Man is a useless passion

says Jean-Paul Sartre. Why is man a useless passion? He says it is because there is no meaning in life. Man searches and searches, and the gain is nothing but frustration. Man is doomed to fail because meaning, as such, does not exist. The message of Jean-Paul Sartre is that of despair, hopelessness, anguish. If there is no meaning, naturally, man is a useless passion. He exists for nothing, exists accidentally, arbitrarily; he goes on keeping himself occupied in useless things, but the ultimate end is nothing but emptiness. Nothing is gained. Man comes empty and goes empty. The whole effort, and the effort is great, is just pointless.

The myth of Sisyphus in Greek mythology is of significance. It says that the gods were angry with Sisyphus. They condemned him to carry a big rock to the hilltop. It is a hard task, it is an almost impossible task, but Sisyphus docs it — he carries the rock to the top. And then, the ultimate result is that the rock cannot remain on the top. Because of its weight, of its own accord, it starts falling back into the valley again. And it happens again and again: Sisyphus carries the rock, prepares a thousand and one details, fights with the heights, and the ultimate result is that the rock rolls back into the valley. Sisyphus goes down — starts the work again.

This myth is symbolic of man’s life. From birth to death you struggle and you struggle, and it is a hard struggle and it is an uphill task, and you carry a rock… and then, when you reach, the rock starts slipping back. The end is death, waiting for you, and death destroys all that you have done, it takes away all that you have created. And again another birth… and the whole nonsense begins. And so on and so forth.

The moon reflected in the stream,
The wind blowing through the pines
In the cool of the evening, in the deep midnight, —
What is it for?

–Yoka is saying: If you ask this question, you are a fool

And that insight is the foundation of Zen; that insight has to be understood — it is one of the most important things that has happened to human consciousness ever. What did he come to know? He came to know one thing: that if meaning is dropped, meaninglessness also disappears. This is a great insight — the greatest. If meaning is dropped, then meaninglessness automatically disappears.

It has to be so, because how can you say life is meaningless if there is no meaning? If there is no meaning, then meaninglessness cannot be possible. To make meaninglessness possible, meaning will be needed. If you say that your statement is meaningless, that means statements are possible which will be meaningful. If all statements are meaningless then you cannot call any statement meaningless — how will you compare? what will be the criterion?

Buddha’s insight that early morning was such that he dropped all search for meaning. He had searched long enough — for many lives — and for six years he had been looking in this life also. He had tried all the answers, all the available answers he had looked into, and found them lacking.That early morning, when the last star was disappearing into the sky, something disappeared into his inner sky also.

He came to a profound insight, he saw that ‘Life looks meaningless because I am searching for meaning. Life is not meaningless; it becomes meaningless, it looks meaningless, because of my longing for meaning. The problem is my longing for meaning, not the meaninglessness of life. If I don’t long for meaning, then what is meaningless? Then great joy is released.’

God is the simultaneous majesty of experience, the simultaneity of the magic that is happening. These raindrops, the sound of it, this silent morning… this simultaneous majesty, this is God.

This is what Zen is. Zen drops the search for meaning because it is an ego search. The gratification of the ego is thought to be the meaning. Zen drops the very search for meaning, and in that very dropping, all kinds of meaninglessnesses disappear. See the beauty of it. Then life is — simply is: no meaning, no meaninglessness. How can you be in despair? And when there is no search for meaning, then you are no more separate from life. When there is no search for meaning, how can you divide yourself from life? Then you are part of this organic unity, this simultaneous majesty, this magic of being, this ecstasy of being. Then you sing with the birds, and you bloom with the trees, and you dance with the stars. Then you don’t have any private world of your own: this world is your world. And then there is no idea of the future. Then this moment is all: it contains eternity.

The entire book for free at ‘Sun Rises in the Evening‘, by Osho.


Karl and Kali

Each man is both man and woman, and each woman is both woman and man, and we have to come to a deep merger of these two elements. In that merger is strength, is power; immense power is released. It is far more significant than the power released by an atomic explosion. It is not the power of explosion but the power of implosion. The atom has to be broken, then it releases energy, but in the inner world man has to be integrated — not broken, not split, but centered, crystallized — then power is released.

The man and the woman inside have to meet and merge, so let Karl and Kalli meet and merge and become one. And that happens through love. When you love a woman it is not only the woman on the outside that you love, in a vicarious way, in an indirect way you love your inner woman too through her. In fact you fall in love with a woman only if she somehow resembles your inner woman, otherwise you will not fall in love in the first place

The resemblance may not be too much, the resemblance may be very little and may be finished sooner or later, but there is certainly some echo. That echo is love. Something of your heart is reflected. Falling in love with a woman or falling in love with a man is really deep down falling in love with one’s own polar opposite. And both those poles exist in you: one is Karl, the other is Kalli; and both have to meet.

And just as the child is born out of the mother, never out of the man, exactly the same happens when the man and the woman inside meet, again the man disappears into the woman. The mother is left there again. The beginning is the mother and the end is the mother.
If one day you come across God you will be surprised: you will not find that he is a man, you will find that he is a woman. He is a she!

– Osho, Just Around the Corner


How can you repay love?

You seldom can.

But you can, become Love.

You can absorb the sweet nectar inside your being.

and serve the it to everyone you touch everywhere every time.

Cause you can never pay back

some blessings.

This is your life..

I am happy. I am unhappy.
I am depressed. I am elated.
I am good. I am bad.
I am angry. I am not angry.

I am calm. I am agitated.
I want. I do not want.
I desire. I do not desire.
I like. I dislike.

I love. I hate.
I am hardworking. I am lazy.
I care. I am Indifferent.

I am selfish. I am unselfish.
I am full. I am empty.
I have a purpose. I have no purpose. I seek a purpose.

This is your life. And it’s ending one minute at a time.

— Call for Mindfulness.

Importance of Noble friends

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sakyans. Now there is a Sakyan town named Sakkara. There Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, “This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie.”

“Don’t say that, Ananda. Don’t say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.

“And how does a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, develop & pursue the noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops right resolve … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right effort … right mindfulness … right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. This is how a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & colleagues, develops & pursues the noble eightfold path.

“And through this line of reasoning one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life: It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth have gained release from birth, that beings subject to aging have gained release from aging, that beings subject to death have gained release from death, that beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair have gained release from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life.”

Making Decisions

It is interesting to note different people’s reaction’s to my going to India and possibly going on an extended travel trip. Seems like the combination of dad’s passing away, my aloofness, growing interest in spirituality, lack of a clear travel plan is getting a variety of reactions. Most of the concern surrounds taking care of my mom and how responsible this decision is in the context of my family responsibilities.

In general, there are a few knee jerk reactions to this.  It ranges from extreme happiness, congratulations to blaming and thunderous negativity to non-chalance.  All of these are learning lessons for me and have allowed me to think more broadly and deeply about myself and the world. In fact, it really helped me question my own thinking as well as learn more about the personalities of my friends and families.  Here are some real comments that convey a range of emotions, personal values as well as the risk tolerance for various people. Note that these are first reactions, not a commentary:

  • Oh my God! It is soo cool. I always wanted to do this in my life, but never got around it. I am glad you made a decision to focus on this.
  • What!!!! You leaving your mother by herself! Do you have a heart?
  • Take a GPS with you man. It is very dangerous out there dude.
  • Two months is enough for your trip
  • It will be good to get it out of your system
  • You are crazy and depressed. Maybe one or both!
  • How are you going to make money?

What I noticed amongst most of these comments were that they were more like reactions that happened with little input from trying to understand the decision at a deeper level. One thing contributing to it, of course, is that we are all short of time and have our own issues to deal with–but another is that the reactions serve as a reflection of one’s own world view.

For example, some people made ‘assumptions’ about my values, my state of mind, even my reasoning without collecting the ‘facts’ and immediately super-imposed their fears, excitement or own values on it to form a reaction. Very few people took the time to get to the core of things. Even if they did not necessarily agree with me, they facilitated a very healthy discussion and gave me insights into my own thinking. After all, there are no right or wrong answers–although it is critical to understand how convicted a person is and how thought-through the decision is.

I don’t dislike the people who talk negative or don’t agree with me, neither do I fall in love with people who support me. What I do appreciate is a demonstrated capability to absorb raw information, treat in a non-judgmental way, ability to understand opposing views with careful calibration before framing and mixing it with one’s own views, biases and conditionings. For most people, it was a click-whirr reaction as Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, Ph.D. describes it.

This is important to notice in all of us because this is how we make our life decisions everyday. So one thing to learn from and notice from ‘what you felt’ about the decision is to consider on how you yourself function what what hopes and fears shape all of your decisions.