete as well.
I see such incompleteness in you. You have earned enough money, you have built a house, you have a wife and children – your instruments are all in tune – so what more is there to do, what else is there for you to do? You realize now that everything is empty, that the whole effort has been wasted; you see now that you have been caught up in nothing. You had things to do before. You had duties to perform; you kept busy doing this and that – but now?
‘Now’ stands before you like a deep abyss.
“Being born as a man was only the introduction; life has not yet begun for you. So far you have only been involved in the preparation; you have not yet begun the pilgrimage – you have only been preparing for the journey. Your luggage is ready – you have arranged all your things very carefully; the trunk, the bedding, the provisions are ready for the journey – but you have not yet set out. Man is at this point, at this stage.
If you want to understand clearly what man is and where he is going, then look at him as a man who has made all the preparations necessary for a journey but is sitting beside his luggage because he has forgotten where he has to go, because he has forgotten why he has made all these preparations. Your condition is the same.
All your preparations are complete; you are now a completely evolved human being.
Now you can jump into your pilgrimage; now there is nothing lacking in you. The instruments are properly tuned; you only have to start playing your music….
“If things continue as they have up to now then the whole preparation will be useless, in vain. You will wonder what the point of all this preparation was. You are ready, but you are completely unaware of where you have been preparing to go, of why you have prepared yourself, of who has called you, of what invitation has come to you from the unknown.
You have been preparing for so long you are afraid to embark on your journey.
“You are the kind of person who will unpack his luggage just so he can repack it again. You want to keep busy with your packing. You crave the activity, so the packing continues.
“You have prepared for this journey so often. How many times have you done this? And you still have not become a man! You have been in this situation so many times but, each and every time your preparations are complete, you again start to wonder what more there is to be done. Again you unpack your luggage, again you put things away so you can easily find them…then next time you begin to pack. When is the meeting ever going to take place?
The journey will not begin until you become a seeker.
“And when the journey has been started you are already halfway towards its completion! The beginning is halfway to the end. Once the beginning has been made, the end is not far off.
“There is not as much difference between a seeker and an enlightened man as there is between a seeker and one who is not seeking at all. If you can just step out of your house, just once, you will surely reach your goal – no matter how far the place of pilgrimage may be. The real difficulty is getting out of the house – the first step is always the hardest.
“Lao Tzu has said that a man completes a thousand-mile journey by taking one step at a time. Who can take two steps at once? When you take a step you can only raise one leg at a time. And eventually, one step at a time, the journey of a thousand miles is completed.
As soon as a man takes the first step his transformation begins.
“Then godliness takes a step towards him; then divine grace begins to descend on him.
“Nature is unconscious evolution, godliness is conscious evolution, and man is the link in between. Your further evolution is in your own hands. It is as if you are standing at the gate of a house – the whole of nature is behind you, godliness is in front of you, and you are standing in the middle, at the gate. Nothing in this world is static, and if you grow a little lethargic you are bound to be pushed back. Bear this in mind. If you do not progress you will have to regress, there is no waiting in this world. Even if you want to stand still and wait you cannot, it is not possible. Life is movement; you have to keep on walking.
If you do not move ahead you will be thrown back; if you do not raise yourself up you will be thrown down.
“Don’t ever think, ‘At least I can remain where I am.’ Such a thing never happens. Even if you want to stay where you are, keep trying to push ahead. You have to keep trying. Don’t stop. If you stop, the flow of life will knock you down.
“Have you ever stood in the strong current of a river? If you want to stay where you are you have to fight against the current, you have to work hard, because the rush of the river hauls the sand out from under your feet. The current drags you along with it. In all of existence there is no stopping.
Existence is continuous movement, never-ending motion.
Each moment you are either moving forwards or backwards.
“Don’t trust in your belief that you are standing still, this never happens. If you are standing at the gate and looking behind you, the current of nature will drag you back.
“You must forget the past….
“Nature has brought you to this door… and its journey is now over. Just turn and thank it sincerely for having accompanied you so far, it has brought you to the point where you can now stand on your own two feet.”
Abridged excerpt 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
Evolution and Consciousness – The Ultimate Journey
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