If you are not acquainted with yourself, all your acquaintance, all your knowledge is just false. Without self-knowledge there is no possibility of any knowledge. You can go on knowing and knowing; you can go on collecting more and more information, but that information will remain information – dead, borrowed. It will never become a knowing eye.
How to attain those eyes which can penetrate the illusory and can encounter the real? This is going to be the base of this whole Upanishad. In the old days it was called chakshusmati vidya, the wisdom through which eyes are attained. But the first thing to be constantly remembered is that as we are, we are blind; as we are, we are dead; as we are, we are illusory, the stuff dreams are made of.
Why cannot our eyes see the real? They are so much filled with dreams, so much filled with thoughts, that whatsoever you see, you are not seeing that which is; you project your ideas, your thoughts, your dreams upon it. The whole world becomes just a projection screen, and you go on projecting things. Whatsoever you see outside, you have put it there. You live in a man-created world, and everyone lives in his own world. That world consists of his own projections.
Unless your eyes are completely vacant, unless there is no content within your eyes, no thoughts, no clouds; unless you become mirrorlike, pure, innocent, contentless, you cannot encounter the real. The real can be seen only through naked, empty eyes; it cannot be seen through filled eyes.
This is all the art or the science of meditation consists of: how to make your eyes mirrorlike, nonprojecting – just looking at that which is, not creating it, not imagining it, not adding anything to it… just encountering it as it is. You never see things as they are, you always see through your mind; you color them. ”
(Excerpt from Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi (Revised Edition)-Chapter 2)
About Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi (Revised Edition)
Talks on the Akshi Upanishad
The Upanishads were born nearly five thousand years ago. They are a secret communion, a transmission beyond scriptures, beyond words, between an individual and existence.
The seven steps to Samadhi or enlightenment that the Akshi Upanishad describes are like a seeker’s map or guide to the inner journey.The first three steps are the waking state of the mind, the surface of our personalities; the fourth and the fifth steps go deeper as we enter into our subjectivity; the sixth stage is still deeper, where there are no longer any objects or subject, and the seventh is not a step at all, it is our very nature, our being.
Like Osho, the Upanishads don’t teach renunciation. Instead, Upanishadic wisdom encourages us to live in the world, play in the world, rejoice in life, and to experience the unchanging and eternal as we journey on these seven steps.
“The world of the Upanishads is very close to my approach. In fact, what I am doing here is giving a rebirth to the spirit of the Upanishads.” Osho
“He was the most original thinker that India has produced: the most erudite, the most clear-headed and the most innovative. And in addition he had an inborn gift of words, spoken and written. The like of him we will not see for decades to come. He has to be judged as a thinker, and as a thinker he will be judged amongst the giants.”
Khushwant Singh, Former editor of The Times of India; author and histor