A scientist is constantly focusing on objects. He forgets the self completely. Both Shankara and Marx are right in one sense and wrong in another. If you are fixed upon the world, if your look is fixed on the world, the self will look illusory – like it is just a dream. If you are looking inwards, the world will become a dream. Both are real, but you cannot be aware of both simultaneously – that is the problem. And nothing can be done.

Once you know turning of consciousness, you can do it anywhere. Just riding in a bus or sitting in a train you can do it – anywhere. With anything, stare, stare, stare…and suddenly turn inwards, and the train disappears. Of course, when you come back from your inner journey you will have traveled, but the train will have disappeared. From one station you will reach to another, and in between there will have been no train – just a gap. Of course, the train was there; otherwise how can you come to the other station? But it was not there for you: for you it was not.

Everyone must have seen somewhere or other – a picture of an old woman, and in the same lines a beautiful young woman is also hidden. There is one picture, the same lines, but two figures are in it: one old woman, one young woman.

Look at the picture: you cannot become aware of both simultaneously. You will become aware either of one or the other. You will meet the old woman or you will meet the young woman., and one will become maya, illusory.

I (Osho) remember Socrates. His wife Xanthippe was very much worried about him, and any wife would have been in the same dilemma. To have a Socrates as a husband is one of the most difficult things to tolerate. Socrates is good as a teacher, but not as a husband.

One day it happen…and because of it his wife has been condemned for two thousand years continuously, but that is not just, I (Osho) do not think she has done anything wrong. Socrates was sitting there, and he must have been doing something like this technique – it is not recorded, I (Osho) am just assuming. His wife came with a tray, a teapot to give him tea. She must have found that he was not there, so it is reported that she poured the tea upon Socrates, over his face. Then suddenly he came back.

His face remained burned for his whole life. And because of this his wife has been condemned very much, but no one knows what Socrates was doing there – because no wife would do this suddenly, there is no need. He must have done something; something must have been happening there. That is why Xanthippe had to throw tea over him. He must have been in an inner trance, and the burning sensation of the tea must have brought him back, the consciousness must have returned.

I (Osho) assume that this was the case because there are many other cases reported about Socrates which are similar. For forty-eight hours he was not found. He was sought all over, the whole Athens went in search of Socrates, but he was not found anywhere. Then he was found outside the city, miles away, standing under a tree. Half of his body was just under snow. Snow was falling, and he was just frozen, standing there with open eyes. But he was not looking at anyone.

When crowd gathered around, they looked into his eyes and they thought that he was dead. His eyes were just like stones – looking, but not looking at anyone; just static, unmoving. They felt his heart: It was beating slowing; he was alive. They had to give him shocks, only then did he come back to look at them. Immediately he asked, “What is the time now?” He had missed forty-eight hours completely, they never exist for him. He was not in this world of time and space.

So they asked, “What were you doing? We thought you were dead already…forty-eight hours!” He said, “I was staring at the stars, and just suddenly it happened that the stars disappeared. And then, I don’t know…then the whole world disappeared. But I remained in such a cool, calm, blissful state that if it is death it is worth thousands of lives. If it is death, then I would like to enter it again and again.”

It may have happened without his knowledge, because Socrates was not a yogi, not a tantrika. He was not in any way concerned consciously with any spiritual practice. But he was a great thinker, and it may have happened as an accident that he was staring at the stars in the night, and suddenly his look returned back, inwards. You can do it. And stars are really good objects.

Lie down on the ground, look at the black sky, and then fix yourself on one star. Concentrate on it, stare at it. Narrow down your consciousness to one star; forget other stars. By and by, concentrate, narrow down your gaze. Other stars will be there just on the fringe, on the boundary. But by and by they will disappear, and only one star will remain. Then go on staring, go on staring. A moment will come when that star will disappear. And when that star disappears, you will appear to yourself.


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