Way of the no-mind

To live in the now, stop pursuing goals and learn to suspend the mind


Life itself is its goal. It is not moving towards some target. It is herenow, it has no future. Life is always in the present. But the mind cannot live in the present: mind dies in the present. Hence, down the ages, mystics have invented devices to bring the mind to the present.

The moment the mind comes to the present, it melts as snow, melts in the hot sun; it disappears, evaporates. And the disappearance of the mind is the greatest experience possible to human beings, because in that disappearance is the appearance of God.

The mind thrives on goals

The mind lives in the future; future is its territory, its kingdom. And future is possible only through goal orientation. So mind makes goals out of everything; life must have a goal—not only a goal but an ultimate goal. Then the mind is perfectly happy, then it can protect itself: how to achieve that goal, how to reach to that ultimate?

The moment you can ask, “How?” mind is perfectly at ease. It is very clever, cunning, skillful in inventing ways and means to achieve something, whatsoever it is—but it has to be there in the future. Mind lives through creating goals: political, social, evolutionary, spiritual, and so on and so forth; but the mind needs some goal to exist, it feeds on it.

In truth, all is and nothing is going to happen. Tomorrow never comes. It is always now and here.

The centre is now, here

The mystic approach is totally different from the goal-oriented mind. The mystic says, “Live the moment in its totality, love the moment in its totality, drown yourself in this overwhelming existence, and you will come closer and closer to God.” By “God” I don’t mean some person; by “God” I simply mean the essential core of existence, the centre of the cyclone.

The universe is the circumference and godliness is the centre. If you dive deep in the now, in the here, you are bound to encounter the centre. And the miracle is that the centre of all is also your centre too. To become aware of it, to live that centre, from that centre, into full awareness, is to be a Buddha, is to be enlightened.

But remember, Buddhahood is not an ultimate goal. It is not something, which has to be achieved somewhere else. It is available right now—immediately it is available, not ultimately. Remember these two words: the ultimate and the immediate. The ultimate brings the mind in, the immediate helps the mind to disappear.

Ambitions = Ego

To me, the immediate is the ultimate. There is no goal, physical, psychological, spiritual. All is as it should be… it already is. Drop your tensions, anxieties for the future, what is going to happen. All has already happened! Live it! Don’t be ambitious. Goals make you ambitious, and they drive you crazy.

The more goal-oriented a person is, the crazier he becomes—because ambition is nothing but ego. You can go on inventing new goals; there will always be the horizon beyond. And with those new goals your ego can go on and on having new trips.

The mystic and the world of the mystic is a totally different dimension. What I am talking about here has nothing to do with goal orientation—that is the way of the mind. I am teaching you the way of no-mind.

The immediate is the ultimate

Unless you drop this idea of an ultimate goal, you will never be able to come down to the earth, to the present, to the moment. And without that there is no meditation, and without meditation there is no god.

The immediate is the ultimate—I teach you the immediate, living moment to moment, without carrying the past. Buddha says, not hoarding the past, not accumulating the past; I would like to add, not projecting in the future either. If the past and the future disappear, what is left? A great silence, a profound presence of something utterly unknown.

A mystery overwhelms you. And that mystery is immediate. I will not say ‘ultimate’, because ‘ultimate’ means you can postpone for tomorrow. ‘Immediate’ shocks you, shakes you into awareness right now.

Goal requires dividing life

A goal is possible if we divide life into means and ends. That’s how it has been down the ages. But life is one, it cannot be divided. It is indivisible, whole; it is an organic unity.

Nothing is a means, nothing is an end. The whole life is one. You cannot categorize means and ends.

But the moment you think about evolution, goal, you have to divide life, then something becomes a means and something else becomes the end. Adolf Hitler believed in evolution, hence he could convince the intelligentsia of Germany, which is one of the most sophisticated intelligentsia of the world. In the name of evolution he could preach his Nazi philosophy that superman is the goal, that man has to be sacrificed for the superman. It appealed, it looked logical.

Who is the superman? And who is going to become the superman? Of course, the Nordics, the Germans. It enhanced the German ego tremendously.

There is no goal, no hierarchy

There is no other goal than this moment, and existence is as perfect as is ever possible. Existence is as perfect as it ever will be. Existence is perfection.

But because of the idea of a goal, we start comparing: then man is higher than the monkeys and the monkeys are higher than the dogs, and so on and so forth. But who is going to decide? Have you ever asked the monkeys? As far as I know, they still laugh at Charles Darwin, because they can’t believe this poor man is higher than the monkeys.

Have you ever fought with any monkey? Fight with a monkey barehanded and you will know who is more powerful. Can you jump like the monkeys on the trees? And then you will know whose body is more athletic. Monkeys live on the trees and you live on the earth: you are the fallen monkeys! But Charles Darwin never asked the monkeys.

Man himself goes on deciding. So if Germans decide then Germans are the highest race, obviously. And if Indians decide then they are the Aryans, the real Aryans, the pure blood. And if Jews decide then they are the chosen people of God. But who is going to decide? And if man decides then man is higher than all the animals. In fact, there is nobody higher and nobody lower. All these categories are stupid—there is no hierarchy.

Excerpted from The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 3/Courtesy: Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931 and 19 January 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here