Four Steps to Awakening: From Misery to Bliss

Four Steps to Awakening:  From Misery to Bliss
5 min read

Misery is a state of unconsciousness. We are miserable because we are not aware of what we are doing, of what we are thinking, of what we are feeling.

“So we are continuously contradicting ourselves each moment. Action goes in one direction, thinking goes in another, feeling is somewhere else. We go on falling apart, we become more and more fragmented; that’s what misery is – we lose integration, we lose unity. We become just a periphery. And naturally a life which is not harmonious is going to be miserable, tragic, a burden to be carried somehow, a suffering. At the most one can make this suffering less painful. And there are a thousand and one kinds of painkillers available.

“It is not only drugs and alcohol.

The so-called religion has also functioned as an opium. It drugs people. And naturally, all the religions are against drugs, because they themselves deal in the same market; they are against the competitors.

“If people take opium they may not be religious, there may be no need for them to be religious. They have found their opium, why should they bother about religion? And opium is cheaper, there is less involvement. If people are taking marijuana, LSD and more refined drugs, naturally, they are not going to be religious, because religion is a very primitive drug. Hence all the religions are against drugs.

“The reason is not that they are really against the drug. The reason is, the drugs are competitors, and of course, if people can be debarred from using drugs, they are bound to fall into the traps of the priests, because then that is the only way left. That is a way of monopolizing, so only their opium remains in the market and everything else becomes illegal.

People are living in suffering. There are only two ways out of it: either they can become meditators – alert, aware, conscious – that’s an arduous thing. It needs guts. The cheaper way is to find something that can make you even more unconscious than you are, so you cannot feel the misery.

“Find something that makes you utterly insensitive, some intoxicant, some pain killer that makes you so unconscious that you can escape into that unconsciousness and forget all about your anxiety, anguish, meaninglessness.

“The second way is not the true way. The second way only makes your suffering a little more comfortable, a little more tolerable, a little more convenient, but it does not help, it does not transform you.

The only transformation happens through meditation, because meditation is the only method that makes you aware. To me meditation is the only true religion.

“All else is hocus-pocus. And there are different brands of opium – Christianity, Hinduism, Mohammedanism, Jainism, Buddhism – but they are just different brands. The container is different but the content is the same: they all help you in some way to adjust to your suffering.

My effort here is to take you beyond suffering; there is no need to adjust to suffering. There is a possibility to be totally free of suffering; but then the path is a little arduous, then the path is a challenge. You have to become aware of your body and what you are doing with it.

“One day Buddha was giving his morning discourse and the king had come to listen to him. He was sitting just in front of Buddha and he was continuously moving his big toe. Buddha stopped talking and looked at the king’s toe. When Buddha looked at his toe, obviously, the king stopped moving it. Buddha started talking and again and again he started moving his toe. Then Buddha asked him, ‘Why are you doing that?’ The king said, ‘Only when you stopped speaking and looked at my toe did I become aware of what I was doing, otherwise I was not at all conscious.’ Buddha said, ‘This is your toe and you are not conscious.… Then you can even murder a person! And you may not be conscious.’ And exactly in that way people have been murdered and the murderer has not been conscious.

“Many times in the courts murderers have absolutely denied that they have murdered. First it used to be thought that they were just deceiving, but the latest findings are that they are not deceiving; they did it in a very unconscious state. They were so enraged, they were so angry at that moment that they were possessed by their rage. And when you are enraged, your body secretes certain intoxicating poisons, your blood becomes intoxicated.

“To be in a rage is to be in a temporary madness. And the person will completely forget about it, because he was not aware at all. And that’s how people are falling in love, killing each other, committing suicide, doing all kinds of things.

The first step in awareness is to be very watchful of your body. Slowly, slowly one becomes alert about each gesture, each movement.

“And as you become aware, a miracle starts happening: many things that you used to do before simply disappear, your body becomes more relaxed, your body becomes more attuned, a deep peace starts prevailing even in your body, a subtle music pulsates in your body.

Then start becoming aware of your thoughts; the same has to be done with the thoughts. They are more subtle than the body and of course, more dangerous too.

“And when you become aware of your thoughts, you will be surprised at what goes on inside you. If you write down whatsoever is going on at any moment, you are in for a great surprise. You will not believe: ‘This is what is going on inside me.’ Just for ten minutes go on writing. Close the doors, lock the doors and the windows so nobody can come in, so you can be totally honest, and keep a fire so you can throw it in the fire so nobody will know except you. And then be truly honest, go on writing whatsoever is going on inside the mind. Don’t interpret it, don’t change it, don’t edit it. Just put it on the paper as naked as it is, exactly as it is.

“And after ten minutes you read it – you will see a mad mind inside! We are not aware that this whole madness goes on running like an undercurrent. It affects everything that is significant in your life. It affects whatsoever you are doing; it affects whatsoever you are not doing, it affects everything. And the sum total of it is going to be your life! So this madman has to be changed.

And the miracle of awareness is that you need not do anything except to become aware.

“The very phenomenon of watching it changes it. Slowly, slowly the madman disappears, slowly, slowly the thoughts start falling into a certain pattern: their chaos is no more, they become more of a cosmos; and then again, a deeper peace prevails. And when your body and your mind are at peace you will see that they are attuned to each other too, there is a bridge. Now they are not running in different directions, they are not riding on different horses.

For the first time there is accord and that accord helps immensely to work on the third step – that is, becoming aware of your feelings, emotions, moods. That is the subtlest layer and the most difficult.

“But if you can be aware of the thoughts then it is just one step more. A little more intense awareness is needed as you start reflecting your moods, your emotions, your feelings.

“Once you are aware of all these three, they all become joined into one phenomenon. And when all these three are one, functioning together, perfectly humming together, you can feel the music of all three – they have become an orchestra. Then the fourth happens, which you cannot do – it happens of its own accord. It is a gift from the whole. It is a reward, for those who have done these three.

And the fourth is the ultimate awareness that makes one awakened. One becomes aware of one’s awareness – that is the fourth. That makes one a buddha, the awakened.

“And only in that awakening one comes to know what bliss is. The body knows pleasure, the mind knows happiness, the heart knows joy, the fourth knows bliss. Bliss is the goal of sannyas and awareness is the path toward it.”

Osho, The Old Pond…Plop!, Talk #22

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