There are as many paths as there are minds. Each mind requires a particular path and each method is true for a particular person. No method is true as such or false as such. It depends on the person to whom it is to be applied. So, yoga is basically individual.
Whenever a society changes, mind changes. I have been developing new methods for the new mind. The old methods were developed for a particular type of mind that no longer exists in the world.
For example, Buddhist methods were developed for the particular type of mind that Buddha was encountering. Now that mind no longer exists and those methods have become useless. A new mind has come into being. The type of mind that Buddha was facing and working with was basically based on faith. The whole training of the Indian mind was based on faith, doubt was never allowed.
Less faith, more doubts now
Now, all over the world, the modern mind is based on doubt. The scientific approach uses doubt; a mind cannot be scientific unless it can take doubt to the very extreme. We have trained our minds for doubt, so those methods that were based on faith have become useless. For the modern mind, they cannot be used.
We have to devise new methods for the modern mind – based on doubt; on experimenting, without faith as a basic condition. In each age, new devises are needed. All devices can be used only for a certain time.
My method is more scientific and less religious. It gives you a religious experience, but the method itself is more scientific than religious, more psychological than spiritual. The modern mind only accepts the body and the mind; the spiritual realm is taken as a romantic fallacy. So you cannot begin anything from the spiritual. At the most, you can start from the psychological. So my method is more psychological than spiritual. It leads ultimately to the spiritual dimension but it starts from psychology.
We have been doing much with the human mind, particularly in the West. The religious traditions – Jewish, Christian Islam and now even Hindu – have all been suppressive. We have layers and layers of suppressions, and unless they are released, thrown out, exhaled, nothing can be done as far as the inner journey is concerned. So my method works with catharsis. The first basic thing is to go through a catharsis. Unless the repressions in your mind are released, you cannot proceed further. They are the blocks. They were never there before. Particularly, in the East they have never before existed. The mind was not so repressed; we accepted things as they are. But now, the whole world lives under a Christian shadow. Everything natural has become condemned. The body, sex – all these things are condemned. We are in an inner conflict.
Reason has become supreme
Reason has become supreme and it suppressed everything that is not rational. Reason is just a part of the whole being of man, just a small fragment, but this small fragment has become supreme, dictatorial. It has suppressed everything else in the personality. These suppressed layers have to be released first. Unless they are released and one comes to a deep harmony within – with one’s own instincts, nature, body – nothing further can be done.
All the old methods start with you as you are. For example, Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation. It gives you a particular technique, a mantra to work with. The mantra will help you to calm down, but it cannot transform you. It can only make you more adjusted to a society that is, itself, ill. It can make you more still, a certain wellbeing will come to you, but no transformation will happen because the repressed layers will remain where they are. They are not even touched by it. You bypass your suppressions and do something with your mind that only gives it a superficial tranquility.
All the old methods – if used directly, without catharsis – will not be of much help. So my method starts with catharsis. Only when your tensions, are released can you jump deep within yourself. The jump is possible. And I think that for us today, it has become urgent that we move within. But the preparation is bound to be different than it has been in the past, so my method works first as a catharsis. Then, it tries to create a harmony with your body.
Avoid fragmenting yourself
We are separated from our bodies. All the old traditions have emphasised that body and mind are two things. That is absolutely wrong. Body and mind are just two poles of one existence. The old traditions have emphasised that you are not the body, but my emphasis is quite the contrary. You are the body. You are more than the body, you go beyond the body, but you are also the body. There is no division as such, no conflict. We have created the conflict, and that conflict has created a gap. The gap has to be bridged. My method is a means to bridge the gap. Only when it is bridged do you become whole. And then, the jump becomes possible. You cannot jump if you are fragmented. One part of you cannot jump ahead of another part. You have to take the jump as a whole being. To me, “holy” means whole. This wholeness has to be created. That is what I am trying to do.
If you take it for granted that you are not the body then your body becomes closed: a dead thing hanging over you. Then you are not living in it, just carrying it. So to bring you back to your body is the first thing that must be done. Then you have to be brought back to your mind, you have to become one with the whole mind. Only then can you become one with the spirit. Man must first be rooted in the body and then rooted in his natural mind. Only then can he fall down deep, into his natural depths.
Excerpted from The Eternal Quest courtesy Osho International Foundation.