You continuously tell us to "be aware," to "be a witness, a watcher," of all we do and think and feel. But can a witnessing consciousness really sing, dance and taste life? Is a witness a mere spectator of life and never a participant?
The mind is bound to raise this question sooner or later, because the mind is very afraid of your becoming a witness. Why is the mind so afraid of your becoming a witness? – because your becoming a witness is the death of the mind.
The mind is a doer, it wants to do things, and witnessing is a state of nondoing.
The mind is afraid that, "If you become a witness, I will not be needed anymore."
And in a way the mind is right.... Once the witness arises in you the mind has to disappear, just as if you bring light into your room and the darkness has to disappear; it is inevitable. The mind can exist only if you remain fast asleep, because the mind is a state of dreaming, and dreams can exist only in sleep.
By becoming a witness you are no longer asleep, you are awake.
You become awareness – so crystal-clear, so young and fresh, so vital and potent. You become a flame – intense, burning from both the ends...as if, in that state of intensity, light, consciousness, the mind dies, the mind commits suicide. Hence the mind is afraid.
The mind will create many problems for you, it will raise many many questions. It will make you hesitate to take the jump into the unknown; it will try to pull you back. It will try to convince you that, "With me is safety, security; with me you are living under a shelter, well guarded. I take every care of you. With me you are efficient, skillful. The moment you leave me, you will have to leave all your knowledge and you will have to leave all your securities, safeties. You will have to drop your armor and you will be going into the unknown. You are unnecessarily taking a risk for no reason at all." It will try to bring in beautiful rationalizations. This is one of the rationalizations, which almost always happens to every meditator.
It is not you who is asking the question; it is the mind, your enemy, who is putting the questions through you. It is mind who is saying, "Can a witnessing consciousness really sing, dance and taste life?"
Yes. In fact only a witnessing consciousness can really sing, dance and taste life.
It will appear like a paradox – it is! But all that is true is always paradoxical, remember. If truth is not paradoxical then it is not truth at all; then it is something else.
When you are in the mind, how can you sing? The mind creates misery; out of misery there can be no song. When you are in the mind, how can you dance? Yes, you can go through certain empty gestures called dance, but it is not a real dance.
The real dance happens only when you have become a witness. Then you are so blissful that the very bliss starts overflowing; that is the dance. The very bliss starts singing; a song arises of its own accord. And only when you are a witness can you taste life.
I can understand your question: you are worried that by becoming a witness one will become merely a spectator of life. No, to be a spectator is one thing, and to be a witness a totally different thing, qualitatively different.
A spectator is indifferent, he is dull; he is in a kind of sleep. He does not participate in life. He is afraid, he is a coward. He stands by the side of the road and simply goes on seeing others living. That's what you are doing all your life: somebody else acts in a movie and you watch. You are a spectator! People are glued to their chairs for hours together before their TVs – spectators. Somebody else is singing; you are listening. Somebody else is dancing; you are just a spectator. Somebody else is loving and you are just watching. You are not a participant. Professionals are doing what you should have done on your own.
A witness is not a spectator. Then what is a witness?
A witness is one who participates yet remains alert.
A witness is not one who has escaped from life. He lives in life, lives far more totally, far more passionately, yet remains deep down a watcher; goes on remembering that, "I am a consciousness."
Try it walking on the road: remember that you are a consciousness. Walking continues...and a new thing is added, a new richness is added, a new beauty. Something interior is added to the outward act. You become a flame of consciousness, and then the walking has a totally different joy to it; you are on the earth and yet your feet are not touching the earth at all.
I am not against action, but your action has to be enlightened by awareness. The world of action is the best opportunity in which to be aware. It gives you a challenge, it remains constantly a challenge.
Either you can fall asleep and become a doer; then you are a worldly man, a dreamer, a victim of illusions – or you can become a witness and yet go on living in the world; then your action has a different quality to it. It is really action. Those who are not aware, their actions are not real actions but reactions; they only react. Somebody insults you and you react. Insult the Buddha: he does not react – he acts. Reaction is dependent on the other: he pushes a button and you are only a victim, a slave; you function like a machine.
The real person, who knows what awareness is, never reacts; he acts out of his own awareness. The action does not come from the other's act; nobody can push his button. If he feels spontaneously that this is right to do, he does it; if he feels nothing is needed, he keeps quiet. He is not repressive; he is always open, expressive. His expression is multidimensional. In song, in poetry, in dance, in love, in prayer, in compassion, he flows.
If you don't become aware, then there are only two possibilities: either you will be repressive or indulgent. In both ways you remain in a bondage.
Osho: "The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha"
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