The Spiritual Path: A Delusional Fantasy

People today are looking, seeking and desiring something more than what they have. They are dissatisfied with just having possessions. They know there must be something out there that will bring peace and tranquility into their lives. Many of these people are searching the realms of spirituality. This search is taking them to churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and numerous other religious and new age theologies. It is the quest for spirituality.

Spirituality, the very concept is powerful and joyous! Thinking about it sends chills down my spine. It conjures up intense and beautiful images of God, angels, spirits, prayer, meditation, the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Vedas, the soul, life beyond death and immortality. Spirituality also communicates goodness, piousness and love. Yes, it is all this and more, much more. Yet, paradoxically, it is none of these things.

Unfortunately, as long as you are looking, seeking and desiring spirituality, this means that you have not found it. Instead, you are looking for a path, a way, a teacher to help you find your spirituality. Regrettably, spirituality cannot come from a path, a direction, a book, a teacher or a technique. It can only come from within, a surrendering of your ego to the totality of this moment. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is within.” How true! Do you understand the significance of this statement? A short story to help illustrate its meaning. One day God was talking to his angels, and He said, “I’m really getting tired of everyone always wanting something from me. It goes on day and night. There must be someplace I can hide from all these people.” One angel told him to hide on the moon. God told the angel that the moon just would not do. It would be only moments before man would land on the moon, and then He would be right back where He started. You must understand, that to God, time has no meaning. A thousand years is mere seconds to Him. No, the moon was not a good idea. Another angel suggested that He go to Jupiter and hide. Again, God said that would not do. Just a few more moments and man will reach Jupiter. Finally, after many more suggestions that God rejected, an old angel came forth and suggested that God hide inside of man. God thought for a moment and said, “They would never look for me there.” Ever since, God has hidden inside man. The search for spirituality must be toward the inside.

What is truly amazing is that this inward search requires no path. The irony is that the moment you believe you are on a spiritual path, you have missed. The moment you judge a path as spiritual, you have lost sight of spirituality. The moment you use your mind to find, interpret, judge, categorize or even attempt to experience divinity, you are fooling yourself into believing a delusion. A path means that there is someplace to go. It means that there is a final destination. It means that you have not reached that destination. What must be understood is that this destination is nothing more than being aware NOW. I am sorry to say, that as long as you are on a spiritual path, you will never be able to reach your destination. The path is infinite in length. You will be on it your entire life.

The reason for the spiritual path being infinite is your mind. When you follow a spiritual path, your mind is doing the following, and your mind can never experience spirituality. It will always find new questions, new answers, will have new doubts and reservations. Your mind is a roadblock to spirituality. The only thing that can happen when you use your mind is to limit the experience of divinity to a preconceived idea or prior experience. Can you imagine your mind being able to conceive of the infinite? Only through dropping your mind, can you begin to experience spirituality, the infinite. In fact, true spirituality cannot even be called spiritual, for this reduces the concept to a belief of what you think spirituality means. Furthermore, it reduces any spiritual experience you have had to a concept or cognitive interpretation. The mind is at work once again. Your mind is so limited that it is impossible for it to know the spirituality. It goes far beyond anything your mind can possibly conjure up or imagine. It is everything your mind can create, everything that will be created and even everything that will never be created. It is matter, antimatter and even beyond that.

Malika, my partner in life, once asked our Master, Osho, “I want to be in the flow all the time. How can I make that happen?” His answer was very simple and elegant: “When you are in the flow, you are in the flow. And when you are not in the flow, you are still in the flow!” Get it? The flow is eternal. The flow is your spirituality. Whether you believe you are this or that, happy or unhappy, blissful or in agony does not change the fact that you are still in the flow. There is absolutely nothing you can do to prevent yourself from being in the flow. What you can prevent is your awareness that you are in the flow. You can deny this moment in favor of reliving the past or projecting the past into your future. Your denial of this moment, of the flow, is what creates problems for you. In fact, one of the very few times that you are even aware of the flow is when you are experiencing a problem. When this happens, you realize that you are not in the flow. The only time this happens is when what you are experiencing is not what you want. Your mind does not like what is happening, so it prevents you from realizing the flow. Then your mind tells you that you are not in the flow. Yet, you are! When your life is going smoothly, you have no awareness that there is even a thing called the flow. You are too involved in the positive aspects of your life to be aware and to recognize that you are in the flow. You put that on the back burner. You are happy, why bother to look within and find the infinite.

This reminds me of how people use prayer. People are taught to pray when they want something, when they want God to help them. “God help my son get over his illness.” “God help me with my husband.” “God protect us from evil.” They do so with sincerity when they want Him to solve a problem for them. In fact, even the prayers that are saying thank you are typically relegated to things that are owned, possessed, obtained or fixed. “Thank you God for this food we are about to eat.” “Thank you God for saving my life.” “Thank you God for allowing me to win the tennis match.” Very seldom do people pray for no reason other than to say thank you for this moment, and this is what real prayer is all about. It is about being in awe, saying thank you for NOW, being totally joyous of this moment. Anything else comes from your mind and has nothing to do with prayer. Once you have the awareness of the flow, you also have prayer.

Understand that your having awareness of the flow is synonymous with spirituality. Spirituality is being in the NOW, acceptance of this eternal moment, of the NOW. Once you drop your ideas of what being spiritual means, once you drop your ego, you will be spiritual. There is no path, technique or book to follow that can take you to your spirituality. Only total awareness in this moment can transport you to your no-spiritual spiritual self. By no-spiritual spiritual self, I am titling something that cannot be titled. I am giving a classification to something that cannot be classified. My very words are preventing me from truly being able to describe, classify or encompass that which cannot be put into words.

The very need or desire to follow a journey will prevent you from being spiritual. Even the idea of spirituality will keep you from your own true spiritual self. Books, meditations and prayers are all components of the spiritual path, but none can really take you there. In fact, they can prevent you from being the spiritual person you have always been. By believing in them, you formulate an ideology of what it means to be spiritual. Then anything that does not fit that ideology must be out of the flow and must be changed. It is like a humble person telling people that he is humble. Can you be humble and still tell people? To be humble, you must simply be humble.

Once you recognize the joy of life in this moment, you will recognize your true self and your true spirituality. When you accept and recognize everything as being a part of the whole, you are spiritual. Your primary emotions of fear, love, anger, sadness and happiness are all aspects of the total. Carmen Bermudez, a dear friend, used to tell me that you have to make friends with your anger. Only then will you be able to accept your anger. She was so right. However, she did not go far enough. You are to accept, enjoy and make friends with all of your feelings. When you are in this moment, there is nothing to obtain, no path to follow and no doctrines to understand.

How do you experience the eternal flow? How do you drop the ego? How do you dive into the moment? Once questions arise, you are immediately thrown onto a spiritual path, a path that does not exist except in your mind, a path that takes you nowhere. Do you ask how to walk or breathe? No, you do it. Only when trying to explain how to do it, does a path seem to materialize. The path is then a mirage that you believe to be real.

A man came to a meditation that I was conducting. He told me that he had a very bad back injury and was in a lot of pain. That day we were doing the Nataraj, a very active Osho dance meditation. People were swinging their arms, moving their feet, twirling in circles. They were getting lost in the music and their movement.

This person remained sitting and had what appeared to me as a scowl on his face. I asked him what was the matter. He said he could not participate in such an active meditation because of the pain in his back. I told him he should do the meditation with the rest of the group. I said, “Yes you can. Just close your eyes, let go and dance.” Immediately he began to argue with me that he was in too much pain. He did not understand my meaning. There was no point in arguing with him. For him, a dance meditation had a very concrete form. It meant that he had to physically move his legs, jump around, twirl to the music and move his body. He did not understand that letting go of who he thought he was and what he thought the dance meditation was, would move him into dancing, a dancing from within. Physical movement was not necessary to dance a dance of let go. He could have danced with his spirit, his soul, his very being. All that he needed was to let his mind rest.

The spiritual path is a delusional fantasy. It locks you into a belief system that prevents you from being spiritual and requires you to do something to get somewhere when there is no place to go. As long as you are on a spiritual path, your vision is outward. If you are on a Buddhist path, you look for Buddha. If you are on a Christian path, you look for Christ. As someone once said, “if you see Buddha on the road, kill him.” As long as you see Buddha, Christ, or any other path, you cannot become the Buddha yourself. Your vision is outward, not inward. Your path is a fantasy.

Listen to the central tenet of Taoism, “The Tao that is spoken is no longer the Tao.” This means that the truth that is spoken is no longer the truth. It has become history. Only this moment can be the truth. How can history be the truth of this moment. It has gone and can never be repeated. Spirituality and the flow are always of NOW, never of history.

Of course, being on a spiritual path when you believe that it is what you need to do is exactly what you should be doing. When you are on the path, do it totally, do it with awareness, do it until you get so tired of trying to reach your goal that you finally give up in total despair. Once that happens, you will be in the flow. You will experience prayer. You will know your spirituality. Until then, the path is beautiful. It will lead you to the possibility of prayer and meditation. So, let your mind do whatever it wants, but remain centered, total and in the NOW. The NOW is forever and requires nothing of you. Experiencing the NOW with total awareness is the only thing you are to do to be spiritual, so be spiritual and enjoy!

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