Major Arcana

A selection of 20 from the 23 Major Arcana cards. Click on the pictures for more information and to buy prints.
All texts by Osho.

The Master

Beyond mind, there is an awareness that is intrinsic, that is not given to you by the outside, and is not an idea — and there is no experiment up to now that has found any center in the brain which corresponds to awareness. The whole work of meditation is to make you aware of all that is “mind” and disidentify yourself from it. That very separation is the greatest revolution that can happen to man. Now you can do and act on only that which makes you more joyous, fulfills you, gives you contentment, makes your life a work of art, a beauty. But this is possible only if the master in you is awake. Right now the master is fast asleep. And the mind, the servant, is playing the role of master. And the servant is created by the outside world, it follows the outside world and its laws. Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created. There is no blissfulness more precious than freedom, than being a master of your own destiny.

The Fool

A fool is one who goes on trusting; a fool is one who goes on trusting against all his experience. You deceive him, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you. Then you will say that he is a fool, he does not learn. His trust is tremendous; his trust is so pure that nobody can corrupt it. Be a fool in the Taoist sense, in the Zen sense. Don’t try to create a wall of knowledge around you. Whatsoever experience comes to you, let it happen, and then go on dropping it. Go on cleaning your mind continuously; go on dying to the past so you remain in the present, herenow, as if just born, just a babe. In the beginning it is going to be very difficult. The world will start taking advantage of you…let them. They are poor fellows. Even if you are cheated and deceived and robbed, let it happen, because that which is really yours cannot be robbed from you, that which is really yours nobody can steal from you. And each time you don’t allow situations to corrupt you, that opportunity will become an integration inside. Your soul will become more crystallized.

Existence

You are not accidental. Existence needs you. Without you something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it. That’s what gives you dignity, that the whole existence will miss you. The stars and sun and moon, the trees and birds and earth — everything in the universe will feel a small place is vacant which cannot be filled by anybody except you. This gives you a tremendous joy, a fulfillment that you are related to existence, and existence cares for you. Once you are clean and clear, you can see tremendous love falling on you from all dimensions.

Inner Voice

If you have found your truth within yourself there is nothing more in this whole existence to find. Truth is functioning through you. When you open your eyes, it is truth opening his eyes. When you close your eyes, it is truth who is closing its eyes. This is a tremendous meditation. If you can simply understand the device, you don’t have to do anything; whatever you are doing is being done by truth. You are walking, it is truth; you are sleeping, it is truth resting; you are speaking, it is truth speaking; you are silent, it is truth that is silent. This is one of the most simple meditation techniques. Slowly, slowly everything settles by this simple formula, and then there is no need for the technique. When you are cured, you throw away the meditation, you throw away the medicine. Then you live as truth — alive, radiant, contented, blissful, a song unto yourself. Your whole life becomes a prayer without any words, or better to say a prayerfulness, a grace, a beauty which does not belong to our mundane world, a ray of light coming from the beyond into the darkness of our world.

Creativity

Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach — how you look at things…
Not everybody can be a painter — and there is no need also. If everybody is a painter the world will be very ugly; it will be difficult to live! And not everybody can be a dancer, and there is no need. But everybody can be creative.
Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative. If you have something growing out of it within you, if it gives you growth, it is spiritual, it is creative, it is divine. You become more divine as you become more creative.
All the religions of the world have said God is the creator. I don’t know whether he is the creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become. When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So he must be the creator because people who have been creative have been closest to him. Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it — whatsoever it is!

The Rebel

People are afraid, very much afraid of those who know themselves. They have a certain power, a certain aura and a certain magnetism, a charisma that can take out alive, young people from the traditional imprisonment…. The enlightened man cannot be enslaved — that is the difficulty — and he cannot be imprisoned…. Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed; he is going to be an upsetting force. The masses don’t want to be disturbed, even though they may be in misery; they are in misery, but they are accustomed to the misery. And anybody who is not miserable looks like a stranger. The enlightened man is the greatest stranger in the world; he does not seem to belong to anybody. No organization confines him, no community, no society, no nation.

The Lovers

These three things are to be taken note of: the lowest love is sex — it is physical — and the highest refinement of love is compassion. Sex is below love, compassion is above love; love is exactly in the middle. Very few people know what love is. Ninety-nine percent of people, unfortunately, think sexuality is love — it is not. Sexuality is very animal; it certainly has the potential of growing into love, but it is not actual love, only a potential… If you become aware and alert, meditative, then sex can be transformed into love. And if your meditativeness becomes total, absolute, love can be transformed into compassion. Sex is the seed, love is the flower, compassion is the fragrance. Buddha has defined compassion as love plus meditation. When your love is not just a desire for the other, when your love is not only a need, when your love is a sharing, when your love is not that of a beggar but an emperor, when your love is not asking for something in return but is ready only to give — to give for the sheer joy of giving — then add meditation to it and the pure fragrance is released. That is compassion; compassion is the highest phenomenon.

Awareness

Mind can never be intelligent — only no-mind is intelligent. Only no-mind is original and radical. Only no-mind is revolutionary — revolution in action. This mind gives you a sort of stupor. Burdened by the memories of the past, burdened by the projections of the future, you go on living — at the minimum. You don’t live at the maximum. Your flame remains very dim. Once you start dropping thoughts, the dust that you have collected in the past, the flame arises — clean, clear, alive, young. Your whole life becomes a flame, and a flame without any smoke. That is what awareness is.

Courage

The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed. Nothing can be guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls — and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving. Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft and dangers will be many. There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the dangers. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why. Great is the cross to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves. The same is the path for man. It is arduous. Much courage will be needed.

Aloneness

When you are alone you are not alone, you are simply lonely — and there is a tremendous difference between loneliness and aloneness. When you are lonely you are thinking of the other, you are missing the other. Loneliness is a negative state. You are feeling that it would have been better if the other were there — your friend, your wife, your mother, your beloved, your husband. It would have been good if the other were there, but the other is not. Loneliness is absence of the other. Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is very positive. It is a presence, overflowing presence. You are so full of presence that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.

Change

Life repeats itself mindlessly — unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That’s why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death, the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success.
Just see! If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern. One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God, that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don’t see the point why one should go on living…. And it goes on and on, but you don’t see the pattern. Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it.

Breakthrough

To transform breakdowns into breakthroughs is the whole function of a master. The psychotherapist simply patches you up. That is his function. He is not there to transform you. You need a meta-psychology, the psychology of the buddhas.
It is the greatest adventure in life to go through a breakdown consciously. It is the greatest risk because there is no guarantee that the breakdown will become a breakthrough. It does become, but these things cannot be guaranteed. Your chaos is very ancient — for many, many lives you have been in chaos. It is thick and dense. It is almost a universe in itself. So, when you enter into it with your small capacity, of course there is danger. But without facing this danger nobody has ever become integrated, nobody has ever become an individual, indivisible.
Zen, or meditation, is the method which will help you to go through the chaos, through the dark night of the soul, balanced, disciplined, alert. The dawn is not far away, but before you can reach the dawn, the dark night has to be passed through. And as the dawn comes closer, the night will become darker.

New Vision

When you open up to the ultimate, immediately it pours into you. You are no longer an ordinary human being — you have transcended. Your insight has become the insight of the whole existence. Now you are no longer separate — you have found your roots. Otherwise, ordinarily, everybody is moving without roots, not knowing from where their heart goes on receiving energy, not knowing who goes on breathing in them, not knowing the life juice that is running inside them. It is not the body, it is not the mind — it is something transcendental to all duality, that is called bhagavat — the bhagavat in the ten directions …. Your inner being, when it opens, first experiences two directions: the height, the depth. And then slowly, slowly, as this becomes your established situation, you start looking around, spreading into all other eight directions. And once you have attained to the point where your height and your depth meet, then you can look around to the very circumference of the universe. Then your consciousness starts unfolding in all ten directions, but the road has been one.

Transformation

A master in Zen is not simply a teacher. In all the religions there are only teachers. They teach you about subjects which you don’t know, and they ask you to believe because there is no way to bring those experiences into objective reality. Neither has the teacher known them — he has believed them; he transfers his belief to somebody else. Zen is not a believer’s world. It is not for the faithful ones; it is for those daring souls who can drop all belief, unbelief, doubt, reason, mind, and simply enter into their pure existence without boundaries. But it brings a tremendous transformation. Hence, let me say that while others are involved in philosophies, Zen is involved in metamorphosis, in a transformation. It is authentic alchemy: it changes you from base metal into gold. But its language has to be understood, not with your reasoning and intellectual mind but with your loving heart. Or even just listening, not bothering whether it is true or not. And a moment comes suddenly that you see it, which has been eluding you your whole life. Suddenly, what Gautam Buddha called “eighty-four thousand doors” open.

Integration

The conflict is in man. Unless it is resolved there, it cannot be resolved anywhere else. The politics is within you; it is between the two parts of the mind. A very small bridge exists. If that bridge is broken through some accident, through some physiological defect or something else, the person becomes split, the person becomes two persons and the phenomenon of schizophrenia or split personality happens. If the bridge is broken — and the bridge is very fragile — then you become two, you behave like two persons. In the morning you are very loving, very beautiful; in the evening you are very angry, absolutely different. You don’t remember your morning…how can you remember? Another mind was functioning — and the person becomes two persons. If this bridge is strengthened so much that the two minds disappear as two and become one, then integration, then crystallization, arises. What George Gurdjieff used to call the crystallization of being is nothing but these two minds becoming one, the meeting of the male and the female within, the meeting of yin and yang, the meeting of the left and right, the meeting of logic and illogic, the meeting of Plato and Aristotle.

Conditioning

Unless you drop your personality you will not be able to find your individuality. Individuality is given by existence; personality is imposed by the society. Personality is social convenience.
Society cannot tolerate individuality., because individuality will not follow like a sheep. Individuality has the quality of the lion; the lion moves alone. The sheep are always in the crowd, hoping that being in the crowd will feel cozy. Being in the crowd one feels more protected, secure. If somebody attacks, there is every possibility in the crowd to save yourself. But alone? — only the lion moves alone.
And every one of you is born a lion, but the society goes on conditioning you, programming your mind as a sheep. It gives you a personality, a cozy personality, nice, very convenient, very obedient. Society wants slaves, not people who are absolutely dedicated to freedom. Society wants slaves because all the vested interests want obedience.

Silence

The energy of the whole has taken possession of you. You are possessed, you are no more, the whole is. This moment, as the silence penetrates in you, you can understand the significance of it, because it is the same silence that Gautam Buddha experienced. It is the same silence that Chuang Tzu or Bodhidharma or Nansen…. The taste of the silence is the same. Time changes, the world goes on changing, but the experience of silence, the joy of it, remains the same. That is the only thing you can rely upon, the only thing that never dies. It is the only thing that you can call your very being.

Innocence

Zen says that if you drop knowledge — and within knowledge everything is included; your name, your identity, everything, because this has been given to you by others — if you drop all that has been given by others, you will have a totally different quality to your being: innocence. This will be a crucifixion of the persona, the personality, and there will be a resurrection of your innocence. You will become a child again, reborn.

Beyond Illusion

This is the only distinction between the dream and the real: reality allows you to doubt, and the dream does not allow you to doubt…. To me, the capacity to doubt is one of the greatest blessings to humanity. The religions have been enemies because they have been cutting the very roots of doubt, and there is a reason why they have been doing that: because they want people to believe in certain illusions that they have been preaching…. Why have the people like Gautam Buddha been so insistent that the whole existence — except your witnessing self, except your awareness — is just ephemeral, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of? They are not saying that these trees are not there. They are not saying that these pillars are not there. Don’t misunderstand because of the word “illusion”… It has been translated as illusion, but illusion is not the right word. Illusion does not exist. Reality exists. Maya is just in between — it almost exists. As far as day-to-day activities are concerned, it can be taken as reality. Only in the ultimate sense, from the peak of your illumination, does it become unreal, illusory.

Completion

This is the way of Zen, not to say things to their completion. This has to be understood; it is a very important methodology. Not to say everything means to give an opportunity to the listener to complete it.
All answers are incomplete. The master has only given you a direction… By the time you reach the limit, you will know what is going to remain. This way, if somebody is trying to understand Zen intellectually he will fail. It is not an answer to the question but something more than the answer. It is indicating the very reality…
The buddha nature is not something far away — your very consciousness is buddha nature. And your consciousness can witness these things which constitute the world. The world will end but the mirror will remain, mirroring nothing.

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