At one Point, the fact that Sannyasins were using the title “The four directions’ caused some Germans to write to the ashram saying we had stolen that name from them. Below is Osho’s reply…. .. . even more interesting in terms of the current debates re copyright and trademarks….
Just today a letter has arrived from Germany. Our sannyasins are doing a meditation called The Four Directions. The letter says, “In your commune people are doing a meditation called The Four Directions, and we have the copyright over it.”
I have told Neelam, my secretary, to write to them, “Things can be copyrighted, thoughts cannot be copyrighted, and certainly meditations cannot be copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace.”
Nobody can monopolize anything. But perhaps the West cannot understand the difference between an objective commodity and an inner experience.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has copyrighted transcendental meditation and just underneath in a small circle you will find written TM – that means trademark!
For ten thousand years the East has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon meditations. And above all, that transcendental meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation… just a trademark.
I have told Neelam to reply to these people, “You don’t understand what meditation is. It is nobody’s belonging, possession. You cannot have any copyright. Perhaps if your country gives you trademarks and copyrights on things like meditation, then it will be good to have a copyright on stupidity. That will help the whole world to be relieved… Only you will be stupid and nobody else can be stupid; it will be illegal.”
I am going to direct my people here that they do the meditation called The Four Directions. But there are eight directions not four! Start doing the meditation Eight Directions – and certainly under eight directions, their four directions also come in.
But apart from their stupid letters and their stupid government which gives copyrights for such inner experiences, the truth is that consciousness cannot be either four directions or eight directions.
Consciousness is a circle: no directions. It is neither directing to the north nor directing to the south.
It simply is a circle. So my suggestion to you is that the best will be to call it ‘No Directions’.
We are going to sue those idiots who think they have a copyright over consciousness, in the courts in Germany. Then we can get a copyright over enlightenment. Then nobody can become enlightened, unless we license him.
Osho, Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Ch 26 (excerpt)