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The Quest


The Woodcut

The woodcut shows a pilgrim who, after a long and fruitless spiritual quest for a terrestrial and heavenly paradise, is on his knees. Finally he realizes his helplessness; he now understands Gurdjieff′s dictum, ‟Do all that you can, and then ask God for mercy.″
It is then, at his wits′ end, that the pilgrim may be allowed to see through the shell of appearances, to arrive at an understanding of the fundamental mechanism that lies behind them.
He may finally find what he′s been looking for at a place where heaven and earth meet: a power behind and beyond all duality.

The Pilgrim′s Symbol

The pilgrim symbolizes a human being′s personality or ego, searching for happiness on earth. Not finding it on earth, attention is shifted to the search for bliss in heaven. This latter search is still ego-driven, and not finding happiness in heaven either, the pilgrim realizes his helplessness; he has searched everywhere to no avail. Eventually realising that his desires cannot been fulfilled, his personality becomes passive, his spiritual Heart comes alive and it is then that Truth is revealed.

All that is Valuable in Existence Flows Towards a Person Who is Nobody

The Theme

Zenmaster Sosan in his Hsin Hsin Ming :

The Great Way is not difficult
for those who have no preferences.
When love and hate are both absent
everything becomes clear and undisguised.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.
If you wish to see the Truth
then hold no opinion for or against.
The struggle between what one likes
and what one dislikes
is the disease of the mind.


Osho comments:

To know that all has failed is the beginning of a new journey. To know that ′All that I have achieved is lost′ is the beginning of a new search for something that cannot be lost. When one is utterly disillusioned with the world and all its successes, only then one becomes spiritual.

(Osho - Hsin Hsin Ming, aka The Book of Nothing)

And, says Osho:

Rooted in meditation you will have wings of compassion. That′s why I say that I would like to give you two things: roots into this earth and wings into that heaven. Meditation is this earth, it is here and now; the very moment you can spread your roots, do it. And once roots are there your wings will reach to the highest sky possible. Compassion is the sky, meditation is the earth, and when meditation and compassion meet a buddha is born.

(Osho - A Bird on the Wing)

Listening is one of the basic secrets of entering into the temple of God. Listening means passivity. Listening means forgetting yourself completely - only then can you listen. When you listen attentively to somebody, you forget yourself. If you cannot forget yourself, you never listen. If you are too self-conscious about yourself, you simply pretend that you are listening - you don′t listen. You may nod your head; you may sometimes say yes and no - but you are not listening.
When you listen, you become just a passage, a passivity, a receptivity, a womb: you become feminine. And to arrive one has to become feminine. You cannot reach God as aggressive invaders, conquerors. You can reach God only... or it will be better: God can reach you only when you are receptive, a feminine receptivity. When you become yin, a receptivity, the door is open. And you wait. Listening is the art for becoming passive.

(Osho - A Sudden Clash of Thunder)

You don′t have to do anything. Enlightenment is not your doing. And it is not a gift. You are already enlightened, just you have not looked in the right direction.
The difference between the enlightened and unenlightened being is not much; it is negligible. One has looked into himself, the other has not looked into himself. This is not much of a difference. At any moment the other can also look into himself. Perhaps when your eyes are tired of looking outside, you close them in utter boredom and tiredness and look inside.
You have searched much and found nothing outside. You look in and suddenly all that you were seeking is already there. You have come with it into the world, it is your intrinsic quality.

(Osho - The Language of Existence)

In the woodcut the Sun is rising...

The pilgrim leaves his old life behind and in the insight he has gained there is a new beginning, a new dawn.

Life in itself is dormant, it is fast asleep. Enlightenment is absolutely awake. But it is the same energy that was asleep that becomes awake. So they are not synonymous, but they are two extremes of the same energy. But this, if taken as an intellectual understanding, is not going to help you in any way. It has to become your own experience.

You have to see that light.
You have to see that explosion within your own being.
You have to see the darkness disappearing.
You have to see the new dawn of a new life,
A life of grace and gratitude,
A life of beauty and blessings.

(Osho - The New Dawn)

There are only three steps:
  1. The first step, becoming aware that this world is nothing but games, becoming aware that this world is nothing but our projections.
  2. The second step, becoming aware that the other world, heaven, paradise, is also nothing but our unfulfilled dreams, our unfulfilled desires projected in time, in the future.
  3. The third step, when this world is dropped and that world is dropped, then all that is left is you. Then all that is left is the faculty of projection, the mind, the ego. The third step consists of dropping the ego.

And suddenly you are back home. Suddenly nothing is needed any more, all is available. And then one starts laughing, because this had always been so - all had always been available. Just because we were searching and searching, and we were in such a frantic search that we never looked within; we never looked at the treasure that we are already carrying, we became too much obsessed with the outside world; we forgot the language of the inner, we forgot that there is an interior in us and that interior is God.

Meditate over these beautiful lines of D.H. Lawrence:

Are you willing to be sponged out,
Erased, cancelled, made nothing?
Are you willing to be made nothing,
Dipped into oblivion?
If not, you will never really change.
The phoenix renews her youth
Only when she is burnt, burnt alive,
Burnt down to hot and flocculent ash.

(Osho - The Secret #17)


If I were to save only two books from the whole world of the mystics, then these would be the two books:

The Hadiqa is the essential fragrance of the path of love. Just as Sosan has been able to catch the very soul of Zen, Hakim Sanai has been able to catch the very soul of Sufism. Such books are not written, they are born. Nobody can compose them. They are not manufactured in the mind, by the mind; they come from the beyond. They are a gift. They are born as mysteriously as a child is born, or a bird or a rose flower. They come to us, they are gifts.

(Osho - Unio Mystica, vol.1 #1)

Let it be a criterion...

If you follow the path of awareness, let love be the criterion. When your awareness suddenly blooms into love, know perfectly well that awareness has happened, samadhi has been achieved. If you follow the path of love, then let awareness function as a criterion, as a touchstone. When suddenly, from nowhere, at the very center of your love, a flame of awareness starts arising, know perfectly well... rejoice! You have come home.

(Osho - Ah, This!, #8)

(Back to ′The Theme′)

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