You have written in a letter:
“Do not remain in a dilemma, Do not look back. The gates of the temple are wide open and it is only after thousands of years that such an opportunity comes again to this earth. Know well that they will not remain open forever. The opportunity can be lost very easily, Hence, I am giving the call again and again: Come and enter! I am standing at your door, knocking again and again because of a promise I gave in another life, in another age.”
Osho, please explain these mysterious words of yours. Why does such an opportunity only come after thousands of years with the arrival of a buddha, and why does it disappear with his departure? Please also explain why we fail to see existence in human form; why we don’t pay attention to its voice and go in – into out own inner refuge.
A few things will have to be understood. The first is that to attain buddhahood is very difficult. To be awakened is almost to attain the impossible. Total awakening is a phenomenon that does not and cannot happen every day, because there is a deep attraction to sleep, and there is comfort in sleep. In sleep there is no responsibility. No matter how great the unhappiness, no matter how much the anguish, they are not felt because of the unconscious state of sleep.
Surgeons are very familiar with this phenomenon. Give the body a shot of morphine or some other anesthetic, and then you are able to endure any amount of pain. Your bones can be sawn off, your legs broken, internal parts of your body taken out, exchanged, but the pain is not felt. Unconsciousness is one way – the deepest way – of enduring pain. The miseries are numerous, and we have discovered a way to endure them; that is, to keep ourselves unaware, unconscious.
As awareness increases, so will the amount of unhappiness. With growing awareness we feel the prick of the thorn more deeply – and we are already stabbed with thorns, with thousands of thorns. Buddhahood means the capacity to know the unhappiness of life in its totality; the courage to face all the pain without running away from it; no matter how big the hell in life, encountering it face to face, without turning your back to it.
It is through encountering hell that the doors to heaven open.
Those who are not prepared to pass through hell will remain deprived of heaven. We all want to go to heaven, but the road to heaven passes through hell and we do not want to travel on that road. So we have devised a simple trick: that is, even though we live in hell, at the very gates of hell, we go on dreaming of heaven. Because of those dreams hell remains hidden, and in order to dream, sleep is necessary.
So sleep has two uses: first, it does not let the pain of unhappiness be felt in its totality; secondly, it provides the facility to dream. This is why buddhahood is so difficult to attain. The sleep will have to be broken, and the dreams will be shattered the moment sleep is broken.
We have invested so much in our dreams, we have put so much at stake! Our dreams are the only sweetness of our lives. We have never known any happiness in reality; it is only in the dreams that we get some comfort, the whole treasure of happiness that we know is in our dreams. So when someone talks of shattering our dreams it does not please us. Even in our going to buddhas our motivation is that our dreams may come true. Even if we want liberation, that too is nothing but our last dream; that is our last hope of happiness. So we look for sleep, because in sleep dreams are possible, in sleep the miseries are not felt.