In the story of the Buddha twice swatting an insect from his head, how did he know that he was not aware the first time, and how can he have not been aware? I ask because, although I am perceiving myself to be gradually more aware, yet I cannot identify who is the perceiver. The worst thing is that the mind takes the opportunity of relative silence to enter a hall of mirrors with watchers watching watchers, who are watching watchers who are not watchers.
Osho, could you illuminate or eliminate me?
Both the things are the same: to illuminate you, or to eliminate you. They are two aspects of the same experience.
Without your elimination, illumination is not possible.
You are the only barrier to your own realization.
You have raised a question which has tortured humanity, particularly the intellectual part of humanity, for centuries. In logic it is called infinite regression. But existence is not logical if you remember that, then the problem disappears. If you think that existence is logical, then the problem becomes insoluble.
It is apparently true that you can watch the mind but somebody else behind you can watch you, the watcher. But you can go on and on; there is always somebody behind who is watching. In logic it is an absurd situation.
In simpler terms it is something like God creating the world. Who created God, because without creating, nothing can exist? That was the premise on which God was supposed. How can this whole existence be there without a God creating it? But it creates the same problem: How can God be there without being created? Where are you going to end? Your alphabet will end…. A God is created by B, and B is created by C, and soon you will come to X, Y, Z; and after Z there is nothing except jazz music. The whole long pilgrimage of logic ends in something illogical.
The very logical people have never supposed the first God because it is the beginning of a trouble which will never end, and you will get more and more into mud.
But in existence things are different. As far as God is concerned, I cannot say anything – I have traveled my whole being, and I have not found him anywhere. And all the religions insist that he is within you. I don’t know about the without – it is a vast universe; he may be hiding somewhere – but as far as my own consciousness is concerned, I am absolutely aware there is no God. And if it is not within my consciousness, it cannot be in any other consciousness either, because the quality of consciousness is the same. Just as the light is the same whether it is in a small candle flame, or in the big sun, or in the faraway stars – the quality is the same.
You can watch the mind because you are not the mind.
That is the whole reason to watch it:
To become aware that you are separate.
Existentially, no problem arises because you cannot watch this watcher. You have come to the very end of the rope; in the very first step you have completed the journey.