A quick online search for the word “darkness” shows how the media, popular culture, and even literary archives, are awash with images that trigger ideas of fear, gloom, horror, evil, and foreboding. In other words, the whole collective of society seems to be terrified of darkness. It is seen as everything that people would like to escape from. Here, Osho presents a radical rethink:
“Darkness is unknown. We are alone in it. We feel lost and all that was known and familiar seems to have vanished. And remember, only people who can start the journey on the path of truth who have the ability to let go of the familiar, who are ready to drop the known, who can enter the unknown where there is no path or track only they can enter truth.
“I am saying these few things as an introduction because without falling in love with darkness, you will be deprived of loving the great truths of life.”
1: Darkness Is Peace, Relaxation
2: Don’t Seek, Stop
3: Darkness Has No Existence
4: From Dreams to Awakening
5: Losing Suffering, Attaining Bliss
6: Prayer Is Love toward Existence
7: Belief: The Greatest Obstacle in the Search for Truth
8: Losing the Urge to Hurt Others
9: Grasp the Knack of Meditation
10: The Only Goal Is Life Itself
There is a beautiful story about one of the most significant women who has ever lived – Rabiya al-Adabiya. One evening, as the sun was just setting…she was very old, perhaps ninety years. And she was searching outside on the street for something she had lost.
A young man saw her, and just out of compassion for the old woman – he was a stranger to the village, he had no idea who she was – he just asked, “What are you searching for? Can I be of any help? You are very old, the sun has set, and it is becoming darker; it will be impossible for you to find it. Just tell me. I am not engaged in any other work, I can help you.” Rabiya laughed. She said to him, “Thank you for your kindness, stranger.”
He said, “Why do you call me stranger?”
She said, “Because nobody of this village would have come to help me; they think I am mad. And perhaps they are right. But I have lost my needle.”
The young man said, “Such a small thing like a needle, with your so-ancient eyes, in the darkening evening, how can you hope? Just tell me exactly where it has fallen. Perhaps – because the road is big – if you show me the exact spot, I may still be able to find it.”
Rabiya said, “It would have been better if you had not asked that question, because I have not lost it on the road. I have lost it inside my house, but there is too much darkness. I am a poor woman, I don’t even have a lamp. Thinking that inside there is so much darkness, finding the needle would be impossible, I was searching outside because there was a little sunlight at the time that I started the search.”
The young man said, “Then perhaps your village people are right. You have lost your needle inside the house and you are searching for it outside! But your madness has a method in it, you have a certain rationality. The reason is, because inside the house there is so much darkness, finding it would be impossible. And outside there is a little light yet, perhaps there is some possibility. But if you have not lost it there, the light will not help.”
Rabiya said, “But this is what everybody in the world is doing, and nobody calls them mad. They have all lost their treasures within themselves and they are all searching for them outside, because outside there is more light. Because all the senses open outside, it is easier to search there.”
The question is not: Where is it easier to search? The question is: Where have you lost it? You know perfectly well you have not lost it outside yourself. You cannot remember any incidents when you lost your treasures: your consciousness, your being, your love, your blissfulness, your silence, your innocence. Nothing is outside. And if you have not lost it outside… There are not many sides in the world. There are only two. It is just a simple arithmetic: if you have not lost it outside, you must have lost it inside.
Inside there is darkness – about that I agree. But that darkness is not a hindrance – that is my experience. That darkness is immensely helpful because it is peaceful, it is silence. That darkness is luminous; it is a different kind of light. That’s why in the beginning you feel it as darkness, but as you go deeper, slowly, slowly it starts becoming a different kind of light that you have not known before.
You have known lights which need fuel – even sunlight needs fuel. The sun is being exhausted of its fuel every day and scientists say that this sun can last another few million years, at the most. And then suddenly one day it will have lost its light and there will be darkness all over. Every day there are stars which become dark – bigger stars than your sun. Because they have lived far longer than your sun, they have exhausted their fuel. Outside, all light is dependent on fuel; inside is a totally different quality of light – it does not need any fuel. That’s why it is eternal; it cannot be exhausted.
What appears as darkness in the beginning, slowly, slowly becomes luminous. And the day it becomes totally luminous – that’s what is called enlightenment, you have come to the true light. Up to now you have seen only shadows of light in the outside world; you have not seen the authentic light which knows no beginning, no end.
Just gather courage, you have nothing to lose. What can you lose? What have you to lose? So why be afraid? Just go inside, fearlessly – it is your own territory, it is your own being. And once you have found just a ray of light, that is the beginning of the greatest experience of life. Nothing is comparable to it in bliss, in benediction.